from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, Kim M.
Riley, District Associate Judge.
defendant challenges his prison sentence for crimes committed
while in the county jail. AFFIRMED.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Robert P. Ranschau,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kevin Cmelik, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Doyle and Tabor, JJ.
an inmate in the Marshall County jail, Shannon Craig caused
damage to his cell and scuffled with a jailer-resulting in
criminal-mischief and assault convictions. The district court
sentenced him to an indeterminate two-year term, to run
concurrently with a term of 365 days, with credit for time
served. On appeal, Craig contends the district court abused
its discretion in denying his request for suspended
sentences. Because the district court properly weighed the
factors listed in Iowa Code section 907.5(1)
(2016) and permissibly highlighted Craig's
criminal history and previous unsuccessful attempt at
probation, we find no abuse of discretion.
review Craig's sentencing claim for correction of legal
error. See State v. Formaro, 638 N.W.2d 720, 724
(Iowa 2002). We will not reverse the decision of the district
court without finding an abuse of discretion or some defect
in the sentencing procedure. Id. We entertain a
"strong presumption" in favor of the district
court's sentencing choice. See State v. Hopkins,
860 N.W.2d 550, 553 (Iowa 2015).
Craig's sentencing hearing, the State recommended he
serve time in prison because his "pattern of criminal
conduct" and disobedience of jail rules suggested he
could not "be expected to do any sort of positive
things" if placed on probation. Defense counsel argued
for suspended sentences because Craig had accepted
responsibility for these offenses and was remorseful. In his
allocution, Craig discussed physical and mental-health
problems that he believed contributed to his criminal
district court acknowledged the parties' differing
recommendations and announced it was taking into account
various factors in imposing sentencing, including Craig's
age of thirty-nine and his prior felony convictions,
including extortion. The court also noted that Craig's
significant criminal history included a previous grant of
probation that was ultimately unsuccessful. The court further
considered the nature of Craig's current offenses and
"the circumstances under which they were
committed." Having mulled these factors, the court
concluded Craig was not "a suitable candidate for
community supervision." The court also explained the
sentencing order would
include a specific recommendation that while Mr. Craig is at
the Iowa Medical and Classification Center, that he receive
medical and mental health assessments so that he can get his
medical and mental health problems on track so that hopefully
upon his release, he'll be in a better frame of mind.
district court's assessment that Craig's
circumstances warranted incarceration was not an abuse of
discretion. See Formaro, 638 N.W.2d at 725
(reiterating that choice of one sentencing option over
another does not amount to error). The court reasonably cited
community safety and Craig's own prospects for
rehabilitation as the chief concerns in choosing the
concurrent prison sentences. See State v. Wright,
340 N.W.2d 590, 593 (Iowa 1983) ("The right of [the
court] to balance the relevant factors in determining an
appropriate sentence inheres in the discretionary
standard."). We find nothing in this record to overcome
the strong presumption in favor of the district court's