Des Moines, Iowa — A Sioux County man’s conviction has been affirmed by the Iowa Court of Appeals.
According to court records, 34-year-old Gary Ernest Moore was convicted in Sioux County District Court of third offense OWI as an Habitual Offender. Moore appealed his conviction and sentence, saying that the admission of fingerprint records violated his rights under the Confrontation Clause of the US and Iowa constitutions, and that his trial attorney was ineffective in failing to challenge the testimony of a fingerprint expert at trial. The fingerprint evidence needed to be included in the sentencing evidence because Moore declined to stipulate to his identity, requiring the State to present evidence he was the same person convicted of all the prior crimes. The expert’s opinion was that the fingerprints matched and that he was indeed the same person convicted of the prior crimes. Moore contended that the evidence was “testimonial,” which would have required the court to give Moore the opportunity to cross-examine the declarant. The appeals court said that the Confrontation Clause doesn’t apply in a sentencing hearing anyway, and even if it did, the evidence was not “testimonial” in nature.
Moore was found guilty after a jury trial in Sioux County in March, 2014. He was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. The appeals court affirmed the conviction and the sentence.