from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeffrey D.
defendant challenges his convictions and sentences.
CONVICTIONS AFFIRMED, SENTENCE VACATED, AND REMANDED.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Theresa R. Wilson,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kevin Cmelik, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and McDonald, JJ.
State charged defendant Derrick Smith Jr. with two counts of
attempted murder, two counts of willful injury causing
serious injury, and two counts of intimidation with a
dangerous weapon. The charges arose out of a shooting on the
east side of Des Moines on the morning of June 8, 2015. Smith
was driving his girlfriend's sport utility vehicle. His
passenger and codefendant, Jamon Allen Jr. fired a handgun
from the passenger side of the vehicle at Michi Palmer and
Willie Taylor, striking and seriously injuring both of them.
One of the errant bullets struck the residence of Johnetta
Daye. Taylor and Palmer were visiting Daye. Danielle Looney,
who was sleeping at Daye's residence at the time of the
shooting, awoke to the gunfire. The matter came on for trial
in October 2015. On the third day of trial, Smith and Allen
pleaded guilty by way of Alford v. North Carolina,
400 U.S. 25, 37 (1970), to two counts of willful injury
causing serious bodily injury, in violation of Iowa Code
section 708.4(1) (2015), and intimidation with a dangerous
weapon, in violation of Iowa Code section 708.6. The State
agreed to dismiss the remaining counts. Smith now challenges
his convictions and his sentences.
asserts three claims of ineffective assistance of counsel
under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United
States Constitution and article I, section 10 of the Iowa
Constitution. Smith makes a generic assertion Iowa courts
conduct a more stringent review of claims arising under the
Iowa Constitution, but Smith provides no substantive guidance
regarding the more stringent standard to be applied and no
citation to any legal authority providing any substantive
guidance regarding the more stringent standard to be applied.
In the absence of any substantive guidance or authority, we
decline to apply a different standard to Smith's Iowa
claims. See State v. Edouard, 854 N.W.2d 421, 452
(Iowa 2014) (Appel, J., concurring specially) ("Where a
party raises issues under the Iowa Constitution and the
Federal Constitution, but does not suggest a different
standard be applied under the Iowa Constitution, we generally
apply the federal standard."), overruled on other
grounds by Alcala v. Marriott Int'l, Inc., 880
N.W.2d 699, 708 (Iowa 2016); State v. Bohl, No.
15-1546, 2016 WL 4543957, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. Aug. 31, 2016)
("The right question, is not whether a state's
guarantee is the same as or broader than its federal
counterpart as interpreted by the Supreme Court. The right
question is what the state's guarantee means and how it
applies to the case at hand.").
establish a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, Smith
must demonstrate "(1) his trial counsel failed to
perform an essential duty, and (2) this failure resulted in
prejudice." State v. Straw, 709 N.W.2d 128, 133
(Iowa 2006). To establish counsel failed to perform an
essential duty, Smith must establish "the attorney
performed below the standard demanded of a reasonably
competent attorney." Ledezma v. State, 626
N.W.2d 134, 142 (Iowa 2001). The attorney's performance
is measured against "prevailing professional norms,
" and it is presumed the attorney performed competently.
Id. "A claim of ineffective assistance is more
likely to prevail when counsel lacked diligence as opposed to
the exercise of judgment." State v. Polly, 657
N.W.2d 462, 465 (Iowa 2003). To establish prejudice, the
defendant must show trial counsel's allegedly deficient
performance caused a complete "breakdown in the
adversary process" such that the defendant's
conviction is unreliable. Strickland v. Washington,
466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984). This requires a showing "there
is a 'reasonable probability that, but for counsel's
unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would
have been different.'" Collins v. State,
588 N.W.2d 399, 402 (Iowa 1998) (citation omitted). In the
context of a guilty plea, "to satisfy the prejudice
requirement, the defendant must show that there is a
reasonable probability that, but for counsel's errors, he
or she would not have pleaded guilty and would have insisted
on going to trial." Straw, 709 N.W.2d at 138.
first claim is his guilty plea was not voluntarily and
intelligently made because the district court failed to
inform him of the nature of the charges to which he was
pleading guilty. Specifically, Smith claims the district
court failed to inform Smith of each and every element of the
charges and his counsel was deficient in allowing the plea to
go forward. As a general rule, a defendant's guilty plea
waives all defenses and objections to a criminal proceeding
except those intrinsic to the plea. See Wise v.
