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State v. Todd

Court of Appeals of Iowa

February 5, 2014

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
HUBERT TODD, 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 Black Hawk County, Dawn D. Newcomb (trial), Judicial Magistrate, and Jeffrey L. Harris (appeal), District Associate Judge. Hubert Todd appeals his convictions for domestic abuse assault and criminal mischief in the third degree.

Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Stephan J. Japuntich, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Heather R. Quick, Assistant Attorney General, Thomas J. Ferguson, County Attorney, and Michelle Wagner, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ. Bower, J., takes no part.

OPINION

VOGEL, P.J.

Hubert Todd appeals his convictions for domestic abuse assault and criminal mischief in the third degree. Todd asserts sufficient evidence does not support either conviction. He further argues trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to various testimony at trial and for failing to request a jury trial or, alternatively, advise Todd of his right to demand a jury trial. Todd also claims his due process rights were violated and that the district court did not have the authority to require him to attend batterer's education, and consequently, he was given an illegal sentence. Although his wife recanted much of her initial story, we conclude sufficient evidence supports Todd's convictions, he cannot establish counsel breached an essential duty with regard to two of his ineffective-assistance claims, we preserve the third for possible postconviction relief proceedings, and his due process rights were not violated. We further find requiring batterer's education was mandatory, and thus Todd's sentence was not illegal. Therefore, we affirm the district court.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

From the magistrate's notes, the following facts could be found. In early March 2010, Todd arrived at the residence of his estranged wife, Lola Todd (Lola). He was agitated and claimed he wanted to fight a man who had chased him to the house. Lola and Todd began to argue, Todd broke various pieces of furniture, including a glass coffee table, a curio cabinet and a television, and he pushed Lola, causing a red mark on her neck. Lola called the police, and Officers Spencer Gann and Eddie Savage arrived on the scene.

Lola and Todd's adult daughter, Sharkarra Todd (Sharkarra), was also present. She stated she saw Todd push Lola. At trial, the officers testified they arrived and witnessed an argument in progress. They observed broken furniture and that the television had fallen on Sharkarra's foot. They testified as to Lola's on-the-scene statement that Todd had grabbed her by her throat and shoved her and that they had observed a red puffy welt on the side of Lola's neck.

On March 5, 2010, Todd was charged with domestic abuse assault in violation of Iowa Code section 708.2A.2(a) (2009), and criminal mischief in the third degree, in violation of Iowa Code section 716.6, both simple misdemeanors. A bench trial was held on September 2, 2010, and Todd was found guilty on both counts. He was sentenced to seven days in jail with all but two days suspended, and was ordered to attend a batterer's education program.[1] Todd appealed to the district court, which upheld the magistrate's decision. Todd then filed an application for discretionary review, which the supreme court granted.

II. Sufficiency of the Evidence

Todd first claims sufficient evidence does not exist to support either conviction. We review challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence for correction of errors at law. State v. Quinn, 691 N.W.2d 403, 407 (Iowa 2005). We view the record in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, here, the State, and make all legitimate inferences and presumptions that may be reasonably deduced from the evidence. Id. If substantial evidence supports the verdict, we will affirm. Id. ...


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