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Iowa (2012)


State v. Richards (2019, Iowa) 928 N.W. 158, Unpublished

Bodycam video of the victim that was recorded 2 hours after the actual incident was ruled admissible as a spontaneous statement and was made during the course of an-going emergency. The victim said, “He tried to choke me again, but I felt like I could breathe this time.”

The statute does not require the state to the victim’s breathing stopped or she lost consciousness. Rather, it requires the state the prove that the defendant impeded the victim’s normal breathing by applying pressure to the throat or neck, citing to Kimbrough 2017 WL 2876244.

Evidence showed that the defendant caused some level of blood flow or breathing to be impeded, although it may have only been momentarily or slight.

The Supreme Court had previously allowed expert testimony from domestic violence experts to help a jury understand the nature of DV relationships, as well as defendant’s conduct and a victim’s reaction to that conduct.

Consider expert testimony just like any other testimony. You may accept it or reject it. You may give as much weight as you think it deserves, considering the witness’s education and experience.

Experts (Strack/Gwinn) urge the use of the term strangulation when referring to external compression of the neck and “choking” when discussing internal airway blockage.

No error on the admission of body cam. Sufficient evidence of strangulation.

 

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