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Mason v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 17, 2017

SCOTT ALLAN MASON, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Decatur County, Paul R. Huscher, Judge.

         Scott Mason appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief.

          Bryan J. Tingle of Tingle Law Office, Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kyle Hanson, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and McDonald, JJ.

          DOYLE, Judge.

         Scott Mason appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief. Upon our review, we affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         In 2008, Scott Mason was charged by trial information with two criminal counts: (I) assault while using or displaying a dangerous weapon, and (II) stalking, second offense. See State v. Mason, No. 10-1321, 2011 WL 2419787, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. June 15, 2011). Following a jury trial, the jury found Mason was not guilty on count I but guilty as charged on count II. See id. at *4. After denying Mason's posttrial motions, the district court sentenced Mason to a term of incarceration not to exceed five years. See id. Mason appealed the conviction, and this court affirmed. See id. at *11-12. In finding his trial counsel was not ineffective in failing to challenge the sufficiency of evidence regarding the stalking charge, we set forth the following findings:

In this case, Mason's course of conduct occurred for more than ten years, beginning in 1996 when Mason alarmed [the victim] Hamaker to the point that Hamaker called his wife to warn her to lock the doors. In 1999, Mason called Hamaker and threatened to shoot and kill him. In 2000, Mason shined a bright spotlight on Hamaker in the middle of the night in a field, cornered Hamaker when he was going home, and yelled and cursed at him. In 2003, Mason blocked Hamaker in his driveway and threatened him with a gun. Hamaker requested a no-contact order after this incident, which was issued by the court. In January 2008, Mason stopped in the middle of the road in front of Hamaker's tractor and approached Hamaker, swinging a pipe in a threatening manner.
Over the years, Mason also drove back and forth on the road in front of Hamaker's house for no apparent reason, making obscene gestures toward Hamaker and gunning his engine. Hamaker testified at length in regard to his fear of Mason. He explained that he took Mason's death threat seriously and feared Mason would kill him. He testified he was constantly afraid and worried about what Mason would do next, and that his fear of Mason caused him to change his daily life.
Upon our review, we find substantial evidence in the record to establish Mason's guilt. A reasonable jury could have found Mason's course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to fear death or injury to Hamaker; Mason knew or should have known his course of conduct would place Hamaker in fear of death or injury; and Hamaker was placed in fear of death or injury.

Id. at *11.

         In 2014, Mason filed an application for postconviction relief (PCR). The application was amended in 2015, and a PCR hearing was held in 2016. Following the hearing, the PCR court entered its order denying Mason's PCR application, finding Mason failed to establish his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance. Mason now appeals the PCR court's ruling, arguing his trial counsel was ...


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