This decision has been referenced in a "Decisions Without Published Opinions" table in the North Western Reporter.
Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Douglas F. Staskal, Judge. Pablo Benavidez appeals from the dismissal of his second application for postconviction relief.
Susan R. Stockdale, Des Moines, for appellant.
Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Richard J. Bennett, Assistant Attorney General, John P. Sarcone, County Attorney, and Steve Foritano, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee State.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Potterfield, JJ.
Pablo Benavidez appeals from the dismissal of his second application for postconviction relief. He argues the district court improperly found his application was barred by the statute of limitations and his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to jury instructions (and therefore his appellate and postconviction counsel were also ineffective by failing to raise the issue). We affirm, finding his application for postconviction relief is barred by our three-year statutory limitations period. We therefore do not address his second point of error.
I. Facts and Proceedings.
We have twice previously considered Benavidez's case; once on direct appeal ( State v. Benavidez, No. 04-1782,, 2005 WL 3478094 (Iowa Ct. App. Dec. 21, 2005)) and again on his first application for postconviction relief ( Benavidez v. State, No. 08-2039, 2010 WL 1875710 (Iowa Ct. App. May 12, 2010)).
Benavidez was found guilty of first-degree murder after a jury trial in 2004; he appealed his conviction and our court affirmed on December 21, 2005. He sought further review, which was denied. Procedendo issued in 2006, and Benavidez filed an application for postconviction relief the following November. This application was denied, and he appealed. We affirmed the denial of that first postconviction application on May 12, 2010.
On December 9, 2010, Benavidez filed another application for postconviction relief, this time arguing his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to challenge the instructions given to the jury. A hearing on this application was held November 20, 2012. At the hearing, the State moved to dismiss, citing our three-year statutory time bar on applications for postconviction relief. See Iowa Code § 822.3 (2011). The court granted the motion, but also heard the merits of Benadivez's claim, finding his counsel was not ineffective. Benavidez appeals.
Our review is for the correction of errors at law. Wilkins v. State, 522 N.W.2d 822, 823 (Iowa 1994). Iowa Code section 822.3 reads that an application for postconviction relief " must be filed within three years from the date the conviction or decision is final or, in the event of an appeal, from the date the writ of procedendo is issued." This time bar does not apply " to a ground of fact or law that ...