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State v. MacTaggart

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 12, 2014

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
MATTHEW MACTAGGART, Defendant-Appellant

Editorial Note:

This decision is published in table format in the North Western Reporter.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Fayette County, John J. Bauercamper, Judge. A defendant appeals from a judgment of guilty and sentence imposed after he pled guilty to a charge of second-degree theft.

Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Rachel C. Regenold, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Martha E. Trout, Assistant Attorney General, W. Wayne Saur, County Attorney, and J.D. Villont, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran, J., and Goodhue, S.J.[*]

OPINION

GOODHUE, S.J.

Matthew MacTaggart appeals from a judgment of guilty and sentence imposed after his plea of guilty to a charge of second-degree theft, a class " D" felony.

I. Background Facts and Circumstances

MacTaggart was charged with first-degree theft but signed a written plea of guilty to the amended charge of second-degree theft pursuant to a plea agreement. The minutes of testimony allege that MacTaggart did unlawfully take possession or control of a racecar engine and other engine parts with the intent to deprive the owner thereof, and further alleged the property to have a value exceeding $10,000. As a result of a search pursuant to a warrant, the racecar engine and other items, including car parts and tools, were discovered at the Arthur Loyd residence. The minutes of evidence attached to the trial information included the statement of the racecar engine owner that it alone had a value in excess of $20,000. The minutes also contain a statement from Loyd that MacTaggart had given him the racecar engine as payment on a debt that MacTaggart owed him. In the written plea, MacTaggart acknowledged that the property taken exceeded $1000 in value and that the minutes of testimony were substantially correct.

When the plea was entered, the court initially noted that it had been handed a written plea signed by MacTaggart. The court conducted a lengthy plea colloquy, in which the court advised MacTaggart of the elements of second-degree theft. The court asked MacTaggart if he understood, and MacTaggart responded that he did.

The court then had MacTaggart look at the minutes of testimony. MacTaggart acknowledged that they were for the most part true, but then indicated that he only helped Loyd load the tools when they were taken, and further that he was not involved in taking all of the items listed. He acknowledged that he knew Loyd did not have the authority to take the items and later admitted that he knew Loyd did not intend to return them to the owner. After the plea was entered, immediate sentencing was pronounced pursuant to MacTaggart's request.

MacTaggart appeals contending that the factual basis of the value of the property involved in the theft was never established to be between $1000 and $10,000 as required to constitute second-degree theft. He further contends that he received ineffective assistance of counsel because his counsel ...


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