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State v. Reed

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 11, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
UNDRAY J. REED, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, James D. Coil, District Associate Judge.

         A defendant challenges his conviction for enhanced domestic-abuse assault, alleging his trial counsel was ineffective. AFFIRMED.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Theresa R. Wilson, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Martha E. Trout, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Tabor, P.J., Mullins, J., and Goodhue, S.J. [*]

          TABOR, Presiding Judge.

         After hearing testimony that Undray Reed threw an electric fan at his mother, then punched and head-butted her, a jury convicted him of domestic-abuse assault causing bodily injury. The district court enhanced the assault to an aggravated misdemeanor after Reed admitted to a previous domestic-abuse conviction. On appeal, Reed complains his trial counsel was ineffective in handling his prior convictions for impeachment purposes under Iowa Rule of Evidence 5.609(a). Because the record is inadequate to decide the question of counsel's effectiveness, we affirm Reed's conviction and preserve the impeachment issue for postconviction-relief proceedings.

         I. Facts and Prior Proceedings

         Facing a possible prison sentence in June 2015, Reed and his pit bull, Bossie, moved in with his mother and her fiancé. Reed's mother also owned a dog, a Boston Terrier mix named Chloe. Seeing how his mother disciplined Chloe, Reed was worried about Bossie's care: "I've raised the dog since she was a puppy, and I wanted to leave her in the best possible hands." When Reed confronted his mother about her treatment of Chloe, she told him: "Well, you and your dog can get the fuck out."

         According to Reed's mother, he then threw an electric fan at her and punched her in the face. As her fiancé struggled to intervene, Reed head-butted his mother. Reed claimed he was acting in self-defense after his mother grabbed the front of his shirt. Reed also claimed his mother threw a lamp at him. Police responded to the scene and arrested Reed. Reed's mother suffered swelling to her head.

         The State charged Reed with domestic-abuse assault causing bodily injury, in violation of Iowa Code section 708.2A(3)(b) (2015), alleging he had been previously convicted of domestic abuse in 2005. He stood trial before a jury in September 2015. The State presented testimony from Reed's mother, her fiancé, and two police officers. Reed testified in his own defense. After one hour of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of guilty. Reed admitted to a prior domestic-abuse conviction and received a prison sentence not to exceed two years. Reed now appeals, challenging the performance of his trial counsel.

         II. Standard and Appropriateness for Review

         We review claims concerning the effective assistance of counsel de novo. See State v. Utter, 803 N.W.2d 647, 651 (Iowa 2011). Generally, we preserve such claims to be heard at postconviction-relief proceedings. See id. We will do so regardless of our estimation of the claim's "potential viability." See State v. Johnson, 784 N.W.2d 192, 198 (Iowa 2010). We only address a claim challenging counsel's performance on direct appeal if development of the factual record would not be useful to our resolution. See State v. Carroll, 767 N.W.2d 638, 641 (Iowa 2009).

         III.Anal ...


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