from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott D.
Ackiss appeals his convictions of child endangerment
resulting in bodily injury and child endangerment.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, (until withdrawal), and
Melinda J. Nye, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Zachary Miller, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE
a bench trial, the district court found Santenio Ackiss
guilty of child endangerment resulting in bodily injury and
child endangerment. On appeal, Ackiss contends (1) the
court's findings are not supported by substantial
evidence, (2) the court impermissibly imposed court costs on
charges for which he was acquitted, and (3) the court failed
to make a determination of his ability to pay restitution.
Sufficiency of the Evidence
crime of child endangerment requires the State to prove
several elements, including the following: the person
"[k]nowingly acts in a manner that creates a substantial
risk to a child or minor's physical, mental or emotional
health or safety." Iowa Code § 726.6(1)(a) (2017).
"A person who commits child endangerment resulting in
bodily injury to a child or minor . . . is guilty of a class
'D' felony." Id. § 726.6(6).
"A person who commits child endangerment that is not
subject to penalty [under enumerated provisions] is guilty of
an aggravated misdemeanor." Id. §
challenges the State's proof on the "knowingly"
element. "Knowingly" means acting with knowledge
that one's conduct creates a substantial risk to a
child's safety. State v. Leckington, 713 N.W.2d
208, 214 (Iowa 2006). "[T]he definition of substantial
risk in the context of child endangerment means the very real
possibility of danger to a child's physical health or
safety." State v. Schlitter, 881 N.W.2d 380,
390 (Iowa 2016) (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted). "The risk does not have to be likely, just
real or identifiable." Id.
district court made the following pertinent findings. A woman
called 911 about "a domestic dispute." A Des Moines
police officer met the woman at a street corner and observed
her outside her vehicle. He also observed "a broken
passenger side window on the right rear passenger side
sliding door." The woman informed the officer that
Ackiss "broke, or as she described it, 'busted'
the rear passenger side window of the minivan, "
injuring "[t]wo children . . . when the glass was
shattered." The children "present at that time
appeared to be scared." "[S]ome of the children had
shattered glass on their clothes and hair." "[T]he
window was broken with force such that glass entered the
vehicle shattering, and hitting and/or falling upon children
in the vehicle."
the record does not support a rational inference that [he]
broke the glass-whether by hitting the window or slamming the
door-with the knowledge that it would likely shatter and
spray glass throughout the van and into the ...