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State v. Shoemaker

Court of Appeals of Iowa

October 9, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
LOGAN SHOEMAKER, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Tom Reidel, Judge.

         The defendant appeals his convictions for attempted murder, willful injury causing serious injury, and robbery in the first degree.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, (until withdrawal) and Shellie L. Knipfer, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Timothy M. Hau, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Greer, JJ.

          POTTERFIELD, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         Following a multiple-day spree of criminal activity in September 2017, Logan Shoemaker was charged with thirteen crimes. He pled guilty to eight charges and, following a jury trial, was convicted of four others.[1] On appeal, he challenges three of his convictions from the jury trial-attempted murder, willful injury causing serious injury, and robbery in the first degree.

         Shoemaker maintains there is insufficient evidence to support his convictions for attempted murder and willful injury causing serious injury because the State failed to prove he had the specific intent to cause death or serious injury, respectively. He challenges his conviction for robbery in the first degree, claiming there was insufficient evidence to support that he intended to commit a theft-a necessary element of robbery-and maintains counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to move for judgment of acquittal on that ground. Similarly, he also maintains counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to request a separate instruction defining theft for the jury.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         Throughout September 2017, Shoemaker harassed a woman he knew, Katie, who had allowed him to stay in her home when he told her he had nowhere else to go. Shoemaker refused to leave Katie's home when she told him he was no longer allowed to stay there, and Katie had to involve the local police to force him to leave. Afterward, Shoemaker continued calling and texting Katie in a harassing manner; she called the police for assistance a number of times over the following two weeks.

         Then, in the early morning hours of September 24, Shoemaker ramped up his behavior. He used a truck he stole as a battering ram, purposefully crashing into vehicles parked near Katie's home. He also used an instrument to break windows out of vehicles. At one point when Katie came outside to ask Shoemaker to stop he, according to Katie's testimony, "started fighting [her], like beating [her] up." Shoemaker only stopped after one of Katie's neighbor's pointed a gun out of a nearby window and told Shoemaker to leave. Katie contacted law enforcement, but they were unable to apprehend Shoemaker at that time.

         On the morning of September 25, police located the stolen truck and found Shoemaker sleeping inside. They ordered him out of the vehicle, but he drove away. A number of officers began pursuing Shoemaker. Shoemaker continued to flee, eventually driving onto a gravel road, where he crashed into the back of a stopped garbage truck. The stolen truck was inoperable after the collision. Shoemaker ran up to the garbage truck and ordered the driver to exit, threatening to shoot him if he did not do so. The driver exited, and Shoemaker continued to flee in the garbage truck, sometimes reaching speeds over seventy miles per hour. At times, Shoemaker maneuvered the truck well-he successfully rounded corners traveling much faster than posted speed limits and, at one point, when an officer ahead of him in the road deployed stop sticks, Shoemaker was able to steer around them by taking the ditch for a short time before reentering the road.[2]

         As the pursuit continued elsewhere, Police Chief Terry Behning located an intersection that Shoemaker had not yet reached. Chief Behning parked his police vehicle in the opposite lane of the road on which Shoemaker was traveling, facing toward Shoemaker as he drove up. Chief Behning activated the red and blue lights on the vehicle before getting out and standing behind it, intending to throw out stop sticks at the last second so Shoemaker would not be able to avoid hitting them. Shoemaker crashed the garbage truck into Chief Behning's service vehicle. Just before impact, he was traveling sixty-one miles per hour. According to Chief Behning's testimony, his service vehicle "basically just exploded. I mean, it just came right at me and I had nowhere else to go." He incurred a number of serious injuries as a result; he was taken by helicopter to the hospital, where he stayed for approximately five weeks. While there, he underwent fifteen surgeries.

         Shoemaker was apprehended immediately after he crashed into Chief Behning's vehicle. On the recording from one of the squad cars, the apprehending officers can be heard pointing out Chief Behning laying in the ditch to Shoemaker, who responded, "What happened?" Shoemaker ...


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