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State v. Chambers

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 12, 2014

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DESTINY LYNN CHAMBERS, Defendant-Appellant

Editorial Note:

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

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Howard County, George L. Stigler, Judge. A defendant appeals her prison sentence for possession of a firearm by a felon.

SENTENCE VACATED AND REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING.

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

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Sheryl A. Soich, Assistant Attorney General, Joseph M. Haskovec, County Attorney, and Alex Koenigs, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ. Vogel, P.J., concurs; McDonald, J. concurs in part and dissents in part.

OPINION

TABOR, J.

Destiny Chambers appeals the prison sentence imposed following her guilty plea to possession of a firearm by a felon, in violation of Iowa Code section 724.26(1) (2011). She argues the district court considered an impermissible factor in determining her sentence. She also contends the court ordered an improper civil penalty. Chambers asks for a new sentencing hearing.

Because the district court admitted into evidence, over defense counsel's objection, a psychological assessment of Chambers ordered in an unrelated case, and because that assessment alluded to unprosecuted criminal activity by Chambers, we conclude resentencing is required. In addition, the parties agree no statutory authority exists for the civil penalty. Accordingly, the civil penalty may not be reinstated at the resentencing.

I. Background Facts And Proceedings

As a convicted felon, Destiny Chambers is not allowed to knowingly possess a firearm.[1] On October 14, 2011, law enforcement executed a search warrant of Chambers's residence. During the search Chambers handed the officers a .40 caliber Glock handgun that was in a bag with a fifteen-round clip. She admitted she should not be in possession of a gun.

On December 5, 2011, the State charged Chambers with possession of a firearm by a felon, in violation of section 724.26(1). Chambers entered a guilty plea on February 4, 2013. As part of the plea agreement, the State dismissed several other charges,[2] and the parties were free to argue the appropriate sentence on the felon-in-possession offense. At the sentencing hearing Chambers argued for probation, while the State argued for incarceration. On May 29, 2013, the district court sentenced Chambers to a prison term not to exceed five years. It also imposed and suspended a ...


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