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Case No. 18-0522

State of Iowa
Toby Richards


State of Iowa


Toby Richards

Attorney for the Appellee

Darrel Mullins, Assistant Attorney General

Attorney for the Appellant

Lauren M. Phelps

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Mar 06, 2019

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Joel W. Barrows, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING.  Heard by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Danilson, S.J.  Opinion by Danilson, S.J.  (23 pages)

            Toby Richards appeals from judgment and sentences imposed upon his convictions for domestic abuse assault, third or subsequent offense; domestic abuse assault by strangulation; and possession of a firearm by a domestic violence offender.  He asserts the trial court erred in allowing bodycam video of the complaining witness under the excited-utterance exception to the hearsay rule.  He also contends the court abused its discretion in allowing evidence of his prior bad acts.  He argues there in insufficient evidence to sustain the convictions, the court erred in failing to give his requested instruction about expert-witness testimony, and his confrontation rights were violated.  Richards also challenges the sentences imposed.  OPINION HOLDS: We find no error in the admission of the bodycam video and no abuse of discretion as to admission of prior bad acts on the grounds asserted.  We find sufficient evidence to sustain the convictions of domestic abuse assault, third or subsequent offense, and domestic abuse assault by strangulation.  However, we find there is insufficient evidence of possession of a firearm to sustain that conviction.  The district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Richards’ proposed instruction as to expert-witness testimony.  Because we reverse the conviction on count 3, we remand for resentencing, at which time Richards may assert his request that he be allowed to serve his sentences for prior offenses concurrently with the sentences for the instant convictions.

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