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Case No. 17-0695

For summaries from opinions prior to August, 2018, view PDF versions here

State of Iowa
Isaiah T. Buchanan


State of Iowa


Isaiah T. Buchanan

Attorney for the Appellee

Zachary C. Miller, Assistant Attorney General

Attorney for the Appellant

Melinda J. Nye, Assistant Appellate Defender

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Aug 15, 2018

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Andrea J. Dryer, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Danilson, C.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.  Opinion by Danilson, C.J. (26 pages)

            Isaiah Buchanan appeals from his convictions for first-degree robbery, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and carrying weapons.  Buchanan asserts the district court erred in instructing the jury that a claim of right is not a defense to theft because he did not raise the defense.  In the alternative, he maintains that if this court concludes the claim-of-right defense was implicated, his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to assert it affirmatively.  Buchanan also contends the court erred in denying Buchanan’s request to have three jurors removed for cause.  Finally, he claims the district court erred in allowing the State to play the recordings of his jailhouse phone calls.  OPINION HOLDS:  We are not convinced Buchanan has suffered any prejudice as a result of the claim-of-right jury instruction.  He cannot establish his trial attorney breached an essential duty in failing to raise a claim-of-right defense; this ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim thus fails.  With respect to Buchanan’s juror challenge, Buchanan must show that the result was a juror being seated who was not impartial, which Buchanan has not attempted to do.  Finally, we find no prejudicial error in the admission of the recorded jail phone calls.  We therefore affirm his convictions.

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