STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. ANDREW RUSSELL JOHNSON, Defendant-Appellant.Annotate this Case
IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF IOWA
No. 9-149 / 08-0533
Filed May 29, 2009
STATE OF IOWA,
ANDREW RUSSELL JOHNSON,
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott Rosenberg,
Joel Novak, and Robert Hutchison, Judges.
Andrew Johnson appeals his conviction, following a trial to the court on a
stipulated record, for murder in the second degree. AFFIRMED.
Gary Dickey Jr. of Dickey & Campbell Law Firm, P.L.C., Des Moines, for
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Cristen Douglass, Assistant Attorney
General, John P. Sarcone, County Attorney, and Steve Foritano, Assistant
County Attorney, for appellee.
Heard by Sackett, C.J., and Vogel and Miller, JJ.
Andrew Johnson appeals his conviction, following a trial to the court on a
stipulated record, for murder in the second degree. He contends: (1) the district
court erred in finding he was competent to stand trial; (2) the court erred in
denying his motion to suppress; (3) there was not sufficient evidence to support
his conviction; and (4) he was the victim of selective prosecution. We affirm.
BACKGROUND FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS.
Based on the evidence in the record a reasonable factfinder could find the
following facts. In the early morning hours of September 3, 2006, eighteen-yearold Matthew Stegman was brutally murdered in Woodland Cemetery in Des
Moines, Iowa. Stegman‟s death occurred as a result of a plan developed by
Robert Myers and Terry Williams. Myers and Williams were assisted by three of
Stegman‟s other roommates, defendant Johnson, Sheri Fisher, and Robert
Johnston. At the time of the murder all of these individuals were living in an
apartment together at 1519 Grand Avenue, not far from the cemetery. Myers
and Williams developed their plan after a rumor was circulated among their group
of acquaintances that Stegman was going to “bondage rape” M.D., the thirteenyear-old daughter of Myers‟s girlfriend.
Johnson and Stegman were also having difficulties at this time and did not
get along. Stegman had told several others in the group that he was going to
either kill or beat up Johnson because he believed Johnson had called the
department of human services on David Flores, another person involved in the
same group of acquaintances, and his girlfriend.
Therefore, Myers‟s and
Williamson‟s plan was to use Johnson as “bait” to get Stegman to believe the
group was going to the cemetery so that Stegman could either fight or kill
Johnson, but once there they would instead kill Stegman.
After Stegman left work in the early morning hours of September 3, 2006,
he went back to the apartment at 1519 Grand. Myers, Williams, Johnson, Fisher,
Johnston, Alexandra Habeck, Habeck‟s boyfriend, and Thomas Ransom were all
at the apartment waiting for him. After playing some music and “meditating” two
groups left separately for the cemetery, as planned by Myers and Williams.
Fisher, Myers, Johnston, and Habeck left in the first group to take up positions in
the cemetery and wait for the second group of Williams, Johnson, and Stegman
to appear. Johnson and Williams walked with Stegman to the cemetery, climbed
over a fence, and connected with the others who were waiting near a
Once at the cemetery, while Stegman‟s back was turned, Myers, who is
trained in martial arts, kicked Stegman in the back of the knee taking Stegman to
the ground. Myers, Williams, and Johnston then proceeded to repeatedly kick
Stegman in the face and body. Fisher, Johnston, and Johnson then apparently
left the cemetery, allegedly to “protect” Johnson. Williams then slit Stegman‟s
throat and when that did not cause him to cease screaming tried to sever
Stegman‟s spinal cord by plunging the knife into the base of his skull. When that
again failed to silence Stegman, Williams handed the knife to Myers who stabbed
Stegman in the chest.
They kicked Stegman into unconsciousness.
Williams, and Habeck then left the cemetery by a different route than they had
used when entering the cemetery and returned to the 1519 Grand apartment.
There they cleaned the knife, first by soaking it in hot water and then in
mouthwash in an attempt to get rid of the blood. Myers also cleaned blood from
his chest and attempted to clean it from his shoes. Myers and Williams had
taken their shirts off prior to the start of the beating to avoid getting blood on
them and so as not to restrict their movements.
