from the Iowa District Court for Appanoose County, Rose Anne
Mefford, District Associate Judge.
Shanahan appeals the sentence imposed following his guilty
plea to second-degree fraudulent practice. AFFIRMED.
M. Gonyea of McKelvie Law Office, Grinnell, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Darrel Mullins, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.
September 2012 to August 2014, Timothy Shanahan was charged
in six cases with numerous offenses, including two
second-degree-fraudulent-practice charges. In February 2015,
Shanahan entered into a plea agreement with the State,
wherein he agreed to plead guilty to one of the
second-degree-fraudulent-practice charges and to pay
restitution in all six cases in exchange for the dismissal of
the remaining five cases. See State v. Shanahan, No.
15-0936, 2016 WL 1703342, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. Apr. 27,
2016). The agreement included an indeterminate five-year
prison sentence, not suspended, and payment of associated
costs. The court accepted Shanahan's guilty plea and
ultimately sentenced him to a term of incarceration not to
exceed five years pursuant to the plea agreement, as well as
ordering that he make restitution as agreed. See id.
then appealed, arguing, among other things, that the district
court considered impermissible factors in determining his
sentence. See id. Specifically, he maintained the
court impermissibly considered his dismissed charges in
fashioning his sentence. See id. A majority of the
reviewing panel of this court agreed and remanded the case
back to the district court for resentencing. See id.
the remand, Shanahan filed a motion in district court seeking
recusal of the presiding judge-the same judge that had
entered his prior sentence. He believed "it would be
fundamentally unfair" if the same judge sentenced him,
based upon the outcome of his appeal. The State resisted,
arguing there was no evidence the court was prejudiced,
particularly in light of the fact that the plea agreement
made by Shanahan included a prison sentence. The court denied
Shanahan's motion, stating: "The court does recall
that the court followed the plea agreement that [Shanahan]
had reached in the matter when I sentenced him previously.
That's about all I recall from that, and the court has no
bias against [Shanahan], has not predisposed what I will do
court proceeded to resentencing. The State requested the
court follow the parties' plea agreement, including that
Shanahan be sentenced to an indeterminate term not to exceed
five years. Shanahan requested the sentencing recommendation
of the Eighth Judicial District Department of Corrections be
followed, which recommended that all but thirty days of
Shanahan's sentence be suspended and that Shanahan be
placed on probation. The court then sentenced Shanahan to a
term not to exceed five years and to pay the related costs
and restitution. The court explained its "judgment
relative to sentence [was] based on that which would provide
maximum opportunity for [Shanahan's] rehabilitation and
at the same time protect the community from further offenses
by [him] and others." The court further stated:
I have selected this particular sentence for you after
considering your age, your prior criminal record, your
employment, family circumstances, nature of the offense
committed and harm to the victim, whether a weapon or force
was used in the commission of the offense, and your need for
rehabilitation and potential for rehabilitation, and the
necessity of protecting the community from further offenses
by you and others; further, the plea agreement that was
reached in this matter.
court then asked Shanahan if this was what he "expected
to happen today, " to which Shanahan replied, "Yes,
now appeals. He argues the district court erred in not
granting his motion for recusal. He also contends that the
court failed to provide adequate reasons for imposing the
maximum sentence allowed and that a five-year prison sentence
was "substantively unreasonable in this case." We
address his arguments in turn.