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State v. Spencer
Iowa Supreme Court
519 N.W.2d 357 (1994)
Police responded to a complaint that Joseph Spencer (defendant) was firing guns on his rural property. The responding officer discovered that Spencer was growing marijuana in his garden. Police obtained a warrant to search Spencer’s property. When executing the search warrant, police seized marijuana, cocaine, and firearms. The state (plaintiff) charged Spencer. Spencer hired an attorney. The attorney moved to suppress the evidence, and the trial court denied the motion. Spencer disagreed with his defense counsel about the defense strategy. The attorney moved to withdraw as counsel. During the trial court’s hearing of the motion, Spencer stated that he wished to represent himself. The trial court found Spencer unqualified and not competent in criminal and trial procedure to represent himself. The trial court appointed counsel. After trial, Spencer was convicted and appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (McGiverin, C.J.)
Dissent (Lavorato, J.)
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