On the morning of September 3, 2006, a couple walking through
Woodland Cemetery found Stegman‟s body and called the police. In the ensuing
investigation, police learned that several people living in an apartment close by
had information about the murder. The police proceeded to the 1519 Grand
apartment and rounded up thirteen people who were there, including Johnson,
and transported them to the police station for interviews. Two teams of two
officers interviewed the witnesses beginning at 7:30 p.m. After approximately
three and one-half hours, two officers interviewed Johnson. The interview lasted
a little over an hour with two short breaks, during one of which Johnson was
provided a soda to drink. The interview was taped on audio and video tape.
During the interview Johnson provided detail about his involvement in the
murder, including that he was used as “bait” to lure Stegman to the cemetery
where he knew Myers and Williams were waiting with the intention of killing
The State charged Johnson and four co-defendants, by trial information,
with murder in the first degree.
The charge against Johnson was severed.
Johnson filed a motion to suppress the statements he made during the police
interview on the day of the murder. He also filed an application for a competency
hearing, claiming he was not competent to stand trial.
Following a lengthy
hearing on each, the district court found Johnson competent to stand trial and
denied his suppression motion.
Johnson filed a written waiver of jury trial, and pursuant to an agreement
with the State agreed to waive any defense of diminished responsibility and to
submit the case to the court on a stipulated record consisting of the minutes of
evidence, Johnson‟s videotaped interview with the police, and the transcript of
the interview. The State agreed to amend the charge to the lesser included
offense of murder in the second degree, in violation of Iowa code sections 707.1
and 707.3 (2005). The court found Johnson guilty as charged and sentenced
him to a term of imprisonment not to exceed fifty years, with a mandatory
minimum of seventy percent.
Johnson appeals, contending: (1) the district court erred in finding he was
competent to stand trial; (2) the court erred in denying his motion to suppress; (3)
there was not sufficient evidence to support his conviction; and (4) he was the
victim of selective prosecution.
Competency to Stand Trial.
Johnson first challenges the district court‟s determination that he was
competent to stand trial. He asserts our scope of review is de novo. The State
asserts it is for correction of errors at law.
Contrary to defendant‟s assertion, we do not review the
evidence de novo where a determination of competency has been
made below. That is the case only where no hearing is held below
and we are examining the propriety of trial court's determination
that no hearing was necessary.
Rather, the question of
competency is for the trier of fact where there is a conflict in the
testimony at the competency hearing and defendant challenges
that determination on appeal. . . . Our inquiry is limited to whether
there is support in the record for the competency finding.
State v. Jackson, 305 N.W.2d 420, 425 (Iowa 1981) (citations omitted). A more
recent case involving a competency determination is to the same effect.
Our scope of review is for the correction of errors at law. We
are bound by the district court‟s findings of fact if they are
supported by substantial evidence. We do not review the evidence
de novo where a determination of competency has been made by
the district court. Therefore, our inquiry is limited to whether there
is support in the record for the competency finding. We only review
the record de novo where no competency hearing is held below,
and we are examining the propriety of the district court‟s
determination that no hearing was necessary.
State v. Rieflin, 558 N.W.2d 149, 151-52 (Iowa 1996) (citations omitted). We
conclude that where, as here, the district court has made a determination of
competency after a thorough and meaningful competency hearing our scope of
review is for correction of errors at law.
The conviction of an accused person while he or she is legally
incompetent violates due process. State v. Rhode, 503 N.W.2d 27, 32 (Iowa Ct.
A defendant is initially presumed to be competent. State v.
Pedersen, 309 N.W.2d 490, 496 (Iowa 1981). The burden of proving
incompetency to stand trial, by a preponderance of the evidence, is on the
defendant. Id. Johnson can only overcome this presumption by proving that he
“is suffering from a mental disorder which prevents [him] from appreciating the
charge, understanding the proceedings, or assisting effectively in the defense.”
Iowa Code § 812.5(2). If evidence at the competency hearing “is in equipoise the
presumption [of competency] should prevail.” Pedersen, 309 N.W.2d at 496.
Johnson contends he was incompetent to stand trial, based solely on the
contention he could not effectively assist in his defense, tacitly admitting he could
appreciate the nature of the charge and understand the proceedings. Further,
his own expert found Johnson did appreciate the charge against him and
understood the proceedings.
Therefore, we review only the narrow issue of
whether the district court‟s determination that Johnson could effectively assist in
his defense is supported by the record.
