from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, James
S. Heckerman, Judge.
appeals the district court decision denying his request for
postconviction relief from his conviction for first-degree
D. Nerenstone, Council Bluffs, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Martha E. Trout, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Bower,
Dorris appeals the district court decision denying his
request for postconviction relief from his conviction for
first-degree murder. We find the district court did not act
improperly by failing to record a postconviction hearing, by
not having sufficiently specific findings of fact and
conclusions of law in its decision, or by denying
Dorris's request to file a pro se supplemental brief.
Dorris has not shown he received ineffective assistance of
counsel. The district court properly determined the rule
announced in State v. Heemstra, 721 N.W.2d 549, 588
(Iowa 2006), should not be retroactively applied to
Dorris's criminal conviction. We affirm the decision of
the district court.
Background Facts & Proceedings
was convicted of first-degree murder and willful injury for
the shooting death of Timothy Osbourn in Council Bluffs on
May 12, 1998. Mike Shada testified he heard the shots
and saw a gun in Dorris's hand immediately after the
shooting. Dorris told Carrie Schiesow, "I just shot
somebody today, " and Schiesow saw Dorris throw a gun
into the river. When Dorris was arrested in Arizona, he told
officers he was wanted for questioning about a murder in
Iowa. Dorris's conviction was affirmed on appeal.
State v. Dorris, No. 98-1904, 2000 WL 1005436, at *4
(Iowa Ct. App. June 28, 2000).
filed an application for postconviction relief on October 10,
2003, claiming he received ineffective assistance of counsel
during his criminal trial. On July 13, 2015,  the parties
agreed the matter would be submitted through written argument
and a stipulated record consisting of the trial court file,
the decision of the Court of Appeals, and depositions and
exhibits created for the postconviction proceeding.
district court denied the application for postconviction
relief. The court divided Dorris's claims into two
categories-strategy and lack of diligence. The court
considered Dorris's contentions within each of these
categories. The court determined Dorris did not show defense
counsel breached an essential duty or that Dorris was
prejudiced as a result of his counsel's actions. Dorris
filed a pro se motion pursuant to Iowa Rule of Civil
Procedure 1.904(2), which was denied by the court. Dorris now
claims the district court erred by not having the
postconviction proceedings recorded. He relies on Iowa Code
section 822.7 (2003), which addresses postconviction hearings
and provides, "A record of the proceedings shall be made
and preserved." He asks to have the case remanded for a
recorded evidentiary hearing. "Generally, postconviction
relief proceedings are reviewed for ...