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State v. Draper

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 17, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
LEONARD DRAPER JR., Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Clinton County, Mark J. Smith (plea) and Mark R. Lawson (sentencing), Judges.

         A defendant challenges his guilty pleas. AFFIRMED.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Mary K. Conroy, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Thomas E. Bakke, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

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

          TABOR, JUDGE.

         Leonard Draper Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and domestic abuse assault causing injury-second offense. On appeal, he contends his counsel was ineffective in allowing him to enter a guilty plea to the assault charge without a factual basis in the record. Draper also claims counsel was ineffective for not challenging the district court's failure to accurately inform him of the maximum and minimum fines and surcharges. Because the record contains a factual basis, Draper suffered no prejudice from his counsel's performance. Finding the record inadequate to resolve Draper's second challenge in the specific circumstances of this case, we affirm his convictions and preserve this claim for possible postconviction proceedings.

         I. Background Facts and Prior Proceedings

         According to the minutes of evidence, on the morning of September 23, 2015, thirty-three-year-old Draper broke into the apartment where his girlfriend, Ashley, lived and threatened her while holding a knife to her throat.[1] Ashley demanded Draper leave, but he refused. When Ashley screamed, Draper held his other hand over her mouth to quiet her, and she bit his hand. Draper responded by punching her in the head. When Draper moved to shut an open window, Ashley fled. A witness told the police Ashley ran screaming from her apartment at 7:40 that morning, "saying her boyfriend was attempting to kill her." Draper left in his car, and Ashley called 911. The minutes contain photographs of Ashley's injuries and the responding officer's statement: "I photographed a contusion/hematoma to [Ashley's] forehead and red mark on the right side of her neck, which she said were from Draper assaulting her."

         The State filed its trial information on October 15, 2015, alleging three counts: (I) burglary in the first degree; (II) domestic abuse assault causing injury, second offense;[2] and (III) domestic abuse assault while displaying a weapon. As part of a plea bargain with the State, Draper agreed to enter a plea to the lesser-included offense of second-degree burglary, a class "C" felony. See Iowa Code §§ 713.1, .5(1)(b) (2015). He also agreed to plead guilty to the aggravated misdemeanor assault as charged in count II. See id. §§ 708.1, .2A(1), .2A(3)(b). Finally, Draper agreed to pay restitution for all three counts. In return, the State agreed to dismiss count III and to recommend a suspended sentence on the burglary charge and concurrent sentences. Under the agreement, the State was free to make any sentencing recommendation on the assault offense.

         On December 18, 2015, Draper filed a written guilty plea to the assault offense, stating, "in addition to the minutes of testimony, my plea is supported by the following factual basis"-"I did assault another with whom I have a child. Said assault resulted in bodily injury." The written plea form stated: "[T]he Court can sentence me to prison not to exceed two years, and a fine between $625 and $6250.00, plus surcharge court costs."

         That same day, Draper and his counsel appeared before the court, where a record was made of the plea agreement. The court accepted Draper's written plea agreement. The court then explained the maximum penalties for burglary: an indeterminate prison term of ten years and a $10, 000 fine. The court did not tell Draper the minimum penalty for burglary or discuss surcharges on the fine, which included a mandatory $125 law enforcement initiative (LEI) surcharge. See id. §§ 911.1 (requiring 35% surcharge), .3(1)(a) (requiring LEI surcharge). On the assault charge, the court misinformed Draper at the hearing that the maximum fine was $5000 when it actually was $6250. The court likewise did not mention surcharges on the fine, which included a mandatory $100 surcharge. See id. § 911.2(b) (stating the district court "shall assess a domestic abuse assault" surcharge). Draper pleaded guilty to both crimes, acknowledging he understood the court's statement that it could "only sentence you to the sentences I have gone over with you."

         When asked about a factual basis for the assault, Draper said he and Ashley were arguing and he "grabbed her" and "pushed her around" and "had no reason to put [his] hands on her." Draper also told the court he threatened Ashley with a knife. The court accepted his pleas, ordered a presentence investigation (PSI) report, and set a date for sentencing. After explaining the process for filing a motion in arrest of judgment, the court concluded the hearing. Draper did not file a motion in arrest of judgment. The PSI report recommended incarceration "due to the severity of the offense, including injuries to the victim."

         At the January 21, 2016 sentencing hearing, the court imposed an indeterminate ten-year term on the burglary count, with credit for time served, and a fine of $1000. The court suspended the fine and the term of imprisonment and placed Draper on probation for three years, unless he was released sooner upon the probation officer's recommendation to ...

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