State v. Heggebo, 21-1512

CourtCourt of Appeals of Iowa
PartiesSTATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. MICHAEL THOMAS HEGGEBO, Defendant-Appellant.
Docket Number21-1512
Decision Date17 November 2022

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,

MICHAEL THOMAS HEGGEBO, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 21-1512

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 17, 2022

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Bradley J. Harris, Judge.

The defendant claims the weight of the evidence is contrary to his conviction for willful injury causing serious injury.

Patrick W. O'Bryan, Des Moines, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Sharon K. Hall (until withdrawal) and Thomas E. Bakke, Assistant Attorneys General, for appellee.

Considered by Bower, C.J., Tabor, J., and Potterfield, S.J. [*]



A jury convicted Michael Heggebo of willful injury causing serious injury. He appeals, arguing the greater weight of the credible evidence shows he was acting in self-defense and had no intention of seriously injuring Derrius Hollis.[1]Heggebo's argument boils down to the claim he was justified in punching Hollis (who was immediately knocked unconscious), punching him a second time, then lifting Hollis's body and slamming his head into the cement before stomping on Hollis's head twice because Hollis inserted himself into Heggebo's conversation and threw the first punch-which did not land.

The district court denied Heggebo's motion for new trial, ruling:

The court had an opportunity to hear all of the evidence in this case and viewing the record in its entirety the court determines that the verdict was not contrary to the weight of the evidence in this matter
In particular, I would point out, and the defense raises the issue of the credibility of the two women on the scene and wants the court to follow the testimony of Mr. Harrington as being the accurate
testimony. As the court recalls the testimony of Mr. Harrington, his testimony was that the victim in this matter was unconscious. At that point [Heggebo] picked him up and slammed his head into the pavement. After that it was Mr. Harrington's testimony that he saw the victim's eyes roll back in his head at which time the defendant stomped on the victim's head multiple times, and whether it is once, twice or a dozen times, that type of behavior, slamming someone- an unconscious person's head into the pavement, stomping on a person's head whose eyes are rolling in the back of the head certainly shows that intent to cause a serious injury. And it certainly is not justified because it is not-it is not a reasonable use of

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