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Elken v. State

Court of Appeal of Iowa

July 24, 2013

JERREDD ELKEN, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.

Jerredd Elken appeals from the district court's denial of his application for postconviction relief.

Thomas P. Graves of Graves Law Firm, P.C., Clive, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kyle P. Hanson, Assistant Attorney General, John P. Sarcone, County Attorney, and Robert DiBlasi, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee State.

Considered by Eisenhauer, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Doyle, JJ.

DOYLE, J.

Jerredd Elken appeals from the district court's denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR). He claims his trial counsel and appellate counsel were ineffective. We affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

Elken's vehicle was stopped on December 6, 2007, after a West Des Moines police officer noted "suspicious activity" surrounding the vehicle. See State v. Elken, No. 08-1534, 2010 WL 625218, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 24, 2010). After discovering Elken did not have a valid driver's license, he was arrested for driving while revoked. Id. His passenger was arrested for harassment of a public official. Id. During an inventory search of the car, various items consistent with manufacturing methamphetamine were found, prompting an investigation by the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement. Id. Elken's passenger eventually pled guilty to conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and agreed to testify against Elken. Id.

Following a jury trial, Elken was convicted and sentenced. Id. Elken appealed. Id. On appeal, this court affirmed his convictions, and we preserved for possible PCR proceedings Elken's claim his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to a comment regarding his postarrest silence. Id. at *4.

In July 2011, Elken filed an application for PCR. He reasserted his preserved ineffective-assistance-of-trial-counsel claim, in addition to other claims not relevant here. Additionally, he asserted his appellate counsel was ineffective in not raising the issue of an illegal search of his vehicle. The State resisted.

Following a trial, the court entered its ruling denying Elken's application for PCR. Elken now appeals.

II. Scope and Standards of Review.

PCR proceedings are reviewed for errors of law. Rhiner v. State, 703 N.W.2d 174, 176 (Iowa 2005). When a PCR application raises an issue of constitutional scope, such as ineffective assistance of counsel in violation of the Sixth Amendment, our ...


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