In support of his contention, Johnson relies heavily on his history of mental
illness and the conclusions of his expert witness Dr. Jeffrey Kline. Kline is a
forensic psychologist who opined that Johnson‟s diagnosis of borderline
personality disorder interfered with his ability to focus on relevant information and
effectively consult with his counsel. Dr. Kline testified he spent over one hundred
hours on Johnson‟s case, including interviewing Johnson and reviewing reports
from Johnson‟s prior hospitalization as well as other documents. Kline initially
concluded Johnson was competent to stand trial when he first interviewed him in
January 2007. However, he testified at the competency hearing that Johnson‟s
increasing dissatisfaction with and paranoia about his counsel had changed his
initial opinion. After interviewing him again in October 2007, Dr. Kline concluded
Johnson was not competent to stand trial because he could not effectively assist
in his defense.
The State‟s expert was Dr. James Dennert, a psychiatrist who is medical
director at Mercy Franklin‟s adult mental health unit. It is undisputed that Dr.
Dennert spent less time reviewing reports and documents and interviewing and
evaluating Johnson than did Dr. Kline. However, he did review several pertinent
documents, interviewed Johnson for several hours, viewed the videotape of
Johnson‟s interview with police, and examined Dr. Kline‟s reports. Dr. Dennert
concluded to “a reasonable degree of medical certainty” that Johnson was
competent to stand trial, he was not delusional or psychotic, and that he was
capable of assisting his lawyers in his defense. More specifically, he testified
that much of what Johnson said to him was just parroting terms Johnson had
picked up either in his own reading or from Dr. Kline‟s report, and that Johnson‟s
comments about not trusting his attorneys were “best interpreted as being selfserving.” Dr. Dennert opined that
[Johnson is] perfectly capable of assisting his attorneys effectively.
Whether he chooses to do so or whether some of the things he
does may not be the sorts of things that his attorneys would like is
another question. But he certainly chooses to do those things. He
acts out of choice. He‟s not compelled. He is not psychotic. He‟s
not so disordered that he‟s unable to choose what he does. He
does choose his behaviors.
In concluding Johnson was competent to stand trial the district court noted
the opinions of the doctors were obviously at odds. It further recognized that Dr.
Kline had spent more time, administered more tests, and reviewed more
documents in this case than Dr. Dennert had, but determined that based on
Dennert‟s background and training he had “considerable expertise in addition to
being a doctor of psychiatry.” The court also based its conclusion on its own
observations of Johnson during the competency hearing, portions of which were
held on two separate days, four days apart. It observed that at no time during
the hearing did Johnson have any outbursts or visible emotional overreactions,
and that he appeared to effectively confer with his counsel at the hearing. Thus,
the court concluded Johnson did not show by a preponderance of the evidence
he was incompetent to stand trial under section 812.3.
Upon our review of the evidence, we conclude there is support in the
record for the district court‟s competency determination.
Johnson did not
overcome the presumption that he was competent to proceed with the charges
against him. We agree with the district court that Johnson did not establish, by a
preponderance of the evidence, that he was not competent to stand trial.
Motion to Suppress.
Johnson next contends the district court erred in denying his motion to
suppress, because his inculpatory statements to the police were involuntary. As
set forth above, Johnson filed a pretrial motion to suppress seeking to exclude
the statements he made to the police. The district court denied the motion,
concluding in relevant part that Johnson voluntarily answered questions asked of
him by the investigating officers and his statements to them were “the product of
essentially free and unconstrained choice, made by the defendant whose will
was not overborne or whose capacity for self-determination was not critically
impaired.” Thus, the court concluded Johnson‟s statements to the officers were
made voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently.
As agreed by the parties our review of this issue is de novo. We review
de novo the ultimate conclusion reached by the district court in ruling on a motion
to suppress. State v. Heminover, 619 N.W.2d 353, 356 (Iowa 2000), abrogated
on other grounds by State v. Turner, 630 N.W.2d 601 (Iowa 2001).
independently evaluate the totality of the circumstances shown by the entire
record. State v. Turner, 630 N.W.2d 601, 606 (Iowa 2001). “We give deference
to the district court‟s fact findings due to its opportunity to assess the credibility of
witnesses, but we are not bound by those findings.” Id.
“The test for determining the admissibility of confessions or inculpatory
statements is voluntariness.” State v. Munro, 295 N.W.2d 437, 440 (Iowa 1980).
