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State v. Holmes

Court of Appeals of Iowa

December 5, 2013

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
THOMAS DESHAWN HOLMES, Defendant-Appellant.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Todd A. Geer, Judge.

Defendant appeals the district court's denial of his pro se motion to correct his allegedly illegal sentence. AFFIRMED.

Samantha Gronewald of Sullivan & Ward, P.C., West Des Moines, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Sheryl Soich, Assistant Attorney General, Thomas J. Ferguson, County Attorney, and Kimberly Griffith, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Danilson, JJ.

DANILSON, J.

Thomas Holmes appeals the district court's denial of his pro se motion to correct his allegedly illegal sentence. On appeal, he maintains the sentencing court imposed a sentence that is not permitted by statute and the proper remedy is to order a new sentencing hearing. Because we find the error Holmes alleges was unambiguously clerical in nature and has already been corrected by the district court's order, we affirm.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

On July 6, 1999, the State filed a trial information charging Holmes with kidnapping in the first degree, in violation of Iowa Code section 710.2(3), (4) and 710.2 (1999), and with robbery in the first degree, in violation of Iowa Code sections 711.1(1), (2), (3), and 711.2. Holmes entered a plea of not guilty to both of the charges.

On April 24, 2000, following a bench trial, the district court pronounced Holmes guilty of both the charged offenses.[1] During the pronouncement the court referenced section 710.2(3) and (4) in regard to the kidnapping in the first degree charge. The court again referenced section 710.2(3) and (4) at the sentencing hearing and in the written sentencing order.

Holmes filed a pro se motion to correct illegal sentence on July 25, 2012. In the motion Holmes noted that section 710.2(3) and (4) did not exist under the Iowa Criminal Code. He claimed the sentence was thus in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and asked for it to be vacated. The district court held a hearing on the motion on December 14, 2012.

Following the hearing, on December 18, 2012, the district court entered an order on Holmes' motion. In it, the court overruled Holmes' request for dismissal of the kidnapping charge, determining the sentence was not illegal. The court also concluded the clerical error should be corrected and stated, "The court's Ruling and Sentencing Order in Case No. FECR086886 are corrected to reference a conviction of Kidnapping in the First Degree, in violation of section 710.2, 710.1(3)(4), Code of Iowa." Holmes appeals.

II. Standard of Review.

We review challenges to the illegality of a sentence for errors at law. Tindell v. State, 629 ...


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