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Case No. 18-0374

State of Iowa
Alex Cosmo Marcelino


State of Iowa


Alex Cosmo Marcelino

Attorney for the Appellee

Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Attorney General

Attorney for the Appellant

Nathan A. Mundy

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Feb 05, 2020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (25 pages)

            Alex Marcelino appeals his conviction for murder in the first degree.  He contends the district court violated his Sixth Amendment right to present a defense when it excluded the no-hearsay testimony of two witnesses.  He challenges the court’s exclusion of certain hearsay statements.  And he argues the court used the wrong standard in denying his motion for new trial.  Marcelino also raises numerous arguments in his supplemental pro se brief.  OPINION HOLDS: On our review of the proceedings, we find the following: Marcelino did not preserve his Sixth Amendment or new trial claims for our review.  The district court did not err in its hearsay rulings.  The offered statements did not meet the trustworthiness requirements for statements against interest or residual hearsay.  Even if the court had erred in excluding the hearsay statements, we conclude it did not prejudice Marcelino’s substantial rights because of the strength of the State’s case identifying him as the shooter and the relative weakness of the offered statements.  To some extent the pro se issues intertwine with counsel’s issues, but we find the remaining pro se issues are not preserved, lack merit, or must be preserved for possible postconviction-relief proceedings.  We affirm.

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