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Case No. 19-0425

State of Iowa
v.
Jonathan Levi Hart

Appellee

State of Iowa

Appellant

Jonathan Levi Hart

Attorneys for Appellee

Linda J. Hines, Assistant Attorney General, and Lisa Manoogian, Law Student Intern, for appellee

Attorneys for Appellant

Arielle M. Lipman

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
19-0425
Date Published:
May 12, 2021
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Wayne County, Patrick W. Greenwood, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., and Doyle and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Ahlers, J.  (10 pages)

            Jonathan Hart appeals his convictions of eluding pursuing law enforcement and criminal mischief.  He argues his counsel was ineffective for failing to object when the State called him as a rebuttal witness and the district court improperly admitted evidence of text messages and telephone calls.  OPINION HOLDS: Seeing no reasonable trial strategy for defense counsel allowing the State to call Hart as a witness in violation of the rules of criminal procedure, we find Hart’s counsel breached an essential duty.  Because Hart’s rebuttal testimony strengthened a key link in the State’s chain of circumstantial evidence, we also find prejudice resulted from counsel’s breach of duty.  Hart is entitled to a new trial as a result.  We do not decide the admission-of-evidence issue.

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