In order to establish the voluntariness of a defendant‟s inculpatory
statements, the State must demonstrate from the totality of
circumstances that the statements were the product of an
essentially free and unconstrained choice, made by the defendant
at a time when his will was not overborne nor his capacity for selfdetermination critically impaired.
State v. Hodges, 326 N.W.2d 345, 347 (Iowa 1982) (quoting State v. Cullison,
227 N.W.2d 121, 127 (Iowa 1975)).
Many factors bear on the issue of voluntariness. These include the
defendant‟s knowledge and waiver of his Miranda rights; the
defendant‟s age, experience, prior record, level of education and
intelligence; the length of time defendant is detained and
interrogated; whether physical punishment was used, including the
deprivation of food or sleep; defendant‟s ability to understand the
questions; the defendant‟s physical and emotional condition and his
reaction to the interrogation; whether any deceit or improper
promises were used in gaining the admissions; [and] any mental
weakness the defendant may possess.
Id. at 348 (internal citations omitted). No one factor is determinative of
voluntariness; the inquiry focuses on the “impetus for the inculpatory statement.”
Id. The State bears the burden of proving voluntariness by a preponderance of
the evidence. State v. Countryman, 572 N.W.2d 553, 558 (Iowa 1997).
After having reviewed the entire record, including Johnson‟s videotaped
interview and its transcript, with the factors set forth above in mind, for the
following reasons we conclude the totality of the circumstances demonstrates
Johnson‟s inculpatory statements to the police were made voluntarily.
The interview occurred in a room at the Des Moines police station that
contained a table and chairs. A roll of toilet paper sat on the table. Johnson was
dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. The two detectives who did the questioning were
in plain clothes and no weapons or handcuffs were readily apparent on their
persons. Johnson knew his address and social security number. During the
entire interview all three remained seated and talked in calm, conversational
No one spoke in a raised or angry voice.
Throughout the interview
Johnson appeared alert, spoke coherently, and gave responsive answers.
Prior to any questioning, other than acquiring basic identifying information
about Johnson, one of the detectives read each of the Miranda rights to Johnson
and Johnson acknowledged he understood those rights and then signed a written
waiver of those rights. Thus, he had knowledge of and gave a valid waiver of his
Johnson was twenty-two years of age at the time of the
questioning and indicated he was familiar with “detective rooms” as he had been
previously interrogated regarding a rape. Johnson had attended high school,
although the record is not entirely clear as to whether he graduated. Dr. Kline
found in his report that Johnson was of average intellect and his IQ was in the
“average range.” Johnson does not allege, nor does the record demonstrate,
that any deception was used, promises of leniency were made, or threats were
made by the detectives in order to elicit the inculpatory statements from Johnson.
Johnson was not deprived of sleep, food, drink, or the use of a restroom. In fact
one of the detectives asked him if he wanted something to drink at the start of the
interview and then got a soda for him during one of the breaks in the interview.
Johnson did have to wait at the police station for three and one-half hours
before he was interviewed. However, there is no indication this in any way wore
Johnson down physically or mentally such that it would affect the voluntariness of
his inculpatory statements. During the pre-interview wait, Johnson was seated
with the other witnesses first in an area that contained couches and a television
set. Later they were moved to benches in the hallway, where a water fountain
and bathrooms were available.
Johnson sat with the other witnesses and
apparently was not restricted from conversing with them. He was not isolated in
any way during the wait. He was not in handcuffs or in any other way restrained
during the wait, nor did he ask to see a lawyer, to use the telephone, or to have
food. The interview itself lasted one hour and eight minutes with two breaks.
During the second break Johnson accepted the detective‟s offer of a can of soda
and drank it.
Accordingly, we do not find the length of time Johnson was
detained and interrogated to have been so excessive or unreasonable as to have
rendered his confession involuntary.
Johnson‟s challenge to the voluntariness of his inculpatory statements
relies almost entirely on the testimony of Dr. Kline regarding the results of a
“suggestibility” test Kline conducted. Dr. Kline testified that Johnson‟s “extreme
suggestibility” affected the reliability of Johnson‟s statements and made him
susceptible to police pressure to make inculpatory statements.
