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Eaves v. State

Court of Appeal of Iowa

December 18, 2013

DRAKE L. EAVES, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Lee (North) County, Michael J. Schilling, Judge.

Drake Eaves appeals the denial of his postconviction relief application.

Curtis Dial of Law Office of Curtis Dial, Keokuk, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Attorney General, Michael P. Short, County Attorney, and Artemio Santiago, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee State.

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

VAITHESWARAN, J.

Drake Eaves appeals the denial of his postconviction relief application.

I. Background Proceedings

The State received a complaint that sixteen-year-old Eaves sexually abused his two toddler-aged siblings. The State charged Eaves with two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, a class B felony. His application for waiver to juvenile court was denied and Eaves subsequently pled guilty to one count of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse without injury, an aggravated misdemeanor. The written guilty plea cited Eaves's obligation to register as a sex offender pursuant to Iowa Code sections 692A.1(3) and 692A.2(1) (2005), [1]but made no mention of a mandatory ten-year sentence authorized by Iowa Code section 903B.2. No hearing was held in connection with the plea agreement or prior to imposition of sentence. In a written order, the district court imposed a suspended two-year prison sentence, placed Eaves on unsupervised probation, and ordered him to register as a sex offender. The order did not mention the section 903B.2 sentence.

The State later applied to revoke Eaves's probation based on Eaves's arrest for another crime. The State also moved to correct Eaves's sentence to add the special sentence authorized by section 903B.2. Following a hearing, the district court revoked the suspended sentence, ordered Eaves to serve the two-year period of incarceration, and amended the judgment entry to include the section 903B.2 special sentence.

Eaves filed a postconviction relief application, alleging "[i]neffective assistance of counsel [sic]. Lawyer did not look into everything." He specifically asserted there was "[n]o physical evidence, lawyer shared information with person pushing the charges." The application was not supplemented or amended. Following a hearing, the district court denied the application.

On appeal, Eaves contends his plea attorney was ineffective in (A) failing "to address the special sentencing provisions of Iowa Code § 903B.2" and object to the absence of "a sentencing hearing before accept[ance] of the written plea of guilty" and (B) failing to "investigate the claims against [him]" where counsel had "a higher duty to a juvenile criminal client than an adult criminal client."[2] To prove his claim, Eaves must establish a breach of an essential duty and prejudice. See Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984).

II. Analysis

A. Iowa Code section 903B.2[3]


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