from the Iowa District Court for Muscatine County, Stuart P.
defendant challenges his sentence for theft in the second
A. Walker of the Law Office of Joel Walker, Davenport, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Sheryl A. Soich, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.
POTTERFIELD, Presiding Judge.
Batteau appeals from his sentence for theft in the second
degree. See Iowa Code § 714.2(2) (2015)
(defining second-degree theft and categorizing it as a
"D" felony). Batteau maintains the district court
abused its discretion when it sentenced him to a prison term
not to exceed five years rather than granting him supervised
probation, for which he advocated.
review the district court's sentence for an abuse of
discretion. State v. Hill, 878 N.W.2d 269, 272 (Iowa
2016). Where, as here, the sentence imposed is within the
statutory limits, it "is cloaked with a strong
presumption in its favor." State v. Formaro,
638 N.W.2d 720, 724 (Iowa 2002); see Iowa Code
§ 902.9(e) ("A class 'D' felon . . . shall
be confined for no more than five years.").
was charged by trial information with theft in the second
degree with an habitual offender enhancement. He reached a
plea agreement with the State, whereby he would plead guilty
to the theft charge without the enhancement. As part of the
agreement, the State would advocate for a five-year term of
incarceration, and Batteau was free to advocate for a lesser
sentencing hearing, the State indicated it was asking the
court to impose the maximum sentence because of Batteau's
long criminal history, which began in 1986. The State noted
Batteau had only successfully completed probation one time
and he had committed the crime at issue "about thirteen
months after his most recent prison discharge."
Additionally, Batteau had spent nearly thirty years
committing crimes, during which "almost every
opportunity ha[d] been afforded this defendant." The
preparer of the presentence investigation report also
recommended incarceration and stated, "The resources of
the Iowa Department of Corrections should be utilized."
response, Batteau advocated for a suspended sentence. He
stated that he was working with his mother, who lived nearby,
approximately twenty-five hours per week. He also noted that
he is a military veteran who received an honorable discharge
and who suffers from a number of mental-health issues,
including posttraumatic-stress disorder. He was seeing a
counselor for his mental health and was taking the prescribed
medications. Additionally, Batteau's attorney was holding
the money due in restitution in his trust account. When
addressing the court, Batteau expressed remorse and
apologized for his actions.
sentencing court is required to consider a number of factors
when imposing a sentence, including "the nature of the
offense, the attending circumstances, defendant's age,
character and propensities for reform." State v.
August, 589 N.W.2d 740, 745 (Iowa 1999) (citation
omitted). That being said, the court is not required to
expressly consider each factor on the record. See State
v. Boltz, 542 N.W.2d 9, 11 (Iowa Ct. App. 1995)
("[T]he failure to acknowledge a particular sentencing
circumstance does not necessarily mean it was not considered.
. . . Even a succinct and terse statement of reasons may be
sufficient as long as the brevity displayed does not prevent
us from reviewing the exercise of the trial court's
discretion."). It is up to the individual sentencing
judge "to balance the relevant factors in determining an
appropriate sentence." State v. Wright, 340
N.W.2d 590, 593 (Iowa 1983).
imposing the sentence, the court stated the following:
[T]he defendant's criminal history is lengthy. It
discloses that the defendant has been provided every
opportunity to reform through probation, through other
programs other than incarceration, and those programs have