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State v. Buttrom

Court of Appeal of Iowa

August 7, 2013

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
LEROY COREY BUTTROM, Defendant-Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Michael D. Huppert, Judge.

Leroy Buttrom appeals his convictions for delivery of the controlled substance known as "ecstasy" and tax stamp violations, contending he received ineffective assistance of counsel at his plea hearing.

Alfredo Parrish and Andrew Dunn of Parrish, Kruidenier, Dunn, Boles, Gribble, Gentry & Fisher, L.L.P., Des Moines, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Tyler Buller, Assistant Attorney General, John Sarcone, County Attorney, and Stephan Bayens, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Considered by Eisenhauer, C.J., and Potterfield and Tabor, JJ.

TABOR, J.

Leroy Buttrom appeals his convictions for delivery of the controlled substance commonly known as ecstasy[1] and tax stamp violations, contending he received ineffective assistance of counsel at his plea hearing. Buttrom argues the district court's colloquy with him did not establish a factual basis to support his guilty pleas.

Our supreme court's recent holding in State v. Finney, __ N.W.2d __, 2013 WL 3378303, a5 *15 (Iowa 2013), clarified that we may look beyond the plea colloquy to determine whether a factual basis appears on the record to support each crime charged. Because the minutes of testimony, coupled with Buttrom's statements at the hearing, supplied a factual basis to support his convictions, defense counsel was not ineffective for allowing him to enter guilty pleas.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

The following facts are included in the minutes of testimony. On four separate occasions between November 18 and December 9, 2010, Buttrom sold a total 307 tablets of ecstasy to a confidential informant (CI) working with the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force.[2] On December 11, 2010, detectives executed a search warrant at Buttrom's Urbandale residence, where they seized two pieces of packaging with residue, $299 in cash, and a broken orange tablet that appeared to be ecstasy.

Between the initial search and December 15, 2010, Buttrom cooperated with law enforcement, providing information about his supplier of the ecstasy tablets. Once he fell out of contact with officers, they obtained warrants for his arrest. On September 24, 2012, officers arrested Buttrom on the outstanding warrants.

On October 15, 2012, the State filed a trial information charging Buttrom with four counts of delivery of a controlled substance, in violation of Iowa Code section 124.401(1)(c)(8) (2011), and four counts of failure to possess a tax stamp, in violation of sections 453B.3 and 453B.12. The State also sought recidivist enhancements under sections 124.411 and 902.8.

Buttrom reached an agreement with the State in which he would plead guilty to one count of delivery of a controlled substance, as a section 124.411 second or subsequent offender, but without applying the section 902.8 habitual offender enhancement provision, and one count of failure to possess a tax stamp, without enhancement, in exchange for the State dismissing all remaining counts. Buttrom additionally agreed to waive time for sentencing, his right to file a motion in arrest of judgment, and his use of a presentence investigation report, for a joint recommendation that he receive an indeterminate term of imprisonment not to exceed twenty years on the delivery count, serving one-third of the time before being eligible for parole, and five years on the tax stamp count.

The terms would run consecutively for incarceration not to exceed twenty-five years.

On November 15, 2012, the district court held a plea and sentencing hearing. Buttrom pled guilty as per his agreement with the State. After reciting the charges, ...


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