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State v. Hopkins

Supreme Court of Iowa

March 6, 2015

STATE OF IOWA, Appellee,
v.
SHAUNTA ROSE HOPKINS, Appellant

Page 551

On review from the Iowa Court of Appeals. Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Glenn E. Pille, Judge. A criminal defendant challenges the judgment and sentence entered at a resentencing hearing, claiming abuse of discretion by the district court and ineffective assistance of counsel.

AFFIRMED.

Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Stephan J. Japuntich, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Attorney General, Brianna Shriver, Student Legal Intern, John P. Sarcone, County Attorney, and Stephanie L. Cox, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee.

OPINION

CADY, Chief Justice.

Page 552

In this appeal from a resentencing for numerous drug convictions following the reversal of one conviction in a prior appeal, we consider claims of abuse of discretion by the sentencing court and ineffective assistance of trial counsel for failure to object to the use of the original presentence investigation report in resentencing. On our review, we affirm the sentence of the district court.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

Shaunta Hopkins and her boyfriend, along with four other individuals, were arrested following a multiple-location drug raid by the Des Moines Police Department. The State charged Hopkins with assorted drug offenses. Her case proceeded to trial with one other codefendant in October 2011. Following a jury trial, Hopkins was found guilty of six crimes: conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance (crack cocaine), a class " B" felony under Iowa Code section 124.401(1)( b )(3) (2011); possession of a controlled substance (crack cocaine), a class " C" felony under section 124.401(1)( c )(3); conspiracy to deliver a simulated controlled substance (ecstasy), a class " C" felony under section 124.401(1)( c )(8); possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (ecstasy), a class " C" felony under section 124.401(1)( c )(8); failure to possess a tax stamp, a class " D" felony under sections 453B.3 and 453B.12; and possession of a controlled substance (marijuana), a serious misdemeanor under section 124.401(5). The jury found Hopkins's codefendant not guilty on all charges.

Page 553

At the sentencing hearing, the court reviewed a presentence investigation (PSI) report, which included information on her educational and employment history, criminal history, family support, history of substance abuse and relationships, and a sentencing recommendation. Hopkins was twenty-three years of age. The court sentenced Hopkins to serve one twenty-five-year sentence with a one-third mandatory minimum, two ten-year sentences with one-third mandatory minimums, two five-year sentences, and a six-month sentence. All six sentences were ordered to run concurrently. Hopkins appealed and began serving her sentence of incarceration.

During her imprisonment, Hopkins completed various classes, earned her high school diploma, and earned a career readiness certificate. Hopkins also entered a treatment program for substance abuse. She was employed in the prison kitchen and laundry room and supervised other inmates in solitary confinement.

On November 15, 2012, the court of appeals reversed Hopkins's conviction and sentence for the class " C" felony, conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance (ecstasy) in violation of section 124.401(1)( c )(8). All other convictions were affirmed. State v. Hopkins, 825 N.W.2d 327, 2012 WL 5537213, at *3 (Iowa Ct. App. 2012).

Following the appeal, Hopkins sought and eventually received a resentencing hearing before the district court on the five convictions that were not reversed. At the hearing, the State and Hopkins informed the court they had reviewed the PSI report from the December 2011 sentencing hearing and did not know of any corrections or deletions to be made. A new PSI report was not prepared. Instead, Hopkins supplemented the old PSI report by submitting documents and evidence at the sentencing hearing, including the classes she had taken, her rehabilitative efforts while in prison, and the support system that would be in place should she be released into the community. The State requested the court impose the same sentence as originally imposed for the five convictions that were not reversed on appeal. Hopkins requested a deferred judgment or a suspended sentence on all convictions.

The district court imposed five concurrent sentences: one twenty-five-year sentence, two ten-year sentences, one five-year sentence, and one six-month sentence, with one-third mandatory minimums for the three longer sentences. The only difference between the new sentence and the original sentence was that the district court did not impose one of the five-year sentences as a result of the court of ...


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