Dennert testified at the suppression hearing that he considered the videotaped
interview and accompanying transcript to be the most reliable evidence of
Johnson‟s level of functioning during the interview.
stated Johnson showed no signs of any mental disorder during his interview. He
understood the questions posed by the detectives and gave appropriate
Further, despite Johnson‟s argument to the contrary, Dr. Dennert
testified Johnson did not show any “suggestibility” during the interview.
pointed out that Johnson had repeatedly rebuffed the detective‟s insinuation that
Johnson also had stabbed Stegman. Additionally, Johnson consistently repeated
the same version of the crime he gave to the detectives to Dr. Kline and Dr.
Dennert, a fact which undercuts Johnson‟s argument that his statements to the
police were the product of pressure due to his “suggestibility.” We conclude
Johnson was able to understand the questions and that his physical, emotional,
and mental condition did not affect the voluntariness of his statements. We
agree with the district court that although Johnson clearly has some sort of
personality disorder, any such mental disorder did not prevent him from acting
We conclude the State met its burden to prove by a preponderance of the
evidence that Johnson‟s inculpatory statements to the police were given
voluntarily. The district court did not err in denying Johnson‟s motion to suppress
on this ground.
Johnson argues his conviction for second-degree murder is not supported
by substantial evidence. He does not dispute that co-defendants Myers and
Williams were guilty of murder in the first degree or that they possessed malice
aforethought when they carried out their premeditated plan to kill Stegman. He
contends only that the record lacks sufficient evidence that he aided and abetted
in Stegman‟s murder. He claims he “merely had knowledge of and was present
at the scene of the crime. There is nothing in the minutes of testimony that he
encouraged anyone to murder Stegman or that his actions equaled „active
Our scope of review is on assigned error. Iowa R. App. P. 6.4; State v.
Dible, 538 N.W.2d 267, 270 (Iowa 1995). It is the same on a defendant‟s appeal
from a criminal conviction whether the court or a jury is the factfinder. State v.
LaPointe, 418 N.W.2d 49, 51 (Iowa 1988). “We review a trial court‟s findings in a
jury-waived case as we would a jury verdict: If the verdict is supported by
substantial evidence we will affirm.”
State v. Weaver, 608 N.W.2d 797, 803
(Iowa 2000). The standard of review in a challenge to the sufficiency of the
evidence is well established.
Dible, 538 N.W.2d at 270.
“We will uphold a
verdict where there is substantial evidence in the record tending to support the
charge.” Id. A trial court‟s finding of guilt is binding on appeal if supported by
substantial evidence. Iowa R. App. P. 6.14(6)(a); State v. Thomas, 561 N.W.2d
37, 39 (Iowa 1997).
In a criminal case tried to the court, as in a civil case tried to the
court at law, the court‟s verdict is like a jury verdict. Upon review of
the sufficiency of evidence to support the verdict, we view the
evidence in the light most favorable to the verdict, and we accept
as established all reasonable inferences tending to support it.
Findings of the trial court are to be broadly and liberally construed,
rather than narrowly or technically, and, in case of ambiguity, we
will construe findings to uphold, rather than defeat, the judgment.
Direct and circumstantial evidence are equally probative so long as
the evidence raises a fair inference of guilt and [does] more than
create speculation, suspicion, or conjecture. It is necessary to
consider all the evidence in the record and not just the evidence
supporting the verdict to determine whether there is substantial
evidence to support the charge. Substantial evidence means
evidence which would convince a rational factfinder that the
defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Dible, 538 N.W.2d at 270 (internal quotations and citations omitted). The trial
court, as factfinder, is to determine witness credibility and the weight of the
evidence as a whole. See State v. Laffey, 600 N.W.2d 57, 59 (Iowa 1999).
To support a conviction based on the theory of aiding and abetting, the
record must contain substantial evidence the defendant “assented to or lent
countenance and approval to the criminal act either by active participation in it or
in some manner encouraging it prior to or at the time of its commission.” State v.
Miles, 346 N.W.2d 517, 520 (Iowa 1984). While mere presence at the scene of a
crime by itself is insufficient to prove aiding and abetting, it “need not be shown
by direct proof.
It may be inferred from circumstantial evidence including
presence, companionship and conduct before and after the offense is
committed.” Fryer v. State, 325 N.W.2d 400, 406 (Iowa 1982). The guilt of the
person accused of aiding and abetting must be determined by the facts showing
his role in the crime, not based on another‟s guilt. See State v. Lockheart, 410
N.W.2d 688, 693 (Iowa Ct. App. 1987).
