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Iowa Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments at Marshalltown High School

September 2, 2022

The Iowa Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in three cases at the Marshalltown High School, in the adjoining Marshalltown Community Auditorium at 1602 South Second Avenue, Marshalltown, September 15, 2022, at 10:00 a.m.  The oral arguments are open to the public and the court encourages people to attend.  There will be time after the arguments for questions unrelated to any pending cases before the court.

The court will hear attorneys argue the cases of State v. Hurdel, a Webster County case, State v. Wenzel, a Dickinson County case, and State v. Dewbre, an Emmet County case.

Case context:

21-1173 State v. Hurdel

A jury convicted Justin Hurdel of first-degree murder for killing his estranged wife.  Hurdel appeals his conviction.  He asserts the district court should have granted his motion to suppress statements he made to police while in custody after he invoked his right to an attorney and text messages extracted from his cell phone without a warrant.  He also contends there was insufficient evidence to establish he acted with the specific intent to kill his wife and that the district court improperly admitted text messages his wife sent before her death because they were hearsay.

21-0925 State v. Wenzel

Neil Wenzel was convicted of operating while intoxicated, second offense, in a trial on the minutes of evidence.  Wentzel asserts the district court should have suppressed the evidence that the blood test taken after his arrest was positive for amphetamines and methamphetamine.  He argues the testing of his blood for controlled substances was an unconstitutional search because the deputy sought and obtained a search warrant to test his blood for alcohol and, only after that test showed blood alcohol concentration of “below .04,” tested the blood a second time in search of controlled substances. 

21-1150 State v. Dewbre

Alisha Dewbre was convicted of operating while intoxicated, first offense, after a blood test conducted pursuant to a search warrant showed her blood alcohol concentration was .126.  Dewbre argues the district court should have suppressed the evidence of her blood alcohol concentration because the compelled and involuntary blood draw violated her constitutional rights to due process and to be free from self-incrimination. 

The Iowa Court of Appeals is an intermediate appellate court.  It reviews appeals from trial court decisions that have been transferred to the court of appeals by the Iowa Supreme Court.  A decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals is final unless reviewed by the Iowa Supreme Court on grant of further review.  Some opinions of the Iowa Court of Appeals are published and become precedent for subsequent cases.  The majority of appeals filed in Iowa are decided by the court of appeals.

Appeals cases are a multi-judge review of a single judge’s decision.  There are no jury members at these proceedings.  Typically, the Iowa Court of Appeals decides cases with randomly selected panels that change in composition every three months.  For more information about the court of appeals and the Iowa court system, visit the Iowa Judicial Branch website at

Note to news media

News media are invited to attend the oral arguments.  Court rules apply regarding still camera, video camera, audio recording devices, and other electronic devices used during the oral arguments.  Information on expanded media coverage is available on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at

The Iowa Court Rules regarding cameras and other electronic devices in courtrooms are on the Iowa Legislature website at .

For More Information:

Marissa Gaal, 515-348-4963, or [email protected]

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