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Case No. 17-0662

State of Iowa
Kendu Ray Petties


State of Iowa


Kendu Ray Petties

Attorneys for Appellee

Martha E. Trout, Assistant Attorney General

Attorneys for Appellant

Bradley M. Bender, Assistant Appellate Defender

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Feb 06, 2019

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Robert E. Sosalla, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Potterfield, P.J., Doyle, J., and Danilson, S.J., Opinion by Danilson, S.J.  (28 pages)

            Kendu Ray Petties appeals following a jury trial from convictions for two counts of murder in the first degree and one count of conspiracy to commit a forcible felony.  Petties first contends the trial court abused its discretion in admitting transcripts of cell phone recordings and shoeprint evidence.  He also asserts his trial counsel was ineffective in a number of respects.  Next, Petties maintains the court erred in denying his motions for judgment of acquittal and for new trial because there is insufficient corroborating accomplice testimony to support the jury’s verdicts and the verdicts are contrary to the weight of the evidence.  Finally, he argues the court failed to determine Petties had the reasonable ability to pay court costs.  OPINION HOLDS: We find no abuse of discretion in the court admitting the transcripts of the cell phone recordings, particularly where the recordings themselves were also admitted.  Nor did the district court abuse its discretion in allowing the shoeprint evidence.  The ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims fail for lack of prejudice.  We find sufficient evidence corroborating the accomplice testimony, and we conclude the verdicts were supported by substantial evidence and were not contrary to the weight of the evidence.  We affirm the convictions.  The court did not err in imposing court costs.

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