During his interview with the police, Johnson admitted he was the “bait”
used to lure Stegman to his death in the cemetery. He further admitted he knew
Myers and Williams intended to kill Stegman after they lured him to the cemetery,
and knew of this several hours before they actually did so. By luring Stegman to
the cemetery according to a prearranged plan, under false pretenses, and
knowing that Myers and Williams intended to kill him once there, Johnson
actively encouraged and participated in Stegman‟s murder as an aider and
abettor. Accordingly, we conclude there was sufficient evidence in the record for
a rational factfinder to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Johnson was guilty of
murder in the second as an aider and abettor.
Finally, Johnson contends he is the victim of selective prosecution
because the prosecutor did not charge another participant in Stegman‟s death
with murder. A claim of selective prosecution implicates the equal protection
guarantee as applied to the states under the Fourteenth Amendment. Oyler v.
Boles, 368 U.S. 448, 456, 82 S. Ct. 501, 506, 7 L. Ed. 2d 446, 452 (1962). An
equal protection claim is reviewed de novo. State v. Kotlers, 589 N.W.2d 736,
738 (Iowa 1999). Selectivity in prosecution is not a constitutional violation unless
the decision was “deliberately based upon an unjustifiable standard such as race,
religion, or other arbitrary classification.” Oyler, 368 U.S. at 456, 82 S. Ct. at 506,
7 L. Ed.2d at 453.
First, as Johnson concedes, he did not preserve error on this issue
because it was not raised in the trial court. DeVoss v. State, 648 N.W.2d 56, 63
(Iowa 2002). However, Johnson asks that we preserve this issue for a possible
postconviction proceeding so that a proper record can be made.
Johnson does not specify which, if any, impermissible classification the
prosecutor allegedly based the charging decision on, nor does he make any
other specific argument with regard to this issue. He merely states that to date
Habeck has not been charged with anything and “[b]ased on these facts, the
county attorney has some explaining to do.”
We conclude this claim is too general in nature to allow us to either
address it or preserve it for a possible postconviction proceeding. See State v.
Wagner, 410 N.W.2d 207, 215 (Iowa 1987) (holding that we will not preserve an
issue for a postconviction proceeding unless defendant makes “some minimal
showing from which this court can assess the potential viability of his or her
A question that occurs is whether a vague and general claim of ineffective assistance
of counsel, wholly lacking a showing of breach of duty, resulting prejudice, or both,
raised on direct appeal, should be preserved for a possible postconviction proceeding.
A statute now provides that a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel need not be
raised on direct appeal from the criminal proceedings and if so raised the court may
decide the claim if the record is adequate or may choose to preserve the claim for a
postconviction proceeding. See Iowa Code § 814.7 (2007). This statute went into effect
July 1, 2004. Hannan v. State, 732 N.W.2d 45, 50 (Iowa 2007). State v. Alloway, 707
N.W.2d 582 (Iowa 2007) was a case such as this in that it involved a claim of ineffective
assistance of counsel in a direct appeal from a criminal proceeding. Id. at 584. The
claim of ineffective assistance related to a July 2, 2004 sentencing, a date after the
effective date of section 814.7. Our Supreme Court stated,
Claims of ineffective assistance of counsel on direct appeal are
preserved for postconviction relief only if the defendant makes a minimal
showing of the potential viability of the claim. This requires the defendant
to show the need to develop a further record, and to explain why the
For the reasons set forth above, we conclude there is support in the
record for the district court‟s competency determination.
Johnson did not
overcome the presumption that he was competent to proceed with the charges
against him. We further conclude the court did not err in denying Johnson‟s
motion to suppress the inculpatory statements he made during his police
interview, because such statements were made voluntarily.
In addition, we
conclude the evidence in the record was sufficient for a rational factfinder to find
Johnson guilty of murder in the second degree beyond a reasonable doubt.
Finally, Johnson‟s selective prosecution claim is too vague and general for us to
either address or preserve for a possible postconviction proceeding.
actions of counsel were ineffective and how those actions resulted in
prejudice. A bald assertion is insufficient.
Id. at 587. The court concluded that Alloway had failed to sufficiently articulate the
prejudice prong of his ineffective assistance claim and did not preserve it for a possible
postconviction proceeding. The reasoning and result in Alloway leads us to the same
result in this case.