from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, George L.
appeals the district court decision denying his application
for postconviction relief. AFFIRMED.
W. Hofmeyer III, Oelwein, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Bridget A. Chambers,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Mullins, P.J., Bower, J., and Blane, S.J.
Williams appeals the district court decision denying his
application for postconviction relief from his convictions of
assault while participating in a felony, possession of a
firearm as a felon, and two counts of first-degree robbery.
We find Williams has not shown he received ineffective
assistance due to counsel's decision to sever
Williams's case from that of a codefendant or
counsel's advice to plead guilty to a charge of eluding.
We affirm the decision of the district court.
Background Facts & Proceedings
11, 2008, at about 1:00 p.m., two armed men robbed the
Clark-Prime Mart in Waterloo. The men left in a black SUV.
There was evidence Williams went into the convenience store
and then left shortly before the robbery, which the State
argued showed he had been casing the location.
on the same day, at about 5:15 p.m., an armed man robbed a
Dollar General Store. When he left the store, the man got
into the passenger side of a black SUV. After receiving a
dispatch about the robbery, an officer, who was nearby,
noticed a black SUV and followed it. The SUV did not stop
after the officer activated his lights and siren, but it sped
up and drove through several stop signs. Eventually, the
vehicle crashed into the porch of a house. Williams was found
hiding in a closet of a nearby house, although the homeowner
was not aware he was there. Williams told an officer he had
been driving the black SUV when it left the Dollar General
Store. Officers also arrested Antonio Dantzler, who was also
found near the scene of the crashed SUV. Items relating to
the two robberies were found in the vehicle.
case FECR154618, Williams and Dantzler were charged with
first-degree robbery, assault while participating in a
felony, and possession of a firearm as a felon. Williams
additionally was charged with eluding, operating a motor
vehicle while his license was barred, and operating a motor
vehicle while his license was revoked. These charges arose
from the robbery of the Dollar General Store. In case
FECR156357, Williams and Dantzler were charged with
first-degree robbery of the Clark-Prime Mart convenience
to trial, the court granted the State's motion for a
joint trial in FECR154618 and FECR156357. In addition,
defense counsel filed a motion to sever Williams's trial
from that of Dantzler. Dantlzer also filed a motion seeking
to sever his trial from Williams's trial. The district
court granted the motions to sever.
the course of the trial, Williams pled guilty to eluding,
operating while barred, and operating while revoked. A jury
found him guilty of two counts of first-degree robbery, in
violation of Iowa Code section 711.2 (2007); assault while
participating in a felony, in violation of section 708.3; and
possession of a firearm as a felon, in violation of section
724.6. Williams filed a motion for a new trial. He presented
a letter purportedly from Dantzler stating Dantzler wanted to
testify for Williams at Williams's trial, but
Dantzler's attorney would not let him. The court denied
the motion for new trial.
sentencing, the court determined Williams's sentence for
assault while participating in a felony should be merged with
his sentence on one of the counts of first-degree robbery.
The court concluded the sentences on the two first-degree
robbery convictions should be served consecutively and the
sentences on the other convictions were concurrent to those
sentences. Williams's convictions on assault while
participating in a felony, possession of a firearm as a
felon, and two counts ...