State, 708 N.W.2d 66, 70 (Iowa 2006). The
defendant's waiver includes claims of ineffective
assistance of counsel except those bearing on the knowing and
voluntary nature of the plea. See State v. LaRue,
619 N.W.2d 395, 398 (Iowa 2000). This is because
"[f]undamental due process requires a guilty plea be
voluntary and intelligent." State v. Speed, 573
N.W.2d 594, 597 (Iowa 1998) (citation omitted). Counsel thus
breaches an essential duty resulting in prejudice when a
defendant's guilty plea is not voluntarily and
intelligently made. See Meeker v. State, No.
12-2292, 2014 WL 955988, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. Mar. 12, 2014).
ensure the defendant's guilty plea is voluntarily and
intelligently made, the district court must inform the
defendant of his constitutional rights, the nature of the
charges, and the penal consequences of the guilty plea.
See Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.8(2)(b). With respect to the
specific challenge here, the district court should explain
each of the elements of the offense or offenses to which the
defendant is pleading guilty. See Brainard v. State,
222 N.W.2d 711, 714 (Iowa 1974). Although strict compliance
is ideal, substantial compliance is acceptable. See State
v. Loye, 670 N.W.2d 141, 151 (Iowa 2003). Substantial
compliance depends on the particular facts and circumstances
of the case. See State v. Victor, 310 N.W.2d 201,
204 (Iowa 1981). "Lack of explanation of the elements of
an offense is not reversible error if, under all the
circumstances, it is apparent the accused understood the
conclude the district court substantially complied with Rule
2.8 and the defendant understood the nature of the charges.
First, the names of the offenses themselves are sufficiently
self-explanatory to inform the defendant of the nature of the
charges. See id.; State v. Sanders, No.
03-1734, 2004 WL 2169748, at *3 (Iowa Ct. App. Sept. 29,
2004) (concluding the "name of the crime itself"
can satisfy the requirement the defendant understand the
nature of the charge). Second, prior to trial, the district
court held several pretrial conferences in the presence of
the defendant, including an extensive pretrial conference
regarding the plea offers made to the defendant. The nature
of the charges and the penal consequences for the same were
discussed extensively. Third, at the beginning of trial, in
the presence of the defendant, the prosecutor read the trial
information setting forth the elements of the offenses.
See State v. Cook, No. 00-1560, 2001 WL 804063, at
*2 (Iowa Ct. App. July 18, 2001) ("Where the trial
information charges the offense in language containing the
elements, no additional explanation may be required.").
Fourth, the defendant sat through three days of trial,
including the State's opening statement in which the
elements of the offenses and the relevant evidence were again
discussed. Fifth, the defendant's counsel stated he
explained to the defendant the nature of the charges and the
minutes of testimony. Sixth, the defendant admitted his
counsel explained to him the minutes of testimony. See
State v. Readus, No. 03-0642, 2004 WL 239928, at *1
(Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 11, 2004) (holding there was substantial
compliance where the defendant read the trial information and
minutes of testimony). The minutes "explicitly described
in simple and easy-to-understand terms how the crime was
committed." State v. Oberbreckling, 235 N.W.2d
121, 122 (Iowa 1975). Seventh, the defendant also agreed
there would be sufficient evidence for a jury to return a
guilty verdict. Under the circumstances, as in
Oberbreckling, "[i]t cannot be seriously
contended defendant did not understand the nature of the
crime." Id.; see State v. Catlett, No.
14-0500, 2015 WL 408071, at *3 (Iowa Ct. App. Jan. 28, 2015)
(holding defendant understand the nature of the charges where
the "names of the offenses alone are descriptive
enough" and the defendant agreed "the minutes of
evidence for each charge were accurate").
second and third claims are related. Smith contends his
guilty plea to intimidation with a deadly weapon was not
supported by a factual basis in the record. Specifically, he
challenges the factual basis for the element the defendant
placed "occupants or people" in reasonable
apprehension of serious injury.See Iowa Code §
708.6; State v. Ross, 845 N.W.2d 692, 699 (Iowa
2014). Smith also contends his plea was not voluntary and