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State v. Kimbrough

Court of Appeal of Iowa

November 6, 2013

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
WILLIE DEXTER KIMBROUGH, Defendant-Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Edward A. Jacobson, Judge.

The defendant appeals from convictions for three offenses and his sentence as a habitual offender.

Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Nan Jennisch, Assistant State Appellate Defender, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Martha E. Trout, Assistant Attorney General, Patrick A. Jennings, County Attorney, and Drew H. Bockenstedt, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.

MULLINS, J.

Willie Dexter Kimbrough was convicted by the district court of second-degree theft, neglect of a dependent person, and child endangerment without injury. These charges arose when Kimbrough fled from United States Marshalls attempting to arrest him on an outstanding warrant. Kimbrough escaped by driving away in a friend's car when the friend had stepped out and left the keys in the ignition. The friend's two-year-old daughter was still in the back seat of the car. The district court sentenced Kimbrough to imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years for second-degree theft as a habitual offender, fifteen years for neglect of a dependent person as a habitual offender, and two years for child endangerment. As a habitual offender, Kimbrough must serve a minimum of three years on each fifteen-year sentence. The district court ruled the fifteen-year sentences would run consecutively and the two-year sentence would run concurrently.

On appeal, Kimbrough raises three issues. First, he contends the court erred in finding there was sufficient evidence to support each conviction. Second, he contends the court erred in failing to articulate specific reasons for imposing consecutive sentences. Finally, in a pro se brief, Kimbrough contends the court erred in finding there was sufficient evidence to sentence him as a habitual offender.[1]

I. Sufficiency of Evidence to Convict.

The sufficiency-of-evidence arguments Kimbrough raises on appeal are the same as those raised in his motion for judgment of acquittal. In its ruling on that motion, the district court thoroughly addressed the sufficiency of evidence issues and correctly found the evidence was sufficient to support conviction on each of the three counts. The issues presented involve only the application of well-settled rules of law, and a full opinion would not augment or clarify existing law. Therefore, pursuant to Iowa Court Rule 21.26(1)(a), (b), (d), and (e), we affirm the district court's convictions on all three counts.

II. Failure to Articulate Reasons for Consecutive Sentencing.

Our review of a sentence within statutory limits is for abuse of discretion. State v. Barnes, 791 N.W.2d 817, 827 (Iowa 2010). An abuse of discretion exists when the court exercises its discretion on grounds clearly untenable or to an extent clearly unreasonable. Id. The Iowa Rules of Criminal Procedure require that the district court state on the record its reason for selecting a particular sentence. Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.23(3)(d). Although the reasons need not be detailed, at least a cursory explanation must be provided to allow appellate review of the trial court's discretionary action. State v. Jacobs, 607 N.W.2d 679, 690 (Iowa 2000). The court must also give reasons for imposing consecutive sentences. Id. "The reasons, however, are not required to be specifically tied to the imposition of consecutive sentences, but may be found from the particular reasons expressed for the overall sentencing plan." State v. Delaney, 526 N.W.2d 170, 178 (Iowa Ct. App. 1994). At the sentencing hearing, the following exchange occurred:

THE COURT: Mr. Kimbrough, you have the right of allocation, which means you can tell me anything you want to tell me ...

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