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Case No. 18-0511

State of Iowa
v.
David L. Levy Jr.

Appellee

State of Iowa

Appellant

David L. Levy Jr.

Attorneys for Appellee

Benjamin Parrott, Assistant Attorney General

Attorneys for Appellant

Martha J. Lucey, State Appellate Defender

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
18-0511
Date Published:
Feb 05, 2020
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Henry W. Latham II, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and Greer and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J. (22 pages)

            David Levy Jr. appeals from his convictions of murder in the second degree and felon in possession of a firearm.  Levy claims trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to object to 1) multiple portions of the trial being closed to the public, 2) a jury instruction—based on a model instruction—advising the jury it could consider Levy’s out-of-court statements “just as if they had been made at trial,” and 3) prosecutorial error during the State’s rebuttal argument.  In his pro se brief, Levy joins the claims raised by counsel and also appears to argue he should have been convicted of voluntary manslaughter instead of murder in the second degree.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the jury instruction regarding his testimony is a correct statement of law, Levy’s claim of ineffective assistance regarding the failure to object fails.  We cannot decide on direct appeal Levy’s claims of ineffective assistance involving his right to a public trial or his claim of prosecutor error, so we preserve them for possible postconviction-relief proceedings.  We cannot reach the merits of Levy’s pro se claim.  We affirm.

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