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Iowa Appeals Court to Hear Oral Arguments at Chautauqua, Okoboji

May 11, 2021

The Iowa Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in two cases at the Chautauqua conference at Arrowwood Resort, 1405 Highway 71, Okoboji, on June 3, 2021, at 1:00 p.m.  The arguments are open to the public and the court encourages people to attend. The Arrowwood Resort will require those in attendance to wear a face covering and socially distance and will provide hand-sanitizing stations throughout the building.

The court will hear attorneys argue the cases of State v. King, a Webster County case, and In re the Marriage of Angela Towne and Larry Towne, an O’Brien County case.

Case context:

20-0158 State v. Tanner John King

Tanner Jon King appeals the judgment and sentence entered following a jury trial for two counts of murder in the first degree in violation of Iowa Code section 707.2.  According to the “Bowden defense,” it is reversible error for the trial court to instruct the jury that “the nonexistence of certain scientific tests and other evidence was not to be considered in reaching a judgment.”  King argues the district court misapplied the Bowden defense when it excluded testimony from a witness about rumors regarding the murder that he heard in his barbershop, violating King’s right to due process and to present a complete defense.

20-0829 In re Marriage of Towne

Larry Towne appeals the economic provisions of the decree dissolving his 28-year marriage to Angela Towne.  Larry contends the district court improperly treated the parties’ adult children’s student-loan debt as marital property.  Larry argues the inclusion of the children’s debt and the court’s valuation of marital property resulted in an inequitable property distribution.  He also maintains the court awarded him insufficient alimony.  Angela cross-appeals, asserting the district court failed to consider an additional student loan in the overall property distribution.

The Iowa Court of Appeals is an intermediate appellate court. It reviews appeals from trial court decisions that have been transferred to the Court of Appeals by the Supreme Court. A decision of the Iowa Court of Appeals is final unless reviewed by the Iowa Supreme Court on grant of further review.  Some opinions of the Iowa Court of Appeals are published and become precedent for subsequent cases. The majority of appeals filed in Iowa are decided by the Court of Appeals.

Appeals cases are a multi-judge review of a single judge’s decision.  There are no jury members at these proceedings.  Typically, the court of appeals decides cases with randomly selected panels that change in composition every three months.  For more information about the Iowa Court of Appeals and the Iowa court system, visit the Iowa Judicial Branch website at https://www.iowacourts.gov/.

Note to news media

News media are invited to attend the oral arguments.  Court rules apply regarding still camera, video camera, audio recording devices, and other electronic devices used during the oral arguments.  Information on expanded media coverage is available on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at https://www.iowacourts.gov/newsroom/expanded-news-media-coverage/

The Iowa Court Rules regarding cameras and other electronic devices in courtrooms are on the Iowa Legislature website at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/ACO/CourtRulesChapter/12-31-2020.25.pdf.

For More Information:

Steve Davis, (515) 348-4967 or steve.davis@iowacourts.gov

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