State v. Jacobs, No. 98-1638.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtSNELL, Justice.
Citation607 N.W.2d 679
Decision Date22 March 2000
Docket NumberNo. 98-1638.
PartiesSTATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. Charles JACOBS, Appellant.

607 N.W.2d 679

STATE of Iowa, Appellee,
v.
Charles JACOBS, Appellant

No. 98-1638.

Supreme Court of Iowa.

March 22, 2000.


607 N.W.2d 682
David L. Hammer, Angela C. Simon, and Scott J. Nelson of Hammer, Simon & Jensen, Dubuque, for appellant

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kevin Cmelik, Assistant Attorney General, Fred M. McCaw, County Attorney, and Christine Corken, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Considered by LARSON, P.J., and LAVORATO, SNELL, TERNUS, and CADY, JJ.

SNELL, Justice.

Following a trial to the district court, the defendant, Charles H. Jacobs, was found guilty of eight counts of first-degree theft, six counts of second-degree theft, one count of third-degree theft, six counts of money laundering, one count of perjury, four counts of first-degree fraudulent practice, one count of second-degree fraudulent practice, one count of falsifying a public document, and two counts of forgery. On appeal, he contends there was insufficient evidence to support the verdict, the constitutional prohibition against double jeopardy was violated by the entry of judgment on all of the offenses, he was deprived of a fair trial due to prosecutorial misconduct, and the sentencing court failed to give reasons for the sentences it imposed. We affirm the convictions, vacate the sentences, and remand the case for resentencing.

I. Sufficiency of the Evidence

The defendant raises several arguments in support of his contention that the trial court's verdicts were not supported by sufficient evidence. Our review is on assigned error. State v. Canas, 597 N.W.2d 488, 494 (Iowa 1999). We view the evidence in the light most favorable to the State but consider all of the evidence, not just that which supports the verdict. Id. We will uphold a verdict if it is supported by substantial evidence. See id. Evidence is substantial if it could convince a rational trier of fact the defendant is guilty of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt. Id.

A. Insanity and Diminished Responsibility Defenses

The defendant first contends the trial court erred in finding he had not proven his defenses of insanity and diminished responsibility. A review of the record reveals the defendant practiced law in Dubuque, Iowa. He served as a juvenile court referee and a judicial hospitalization referee from 1984 to 1989, and thereafter returned

607 N.W.2d 683
to private practice. There was evidence that during his tenure on the bench and later as a private practitioner the defendant sometimes engaged in intemperate behavior and was prone to believe that others were conspiring against him

During the time period from May 1992 through February 1997, the defendant was involved in several probate matters and served as an attorney for the Marcella Garthwaite and Melvin C. Ward estates. He acted as the executor and attorney for the Rose Adams estate, and he served as the attorney for the guardians and conservators of Edgar Holl.

By March 1997 a criminal investigation had commenced into the defendant's handling of the Ward estate. When questioned under oath on March 3, 1997, the defendant lied about the status of the funds in the estate. The defendant voluntarily hospitalized himself on March 6, 1997.

On March 10, 1997, Robert D. Klauer, the chair of the Grievance Committee of the Dubuque County Bar Association, filed an application for the temporary suspension of the defendant's license to practice law pursuant to Court Rule 118.16 (disability suspension). Five individuals, including the county attorney, Fred McCaw, and his assistant, Ralph Potter, filed affidavits in support of the application. Mr. McCaw's and Mr. Potter's joint affidavit was dated March 7, 1997. The defendant's license was temporarily suspended by this court on March 11, 1997.1

On March 14, 1997, an application alleging the defendant suffered from a serious mental impairment was filed by Alfred Hughes, the defendant's friend and former law associate. Iowa Code § 229.6 (1997). The defendant stipulated that he was seriously mentally impaired and a commitment order was filed March 19, 1997.

In July 1997, the State filed four trial informations alleging the defendant had committed nine counts of first-degree theft, five counts of second-degree theft, one count of third-degree theft, six counts of money laundering, one count of perjury, four counts of first-degree fraudulent practice, one count of second-degree fraudulent practice, one count of falsifying a public document, and two counts of forgery arising from the defendant's handling of the Ward, Adams, and Garthwaite estates and the Holl conservatorship. The defendant filed a notice indicating his intent to rely on the defenses of insanity and diminished responsibility. He waived his right to a jury trial and the matter was tried to the bench.

The trial lasted eight days and produced nine volumes of transcript. Relying on a large number of witnesses and exhibits, the State meticulously documented the defendant's thefts from his clients and his elaborate efforts to conceal the transactions. The State presented evidence of over 150 transactions in which the defendant stole money from the estates and the conservatorship and concealed the transactions. The defendant took over $185,000 for his own personal benefit. Among other things, the evidence revealed he used the funds to travel, to acquire assets, to pay bills, and to make contributions to political, civic, and charitable organizations. On many occasions, the defendant used money orders, cashier's checks, or the bank account of a person with whom he had an office-sharing arrangement to conceal the source of the funds. In some instances, the defendant resorted to forgery and the filing of false reports with the court to conceal the crimes he had committed.

The defendant did not dispute any of the State's evidence regarding his use of funds from the estates and the conservatorship. With one exception, the trial court found the State had proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had committed all of the acts charged in the trial informations.

607 N.W.2d 684
The single exception involved a charge of first-degree theft in which the court found the State had only proven the lesser offense of second-degree theft

Rather than contest the factual basis for the State's charges, the defendant asserted the defenses of insanity and diminished responsibility. The insanity defense is codified in Iowa Code section 701.4. It provides:

A person shall not be convicted of a crime if at the time the crime is committed the person suffers from such a diseased or deranged condition of the mind as to render the person incapable of knowing the nature and quality of the act the person is committing or incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong in relation to that act. Insanity need not exist for any specific length of time before or after the commission of the alleged criminal act. If the defense of insanity is raised, the defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant at the time of the crime suffered from such a deranged condition of the mind as to render the defendant incapable of knowing the nature and quality of the act the defendant was committing or was incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong in relation to the act.

