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Case No. 22-0089

State of Iowa
v.
Johnny Blahnik Church a/k/a Drew Alan Blahnik

Defendant appealed his convictions for second degree murder, obstructing prosecution, and defacing a corpse. He contends the district court erred in giving a verdict-urging instruction to the deadlocked jury during deliberations. The court of appeals reversed and remanded. The State seeks further review.

County:
Linn
Trial Court Case No.:
FECR133722

Applicant

State of Iowa

Resister

Johnny Blahnik Church a/k/a Drew Alan Blahnik

Attorney for the Applicant

Nicholas E. Siefert and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant Attorneys General

Attorney for the Resister

Leon F. Spies

Supreme Court

Oral Argument Schedule

Non-Oral

Sep 14, 2023 9:00 AM

Briefs

Supreme Court Opinion

Opinion Number:
22-0089
Date Published:
Oct 27, 2023

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
22-0089
Date Published:
Feb 08, 2023
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Christopher L. Bruns, Judge.  REVERSED AND REMANDED.  Heard by Tabor, P.J., and Schumacher and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, P.J.  (15 pages)

            Johnny Blahnik Church appeals his convictions for second-degree murder, obstructing prosecution, and defacing a corpse.  He claims the district court errored in giving a verdict-urging instruction to the jury.  OPINION HOLDS: Because of the unique context and circumstances of this case, the district court’s verdict-urging instruction was coercive.  We reverse and remand.

Other Information

Date Further Review is Granted:
Apr 26, 2023
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