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State v. Scarlett

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 17, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
STEVEN F. SCARLETT, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Gregory D. Brandt, District Associate Judge.

         Defendant appeals his conviction for assault causing bodily injury.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Bradley M. Bender, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kelli A. Huser, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, Judge.

         Steven Scarlett appeals his conviction for assault causing bodily injury. We find there was no error in the court's summary disposition of Scarlett's motion for new trial and the court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion. The court improperly entered a no-contact order prohibiting Scarlett from having contact with the victim for five years from the date of resentencing. We find the court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Scarlett. We affirm his conviction and sentence.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         A jury found Scarlett guilty of assault causing bodily injury after he pulled the hair of his former girlfriend, M.H., slapped her, made her walk around on her hands and knees in a parking lot, and kicked her in the ribs. Scarlett filed a motion for new trial, which was denied by the district court. He was sentenced to a term not to exceed one year, with all but forty-five days suspended, placed on probation for one year, and ordered not to have contact with M.H. for five years. The sentence was made consecutive to a conviction for operating while intoxicated (OWI) in another case.

         Scarlett appealed his conviction for assault causing bodily injury. On appeal, we found the district court (1) did not abuse its discretion in concluding a master/slave contract was admissible; (2) did not err in denying Scarlett's motion for judgment of acquittal on the ground the State did not present sufficient evidence to show M.H. suffered a bodily injury; (3) used an improper standard in denying Scarlett's motion for new trial; and (4) did not provide reasons for making the sentence in this case consecutive to the OWI sentence. State v. Scarlett, No. 14-1704, 2016 WL 1130039, at *3-6 (Iowa Ct. App. Mar. 23, 2016). We remanded to the district court to apply the correct standard in addressing Scarlett's motion for new trial and stated if the court again denied the motion for new trial, then Scarlett should be resentenced. Id. at * 5-6.

         The court stated on the record at the hearing on remand:

Well, after hearing the evidence in this particular case, the Court does find that the jury verdict was supported by the evidence presented in this trial as to each and every element of the offense the defendant was convicted of.
Further, the weight of the evidence established the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to each of those matters. There was - clearly, the verdict rendered by the jury was not contrary to the law or evidence that was presented at the time of trial, so the motion for new trial is denied.

         On resentencing, M.H. asked to have Scarlett sent to jail. Defense counsel stated Scarlett had not been in trouble since the original sentencing and had not had any contact with M.H. The court noted defense counsel's statements but found, "I don't know that it has truly changed anything." The court sentenced Scarlett to one year in jail, with all but forty-five days suspended, placed him on probation for one year, and ordered him to complete a batterer's education program. The court ordered Scarlett ...


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