This statute incorporates the M`Naghten2 standard previously adopted by this court as a common law rule. State v. McVey, 376 N.W.2d 585, 587 (Iowa 1985). The words "right" and "wrong" refer to a legal, not moral, right or wrong. State v. Collins, 305 N.W.2d 434, 436 (Iowa 1981).

The diminished responsibility defense is a common law doctrine that permits proof of a defendant's mental condition on the issue of the defendant's capacity to form a specific intent in those instances in which the State must prove a defendant's specific intent as an element of the crime charged. McVey, 376 N.W.2d at 586. The diminished responsibility defense is not available for a crime that requires only a general criminal intent. Id.

Both the defendant and the State offered testimony regarding the defendant's mental condition. All agreed the defendant suffered from bipolar affective disorder, manic type. The illness is characterized by symptoms of depression and mania in which there is a discernable change in a person's level of functioning and mood and a marked impairment in the person's ability to carry out his work or day-to-day living activities.

Dr. Kishore Thampy began treating the defendant on February 28, 1997. Dr. Thampy was of the opinion that the defendant began to suffer from the disorder in 1988 and it became a full blown manic psychotic episode in December 1996 and January 1997. The doctor claimed a person could organize and conceal complicated financial transactions even while suffering from bipolar affective disorder. Dr. Thampy testified that from the time the disease surfaced in 1988 the defendant could not form a specific intent, did not know the nature of his acts, and could not distinguish right from wrong.

Dr. Thomas Piekenbrock testified he had prescribed the defendant a medication for the treatment of mild anxiety after the defendant left the bench in 1989. Dr. Piekenbrock did not examine the defendant for the purpose of determining his sanity and the doctor expressed no opinion on the question of the defendant's mental state. The defense questioned the doctor in general about bipolar disorder. The doctor agreed that a person could be quite crafty and could try to conceal things during a manic phase of bipolar affective disorder. However, Dr. Piekenbrock testified theft was not a characteristic of bipolar disorder. He indicated that because a person with the disorder already believes he has sufficient resources to pay for his excessive spending, the person does not concern himself with whether he has the funds to cover his expenditures.

607 N.W.2d 685
Dr. Michael Taylor testified on behalf of...

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167 practice notes
  • State v. SR, No. 16-0061
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 30, 2017
    ...broad discretion in ruling on claims of prosecutorial misconduct and we review such rulings for an abuse of discretion." State v. Jacobs, 607 N.W.2d 679, 689 (Iowa 2000). We review denials of a mistrial and the giving of a cautionary instruction for an abuse of discretion. State v. Wade, 46......
  • State v. SR, No. 16-0061
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 30, 2017
    ...in ruling on claims of prosecutorial misconduct and we review such rulings for an abuse of discretion." 898 N.W.2d 811 State v. Jacobs , 607 N.W.2d 679, 689 (Iowa 2000). We review denials of a mistrial and the giving of a cautionary instruction for an abuse of discretion. State v. Wade , 46......
  • Garrison v. Burt, No. 4:08-CV-00474-JAJ.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
    • March 1, 2010
    ...United States v. Malone, 49 F.3d 393, 398 (8th Cir.1995)); United States v. Beckman, 222 F.3d 512, 526 (8th Cir.2000); State v. Jacobs, 607 N.W.2d 679, 689 (Iowa 2000) (recognizing that trial courts have broad discretion to determine whether misconduct was prejudicial). The court must look ......
  • Foell v. Mathes, No. C02-3029-MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • March 19, 2004
    ...(abrogating the physician-patient privilege where the condition of the person is an element or factor of the defense); State v. Jacobs, 607 N.W.2d 679, 684 (Iowa 2000) ("The diminished responsibility defense is a common law doctrine that permits proof of a defendant's mental condition on th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
167 cases
  • State v. SR, No. 16-0061
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 30, 2017
    ...broad discretion in ruling on claims of prosecutorial misconduct and we review such rulings for an abuse of discretion." State v. Jacobs, 607 N.W.2d 679, 689 (Iowa 2000). We review denials of a mistrial and the giving of a cautionary instruction for an abuse of discretion. State v. Wade, 46......
  • State v. SR, No. 16-0061
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 30, 2017
    ...in ruling on claims of prosecutorial misconduct and we review such rulings for an abuse of discretion." 898 N.W.2d 811 State v. Jacobs , 607 N.W.2d 679, 689 (Iowa 2000). We review denials of a mistrial and the giving of a cautionary instruction for an abuse of discretion. State v. Wade , 46......
  • Garrison v. Burt, No. 4:08-CV-00474-JAJ.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
    • March 1, 2010
    ...United States v. Malone, 49 F.3d 393, 398 (8th Cir.1995)); United States v. Beckman, 222 F.3d 512, 526 (8th Cir.2000); State v. Jacobs, 607 N.W.2d 679, 689 (Iowa 2000) (recognizing that trial courts have broad discretion to determine whether misconduct was prejudicial). The court must look ......
  • Foell v. Mathes, No. C02-3029-MWB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. Northern District of Iowa
    • March 19, 2004
    ...(abrogating the physician-patient privilege where the condition of the person is an element or factor of the defense); State v. Jacobs, 607 N.W.2d 679, 684 (Iowa 2000) ("The diminished responsibility defense is a common law doctrine that permits proof of a defendant's mental condition on th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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