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State v. Hopper

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 8, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ADAM LEE HOPPER, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, DeDra L. Schroeder, Judge.

         Adam Hopper appeals his conviction and sentence for intimidation with a dangerous weapon following a jury trial. AFFIRMED.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Vidhya K. Reddy, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kelli A. Huser, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Tabor and Mullins, JJ.

          MULLINS, Judge.

         Adam Hopper appeals his conviction and sentence for intimidation with a dangerous weapon following a jury trial. He argues his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance in failing to properly challenge the sufficiency of the evidence. He also contends the district court imposed an illegal sentence when it established a sequence for payment of restitution contrary to the law. We affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         On March 11, 2015, the State charged Hopper with intimidation with a dangerous weapon with intent, a class "C" felony, in violation of Iowa Code section 708.6 (2015), for events occurring in the home he shared with his fiancée on March 8. In August 2015, a jury convicted Hopper of the lesser-included offense of intimidation with a dangerous weapon, a class "D" felony, in violation of section 708.6. The district court sentenced Hopper to an indeterminate term of incarceration not to exceed five years, imposed victim restitution in the amount of $286, and assessed court costs and jail fees. The court suspended the applicable fine and determined Hopper was not reasonably able to pay attorney fees. Hopper appeals.

         II. Standard of Review

         Claims challenging the sufficiency of the evidence are reviewed for correction of errors at law. State v. Meyers, 799 N.W.2d 132, 138 (Iowa 2011). We view all the evidence in the light most favorable to the State to determine whether substantial evidence supports the conviction. Id. "We find evidence substantial if it would convince a rational fact finder the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt." Id.

          We review claims of ineffective assistance of counsel de novo. State v. Thorndike, 860 N.W.2d 316, 319 (Iowa 2015). An ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim may be raised and decided on direct appeal when the record is adequate to address the claim. Iowa Code § 814.7(2), (3). Generally, an ineffective-assistance claim is preserved for possible postconviction-relief proceedings when a more thorough record can be developed and counsel is given an opportunity to explain his or her conduct. State v. Biddle, 652 N.W.2d 191, 203 (Iowa 2002).

         We review challenges to the illegality of a sentence for correction of errors at law. Tindell v. State, 629 N.W.2d 357, 359 (Iowa 2001). "We review restitution orders for correction of errors at law." State v. Hagen, 840 N.W.2d 140, 144 (Iowa 2013). "In reviewing a restitution order 'we determine whether the court's findings lack substantial evidentiary support, or whether the court has not properly applied the law.'" Id. (quoting State v. Bonstetter, 637 N.W.2d 161, 165 (Iowa 2001)). "Questions of statutory interpretation also are reviewed for correction of errors at law." Id. (quoting State v. Romer, 832 N.W.2d 169, 174 (Iowa 2013)).

         III. ...


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