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State v. Doehler

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 23, 2014

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
SHAWN MAXWELL DOEHLER, Defendant-Appellant

Editorial Note:

This decision has been referenced in a "Decisions Without Published Opinions" table in the North Western Reporter.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, James C. Ellefson, Judge. On appeal, Shawn Doehler claims the district court erred in excluding a co-defendant from paying restitution under Iowa Code section 910.3B (2011) jointly and severally with Doehler and another co-defendant. We conclude Doehler has no standing to bring this appeal.

John J. Haney of Hinshaw, Danielson & Haney, P.C., Marshalltown, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Martha E. Trout, Assistant Attorney General, Jennifer Miller, County Attorney, and Doug Hammerand, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.

OPINION

DOYLE, P.J.

In this appeal, defendant Shawn Doehler takes an unorthodox tack. He does not appeal his own sentence, but rather, he appeals the sentence of one of his co-defendants. We conclude Doehler has no standing to bring this appeal. Consequently, we dismiss his appeal.

Doehler, Thomas Vaughn, and Steven Etzen were charged in a three-count trial information with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and first-degree burglary. The charges arose out of the events of the evening of February 6, 2012, including the death of Benjamin Benda. Doehler pled guilty to first-degree robbery, in violation of Iowa Code sections 711.1(1)-(3), 711.2, and 703.1 (2011), and going armed with intent, in violation of section 708.8. Vaughn pled guilty to conspiracy to commit a forcible felony. Etzen pled guilty to second-degree murder. As the district court recounted:

All the pleas were the result of plea agreements that attempted to consider the varying levels of culpability of the three defendants. Mr. Etzen was the individual who carried the weapon to the scene and fired it. Mr. Doehler supplied the weapon that Mr. Etzen used. Mr. Vaughn accompanied the other two.
All three defendants were sentenced on the afternoon of September 11, 2012. During Doehler's sentencing, the court expressed the view that the restitution obligation created by Iowa Code section 910.3B might not apply to Vaughn. Mr. Doehler's counsel took exception and contended that all three defendants should be jointly and severally liable for the $150,000 restitution obligation.
During the sentencing of Mr. Vaughn, the State took the position that section 910.3B restitution should not be applied to Mr. Vaughn. The court agreed and did not impose that restitution obligation [in Vaughn's sentencing order] because Mr. Vaughn's conduct was not a proximate cause of Mr. Benda's death.
In the third sentencing of the day, that of Mr. Etzen, the court ordered that Mr. Etzen would have the section 910.3B restitution obligation [of $150,000] and that he would be jointly and severally liable with Mr. Doehler.

Doehler was sentenced to thirty years imprisonment and was ordered to pay victim restitution in the amount of $150,000, jointly and severally with co-defendant Etzen. Vaughn ...


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