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Case No. 23-0055

State of Iowa
v.
Clayton Curtis Brown

The State seeks further review of the court of appeals decision affirming in part, reversing in part, and remanding Clayton Curtis Brown’s convictions for possession of a firearm by a felon, eluding while driving 25 over the speed limit and participating in a felony, and driving while barred as a habitual offender. The court of appeals found there was insufficient evidence to prove that Brown possessed the firearm. Further, because there was insufficient evidence for this count, the court determined he should also have been acquitted of eluding while driving 25 over the speed limit and participating in a felony.

County:
Boone
Trial Court Case No.:
FECR114749

Applicant

State of Iowa

Resister

Clayton Curtis Brown

Attorney for the Applicant

Timothy M. Hau

Attorney for the Resister

Josh Irwin

Supreme Court

Oral Argument Schedule

Non-Oral

Mar 20, 2024 9:30 AM

Briefs

Supreme Court Opinion

Opinion Number:
23-0055
Date Published:
Apr 19, 2024

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
23-0055
Date Published:
Oct 25, 2023
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Boone County, Derek J. Johnson, Judge.  AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.  Considered by Bower, C.J., Chicchelly, J., and Potterfield, S.J.  Opinion by Potterfield, S.J.  (13 pages)

            Clayton Brown appeals his convictions for possession of a firearm as a felon; eluding while exceeding the speed limit by twenty-five miles per hour (mph) and participating in a felony (i.e. being a felon in possession of a firearm, which is a class “D” felony); and driving while barred as an habitual offender.  Brown argues (1) the district court should have granted his motion for mistrial after an officer testified in front of the jury that Brown had “convictions on his record”; (2) there is not substantial evidence to support the jury’s finding he was the person driving the car that eluded the officer; and (3) even if there was substantial evidence Brown was the driver during the chase, there was insufficient evidence he knowingly possessed the firearm that was later found tucked underneath the driver’s seat in the car.  OPINION HOLDS: The district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion for mistrial and substantial evidence supports the jury’s finding Brown was the driver of the vehicle.  We affirm Brown’s conviction for driving while barred as an habitual offender.  But because there is insufficient evidence Brown knowingly possessed a firearm, we reverse his convictions for felon in possession of a firearm and eluding while exceeding the speed limit by twenty-five miles mph and participating in a felony.  We remand for further proceedings on the lesser-included eluding charges. 

Other Information

Date Further Review is Granted:
Jan 22, 2024

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