Quanrude files appeal of his Second Degree Murder conviction

by Lissa Blake

A Waukon man convicted of second degree murder last month has now filed an appeal on that verdict.

John Michael Quanrude, 32, filed the appeal Wednesday, October 3. The action came following his sentencing hearing held Monday, October 1 in the Allamakee County Courthouse in Waukon, where District Judge John Bauercamper sentenced Quanrude to 50 years in prison for the killing of his stepfather and roommate, 60-year-old Dean Russell of Waukon. At the time, Bauercamper instructed Quanrude that he had 30 days to appeal his case.

In a jury trial that took just four days in mid-September before a guilty verdict was handed down, Quanrude was convicted of the crime, a Class B felony, which took place April 16 of this year in the home he shared with Russell at 49 Jean Road in the Parkview Trailer Court in Waukon. At the time of sentencing,

Bauercamper said because second degree murder is a forcible felony, Quanrude would not be eligible for parole or a reduction in his sentence until 70 percent (35 years) of his sentence had been served.

THE APPEAL
Wednesday, October 3, Quanrude’s defense attorney, Scott J. Nelson, filed an appeal on Quanrude’s behalf to the Supreme Court of Iowa. He also filed an application for the appointment of an appellate public defender.

According to Allamakee County Attorney Jill Kistler, although Nelson is a public defender, he specializes in criminal cases; the appeals process requires a set of skills and experience specific to an appellate attorney.

According to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller’s website, “The Criminal Appeals Division strives to keep in place the criminal convictions and sentences obtained by county attorneys and state prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Area Prosecutions Division. By having attorneys who specialize in appellate work, the Attorney General is able to ensure the large volume of criminal appeals are handled professionally and efficiently. Not only do the criminal appeals attorneys work to keep Iowa’s most violent offenders behind bars, they aspire to establish statewide legal precedents to keep Iowans safe, while preserving citizens’ constitutional rights.”

When asked if the filing documents gave a reason for the appeal, Kistler said the two documents currently filed were just timely notices of the appeal, and that additional information, such as the grounds for the appeal, will come later.

WHAT’S NEXT?
After the appeals notice is filed, the District Court Clerk transmits a certified copy of the notice of appeal, docket and calendar entries to the Supreme Court Clerk and all parties. Shortly after, the appellant (Quanrude) must either pay the filing fee or file a motion to wave the filing fee.

The defendant/appellant then orders the transcript of the proceedings by filing a combined certificate in the District Court and in the Supreme Court. The combined certificate is served on the court reporter and all parties.

The court reporter files the original transcript and serves the parties. Once the last transcript is prepared, the Supreme Court clerk will give the parties notice of the briefing deadline.

Kistler said briefs have very specific requirements, and the Rules of Appellate Procedure need to be consulted with and followed closely, which is why the request was made for appointment of appellate counsel. She added when appealing from a guilty plea or sentencing only, expedited deadlines apply.

Once the final briefs have been filed, the Supreme Court will decide whether to retain the case or transfer it to the Iowa Court of Appeals. Kistler said the vast majority of cases in Iowa are transferred to the Court of Appeals.

The appellate court will decide whether or not to grant a request for oral arguments. If a request for oral argument is not granted, the appeal is submitted based only on the briefs.

TIMEFRAME
According to Kistler, criminal appeals typically take anywhere from nine months to 18 months. This schedule could vary, based upon whether expedited times apply, the complexity of the issues and the Court’s current caseload.

POSSIBLE OUTCOMES
Kistler said the appellate court has three options for ruling: the court can affirm the district court ruling, reverse the district court ruling and/or remand the case. After the appellate court issues its opinion, the appellate court will issue “procedendo,” which gives jurisdiction back to the district court.

PRESENT STATUS
Following his sentencing last week, Quanrude was taken to the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville, where he is being evaluated to determine his proper placement in the Iowa Department of Corrections system.
 

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