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Case No. 18-0322

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Devon Lukinich
State of Iowa


Devon Lukinich


State of Iowa

Attorney for the Appellant

Angela Campbell

Attorney for the Appellee

Kyle P. Hanson, Assistant Attorney General

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Jul 24, 2019

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Mark E. Kruse, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Potterfield, P.J.  (16 pages)

            Devon Lukinich appeals the denial of his postconviction-relief (PCR) application.  He argues trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by (1) failing to have a ballistics expert testify; (2) failing to object when the prosecutor improperly stated during closing arguments that BB guns are dangerous weapons “under the law”; (3) failing to object to instructions and arguments that the shotguns stolen during the robberies met the “dangerous weapon” requirement; and (4) failing to present an expert witness at sentencing regarding Lukinich’s brain maturity.  OPINION HOLDS:  Trial counsel was not ineffective. No evidence suggests a different ballistics expert’s testimony would be meaningfully different from the testimony offered by the State’s expert.  No prejudice resulted from failing to object to the prosecutor’s statements during closing arguments.  Trial counsel did not breach an essential duty by failing to object to the shotgun-related jury instructions.  Trial counsel did not breach an essential duty by failing to hire a brain maturity expert witness because Lukinich was not a juvenile at the time the robberies occurred.  We affirm.

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