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Butler county kidnapper loses appeal

DES MOINES – A Man convicted in Butler county of first degree kidnapping and sentenced to prison for life has lost an appeal.

Jeremiah Johnson appealed a district court’s denial of his application for post-conviction relief, claiming his trial counsel was ineffective, his counsel was ineffective, and the district court improperly denied his motion for a change of venue.

The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled last week that the post-conviction court’s “detailed and thorough ruling” addressed the issues presented and correctly found that counsel was not ineffective. Johnson was unable to show trial counsel, appellate counsel, or post-conviction relief counsel breached any professional duty. Further, since Johnson failed to raise the change of venue claim in his direct appeal, error has not been preserved on that claim.

On March 19, 2009, Johnson was charged with kidnapping in the first degree. After a jury trial ended with a guilty verdict on November 2, 2009, Johnson was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Johnson filed a motion for new trial and a motion in arrest of judgment claiming, in part, the court erred in failing to grant a mistrial. Johnson appealed his conviction claiming the district court erred in denying his motion for mistrial. We found the district court did not abuse its discretion and affirmed its ruling.

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