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State v. Griffin

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 22, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
EARL A. GRIFFIN, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Henry County, Cynthia H. Danielson (plea) and John G. Linn (sentencing), Judges.

         The defendant appeals from his sentence for possession with the intent to deliver (marijuana), as an habitual offender. AFFIRMED.

          William R. Monroe of Law Office of William Monroe, Burlington, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Timothy M. Hau, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.

          POTTERFIELD, Presiding Judge.

         Earl Griffin appeals from his sentence for possession with the intent to deliver (marijuana), as an habitual offender. He maintains the sentencing court considered crimes to which he did not admit and that were not proved. He asks that we remand for resentencing. See State v. Sailer, 587 N.W.2d 756, 762 (Iowa 1998). We consider Griffin's claim for correction of errors at law. See State v. Gonzalez, 582 N.W.2d 515, 516 (Iowa 1998). We will only upset the sentence on appellate review if "the defendant demonstrates an abuse of trial court discretion or a defect in the sentencing procedure such as the trial court's consideration of impermissible factors." Id.

         On February 12, 2016, Griffin was charged by trial information with failure to affix a drug tax stamp (count I) and possession with the intent to deliver (marijuana) (count II); the State asserted the habitual-offender enhancement applied to each charge. Shortly thereafter, Griffin entered into a plea deal with the State whereby he agreed to enter a guilty plea for the charge of possession with intent to deliver. In return, the State agreed to dismiss count I and agreed any sentence Griffin received for the charge would run concurrent "to the sentence that may be reimposed on the Defendant as a result of a parole violation on previous charge." The court ordered a presentence investigation (PSI) report, and sentencing was set for a later date.

         At sentencing, on May 2, 2016, the court asked Griffin and his counsel if there were any additions or corrections to the PSI report. Griffin responded that one of his listed children was no longer living and claimed that after being unsuccessfully discharged from alcohol and drug dependency services-as the latest report stated-he had reengaged with services. Griffin did not object to any other parts of the PSI report, and he did not claim any other statements in the report were inaccurate.

         The State recommended "confinement, " in accordance with the PSI report's recommendation, "based on [Griffin's] history, the nature of this crime, and the other reasons as set forth in the PSI." Griffin asked the court to place him on supervised probation. The court then stated:

Mr. Griffin, in making a sentencing decision, the Court should do that which would provide the maximum opportunity for your rehabilitation and at the same time protect the community from further offenses by you and others.
In making my sentencing decision, I've carefully reviewed the Presentence Investigation. I've taken into consideration the comments of the attorneys, your comments, and before coming in the courtroom, I reviewed the electronic file to see what all was on the docket.
In connection with making a sentencing decision, it's my job to announce the reasons or the factors I considered in sentencing.
In this case, only a few factors support probation; a very long list of factors support a ...

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