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Case No. 21-1100

State of Iowa
Diavantae Stepphon Davis


State of Iowa


Diavantae Stepphon Davis

Attorney for the Appellee

Timothy M. Hau, Assistant Attorney General

Attorneys for the Appellant

S.P. DeVolder
William L. Kutmus and Trever Hook

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Oct 05, 2022

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Wyatt Peterson, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Bower, C.J., Tabor, J., and Gamble, S.J.  Opinion by Gamble, S.J.  (17 pages)

            Diavantae Davis appeals his convictions for murder in the first degree, intimidation with a dangerous weapon with intent to injure or provoke, and going armed with intent.  He argues the district court erred in instructing the jury on his duties with respect to his justification defense and the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction for murder in the first degree.  OPINION HOLDS: The jury instruction about the duties Davis was required to perform in order to claim a justification defense is a correct statement of law.  While it was not supported by substantial evidence, the error was harmless.  The witness testimony and security video provide substantial evidence to support finding Davis acted with premeditation and a specific intent to kill. 

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