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Moore v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 9, 2020

FRED MOORE, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeanie K. Vaudt, Judge.

         Applicant appeals the district court order denying his request for postconviction relief from his conviction of first-degree murder.

          Heidi Young of Parrish Kruidenier Dunn Boles Gentry Brown & Bergmann, L.L.P., Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Sharon K. Hall, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Bower, C.J., Mullins, J., and Danilson, S.J. [*]

          DANILSON, Senior Judge.

         Fred Moore appeals the district court order denying his request for postconviction relief from his conviction of first-degree murder. We determine the district court did not err by finding Moore did not show he was entitled to relief on the basis of newly-discovered evidence. We also find no error in the district court's conclusion Moore did not meet the standard necessary to prove his claim of actual innocence. We affirm the district court's decision denying Moore's application for postconviction relief.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         Moore was convicted of first-degree murder, in violation of Iowa Code section 707.2 (1997). Moore shot Lamar Jones in a gang-related incident. Moore was sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison. His conviction was affirmed on appeal. State v. Moore, No. 98-1038, 1999 WL 1136569, at *4 (Iowa Ct. App. Dec. 13, 1999). Procedendo issued on March 13, 2000.

         In Moore's first application for postconviction relief, he claimed he received ineffective assistance because defense counsel failed to object to evidence of prior possession of firearms and gang activity. Moore v. State, No. 03-1223, 2004 WL 2387040, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. Oct. 27, 2004). We affirmed the district court's decision denying his request for postconviction relief. Id. at *6.

         On March 14, 2005, Moore filed a second application for postconviction relief. The application was denied by the district court on the ground his claim was barred by the three-year time limitation in section 822.3 (2005). The appeal was dismissed on the ground it was frivolous. See Iowa R. App. P. 6.1005.

         Moore's third application for postconviction relief was filed on May 9, 2013. He sought "a retroactive extension of the holding in State v. Heemstra, 721 N.W.2d 549, 557 (Iowa 2006), to his 1997 conviction." Moore v. State, No. 14-1241, 2016 WL 1358489, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. Apr. 6, 2016). The district court determined Moore's claim was untimely because it was not filed until more than six years after Heemstra was decided. Id. at *2. We affirmed the decision of the district court. Id. at *3.

         Moore filed his present application for postconviction relief, his fourth, on July 28, 2015. The State filed a motion for summary judgment, claiming the application was time barred under section 822.3 (2015). Moore responded that his claim came within an exception to the three-year time period in section 822.3 for "a ground of fact or law that could not have been raised within the applicable time period" because it was newly-discovered evidence.

         At the postconviction hearing, Moore testified he met "a guy" who was a cellmate with Marion Harris's brother, and this "guy" told him Aaron Rankins lied in Harris's criminal case. Moore submitted a transcript from Harris's 2006 criminal trial. Harris and Rankins were cousins and Rankins testified they worked together to sell drugs. On cross-examination, Rankins stated he "pump[ed] the toilet" while in jail and talked to other inmates by this method. According to Moore, inmates at the old Polk County jail could take the water out of the toilets to talk to ...


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