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State v. Hilson

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 12, 2014

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
WILLIE JOHN HILSON, Defendant-Appellant

Editorial Note:

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

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, Kim M. Riley, District Associate Judge. A defendant appeals from an acceptance of his pleas of guilty to public intoxication, third offense, and harassment in the second degree, and the sentences imposed.

Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Vidhya K. Reddy, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Jean C. Pettinger, Assistant Attorney General, Jennifer Miller, County Attorney, and Jordan Gaffney, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle, J., and Goodhue, S.J.[*]

OPINION

GOODHUE, S.J.

Willie John Hilson appeals from an acceptance of his plea of guilty to public intoxication, third offense, and harassment in the second degree, and the sentences imposed.

I. Background Facts & Proceedings

Hilson was charged with public intoxication, third offense, and harassment in the first degree but entered a written plea of guilty to public intoxication, third offense, an aggravated misdemeanor, and harassment in the second degree, a serious misdemeanor, pursuant to a plea agreement. The trial information was amended to reflect the lesser charge, and Hilson was sentenced pursuant to the plea agreement. There was no colloquy with the court prior to the entry of the written pleas, and the written pleas contained no express waiver of an oral colloquy with the court. Both written pleas of guilty contained the following paragraph:

If the court accepts my plea of guilty I realize:

a. The court will set a sentencing date not less than fifteen days after the date of its acceptance of this Guilty Plea, unless I waive that right. In order to contest this plea of guilty I must file a Motion in Arrest of Judgment at least 5 days prior to sentencing. The right to file a Motion in Arrest of Judgment will be waived by having the court impose a sentence today.

In the written pleas, Hilson waived time for sentencing and asked for immediate sentences. Hilson's counsel also signed the written pleas of guilty stating that he had explained to Hilson his constitutional rights and recommended that the court accept the pleas of guilty. Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.8(2)(b)(5) permits written guilty pleas for serious and aggravated misdemeanors.

The guilty pleas were accepted by the court on April 18, 2013, but immediate sentence was not pronounced. Instead sentencing was set for May 15, 2013. Hilson filed a pro se withdrawal of his pleas of guilty but never filed a motion in arrest of judgment. At the time of sentencing, Hilson abandoned his withdrawal and reaffirmed his written pleas of guilty and was sentenced consistent ...


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