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Case No. 17-1035

State of Iowa
Richard Ryan Lamb Carson


State of Iowa


Richard Ryan Lamb Carson

Attorney for the Appellee

Sharon K. Hall, Assistant Attorney General

Attorney for the Appellant

Brenda J. Gohr, Assistant Appellate Defender

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Nov 07, 2018

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clarke County, John D. Lloyd, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Vogel, P.J.  Special Concurrence by Vaitheswaran, J.  (19 pages)

            A jury found Richard Ryan Lamb Carson guilty of two counts of first-degree murder.  Carson appeals his convictions and sentence after the district court denied his motion for a mistrial.  He claims the prosecutor made multiple comments during closing arguments that denied him the right to a fair trial.  He further asserts his counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to object to the prosecutor’s questions during cross-examination.  OPINION HOLDS: We conclude the defendant was not prejudiced by the prosecutor’s comments.  Additionally, we preserve the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel for possible postconviction relief.  SPECIAL CONCURRENCE ASSERTS: While the prosecution’s statements, in my view, violated standards carefully laid out in State v. Graves, 668 N.W.2d 860 (Iowa 2003), the strength of the State’s evidence was such that Carson cannot show prejudice.  Therefore, I agree he was not entitled to a new trial.

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