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State v. Wrage

Court of Appeals of Iowa

February 5, 2014

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
COLE JON WRAGE, 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, George L. Stigler, Judge. Defendant appeals his sentence.

Cathleen J. Siebrecht of Siebrecht Law Firm, Des Moines, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Mary Triick, Assistant Attorney General, Thomas J. Ferguson, County Attorney, and Brad P. Walz, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

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

OPINION

DANILSON, C.J.

Cole Wrage appeals his sentence imposed by the district court. He contends the district court abused its discretion by failing to recite adequate reasons and relying on improper factors in imposing sentence. He also contends counsel provided ineffective assistance at sentencing. Although the district court used strong language at sentencing, it was sufficiently supported by the record and did not constitute reliance upon an unproven claim or crime. We also find the district court properly exercised its discretion and gave sufficient reasons for the sentence. Finally, we conclude counsel was not ineffective. We affirm.

I. Backgrounds Facts and Proceedings.

On April 27, 2011, Wrage was pulled over by officers. During the course of the stop, the officers searched the vehicle and found nine grams of marijuana as well as other drug paraphernalia. Wrage was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance (marijuana), third offense.

On August 29, 2011, officers executed a search of a residence where Wrage was sleeping. Officers found a methamphetamine lab, as well as items commonly used in the manufacturing of the drug. The owner of the residence admitted to the officers that he had allowed Wrage to manufacture methamphetamine in the residence in the past. Wrage was charged with manufacture of a controlled substance and/or conspiracy to manufacture a controlled substance (methamphetamine); possession of ephedrine and/or pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance; possession of lithium with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance; and possession of ether with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance.

Wrage pled guilty to each of the five charges. As recommended by the State, he was sentenced for a term of incarceration not to exceed thirty years, with a one-third mandatory minimum before the opportunity of parole. Wrage appeals.

II. Standard of Review.

Our review is for correction of errors at law. State v. Thomas, 547 N.W.2d 223, 225 (Iowa 1996). The decision to impose a sentence within statutory limits is " cloaked with a strong presumption in its favor." State v. Formaro, 638 N.W.2d 720, 724 (Iowa 2002). The sentence will not be upset on appeal " unless the defendant demonstrates an abuse of trial court discretion or a defect in the sentencing procedure." State v. Grandberry, 619 N.W.2d 399, 401 (Iowa 2000). An abuse of discretion is found only when the sentencing court exercises its discretion on grounds or for reasons clearly untenable or to an extent clearly unreasonable. Thomas, 547 N.W.2d at 225. The consideration by the trial court of impermissible factors ...


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