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Case No. 19-0379

State of Iowa
Deondra Thomas


State of Iowa


Deondra Thomas

Attorney for the Appellee

Sharon K. Hall, Assistant Attorney General

Attorney for the Appellant

Ashley Stewart, Assistant Appellate Defender

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Sep 23, 2020

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Stuart P. Werling, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and May and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by May, J.  (15 pages)

            Deondra Thomas appeals his convictions for first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.  He (1) challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his first-degree murder conviction, (2) claims the district court abused its discretion in admitting certain evidence, and (3) requests we remand to the district court so he can challenge the composition of the jury venire.  OPINION HOLDS: Sufficient evidence supported Thomas’s murder conviction.  Thomas did not preserve error on his claim that certain evidence amounted in improper prior-bad-acts evidence.  We preserve his related ineffective-assistance claim for possible postconviction-relief proceedings.  To the extent Thomas claims the prejudicial value of the challenged evidence substantially outweighed its probative value, we disagree.  And because Thomas failed to establish any element of his fair cross-section claim in the district court, we decline to remand for further development in light of recent changes in caselaw as to some elements. 

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