State v. Wade, No. 89-1765

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Iowa
Writing for the CourtLARSON
Citation467 N.W.2d 283
PartiesSTATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. Robert WADE, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 89-1765
Decision Date20 March 1991

Page 283

467 N.W.2d 283
STATE of Iowa, Appellee,
v.
Robert WADE, Appellant.
No. 89-1765.
Supreme Court of Iowa.
March 20, 1991.

Linda Del Gallo, Appellate Defender, and Brian K. Sissel, Asst. Appellate Defender, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Atty. Gen., Thomas S. Tauber, Asst. Atty. Gen., and D. Raymond Walton, Asst. County Atty., for appellee.

Considered by HARRIS, P.J., and LARSON, SCHULTZ, CARTER and LAVORATO, JJ.

LARSON, Justice.

During the trial of Robert Wade on cocaine possession charges, the State introduced evidence of a prior drug offense and resulting prison sentence. Wade contends that this was error, and that the court also erred in sentencing him as a second offender. We affirm.

Police officers stopped Wade's car because they suspected Wade was driving without a license. In searching the car, police found cash and several bags of cocaine. Wade was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to deliver under Iowa Code section 204.401(1)(a) (1989). Prior to

Page 284

trial, Wade was convicted of a similar charge resulting from an earlier arrest. The State was allowed to amend its trial information to include a charge that, based on the earlier conviction, Wade was a second offender. See Iowa Code § 204.411. At Wade's request, his trial was bifurcated; the issue of guilt was tried to a jury, and Wade's second-offender status was determined by the court without a jury.

I. Evidence of Prior Crimes.

At the trial, police officers were allowed to testify about Wade's earlier arrest for possession with intent to deliver. Wade contends that the admission of this evidence violated Iowa Rule of Evidence 404(b), which provides:

Other crimes, wrongs, or acts. Evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show that he acted in conformity therewith. It may, however, be admissible for other purposes, such as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident.

The State responds that the evidence of an earlier conviction was admissible under this rule to show Wade's intent, knowledge, or absence of mistake or accident.

We apply a two-part test in applying rule 404(b):

The court must first decide whether the evidence is relevant. If the court finds that it is, the court must then decide whether the evidence's probative value is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice. A positive finding as to the second step overcomes the evidence's prima facie admissibility.

State v. Knox, 464 N.W.2d 445, 449 (Iowa 1990) (quoting State v. Plaster, 424 N.W.2d 226, 229 (Iowa 1988)).

Application of rule 404(b) is largely a matter for the discretion of the trial court, and we will reverse it only when we find a clear abuse of it. The burden is on the challenger to show an abuse of discretion. See Plaster, 424 N.W.2d at 232.

We have upheld introduction of prior acts to show elements, such as intent or knowledge, in drug prosecutions. See, e.g., State v. Grosvenor, 402 N.W.2d 402, 405-06 (Iowa 1987) (prior acts of delivery of drugs admissible to show intent); State v. Kern, 392 N.W.2d 134, 136 (Iowa 1986) (prior delivery of controlled substance admitted to show intent); State v. Mendiola, 360 N.W.2d 780, 782 (Iowa 1985) (prior conviction of possession with intent to deliver admissible to show knowledge in prosecution for same offense).

Federal cases applying Federal Rule of Evidence 404(b), the equivalent of Iowa's rule, have reached similar results. See, e.g., United States v. Stephenson, 887 F.2d 57, 60 (5th Cir.1989); United States v. Acosta-Cazares, 878 F.2d 945, 949-50 (6th Cir.1989); United States v. Kaufman, 858 F.2d 994, 1005 (5th Cir.1988).

The limited purpose in allowing evidence of prior acts should, of course, be conveyed to the jury in a cautionary instruction. Plaster, 424 N.W.2d at 232. Instruction No. 13 in this case, which tracked the language of rule 404(b), informed the jury that it could consider the evidence only with respect to "motive, knowledge, intent, absence...

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28 practice notes
  • State v. SR, No. 16-0061
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 30, 2017
    ...689 (Iowa 2000). We review denials of a mistrial and the giving of a cautionary instruction for an abuse of discretion. State v. Wade, 467 N.W.2d 283, 285 (Iowa 1991). Finally, we generally review a district court's refusal to give a requested jury instruction for errors at law; however, if......
  • State v. SR, No. 16-0061
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 30, 2017
    ...689 (Iowa 2000). We review denials of a mistrial and the giving of a cautionary instruction for an abuse of discretion. State v. Wade , 467 N.W.2d 283, 285 (Iowa 1991). Finally, we generally review a district court's refusal to give a requested jury instruction for errors at law; however, i......
  • Gargliano v. State, No. 71
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1993
    ...provide that any conviction obtained prior to sentencing on the principal offense triggers an enhanced penalty. See, e.g., State v. Wade, 467 N.W.2d 283, 285 (Iowa 1991). In other jurisdictions with similar statutes, the express legislative statement of timing has followed a prior judicial ......
  • State v. Putman, No. 12–0022.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 13, 2014
    ...prejudicial effect. 224 N.W.2d 617, 620, 621 (Iowa 1974); see also Rodriquez, 636 N.W.2d at 240 (“Since our decision in [State v.] Wade, [467 N.W.2d 283 (Iowa 1991) ], we have stated that there must be ‘clear proof’ that the defendant committed the prior bad acts.”); State v. Brown, 569 N.W......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
28 cases
  • State v. SR, No. 16-0061
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 30, 2017
    ...689 (Iowa 2000). We review denials of a mistrial and the giving of a cautionary instruction for an abuse of discretion. State v. Wade, 467 N.W.2d 283, 285 (Iowa 1991). Finally, we generally review a district court's refusal to give a requested jury instruction for errors at law; however, if......
  • State v. SR, No. 16-0061
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 30, 2017
    ...689 (Iowa 2000). We review denials of a mistrial and the giving of a cautionary instruction for an abuse of discretion. State v. Wade , 467 N.W.2d 283, 285 (Iowa 1991). Finally, we generally review a district court's refusal to give a requested jury instruction for errors at law; however, i......
  • Gargliano v. State, No. 71
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1993
    ...provide that any conviction obtained prior to sentencing on the principal offense triggers an enhanced penalty. See, e.g., State v. Wade, 467 N.W.2d 283, 285 (Iowa 1991). In other jurisdictions with similar statutes, the express legislative statement of timing has followed a prior judicial ......
  • State v. Putman, No. 12–0022.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Iowa
    • June 13, 2014
    ...prejudicial effect. 224 N.W.2d 617, 620, 621 (Iowa 1974); see also Rodriquez, 636 N.W.2d at 240 (“Since our decision in [State v.] Wade, [467 N.W.2d 283 (Iowa 1991) ], we have stated that there must be ‘clear proof’ that the defendant committed the prior bad acts.”); State v. Brown, 569 N.W......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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