KEITH C. WALKER, Applicant-Appellant,
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.
from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Bradley
J. Harris, Judge.
applicant appeals from the district court's denial of his
application to reinstate his postconviction-relief action.
Deck of Deck Law, L.L.P., Sioux City, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Potterfield and Bower, JJ.
1990, Keith Walker was convicted of first degree murder and
sentenced to serve a life term in prison. The supreme court
affirmed his conviction on direct appeal two years later, and
procedendo issued in April 1992.
filed a timely application for postconviction relief (PCR) in
July 1994. Walker maintained, among other things, that he had
information that "several jurors were biased, "
including purported information about one juror who stated
she never associated with minorities and two other jurors who
had knowledge of the case before trial. He also claimed the
prosecutor failed to "relinquish" two pieces of
hearing on Walker's PCR application was originally
scheduled for October 1994. Walker's counsel filed a
motion to continue, and the court granted the motion,
stating, "[T]his matter is removed from the assignment
of October 27, 1994, and shall be reset upon application of
the attorney for the plaintiff."
March 1995, the court set the hearing for July 1995.
the court filed an order appointing Walker a new attorney.
August 1, Walker's new attorney was sent notice that the
case would be dismissed for want of prosecution if it was not
tried prior to January 1, 1996. The only person listed in the
"to" section of the notice was Walker's
attorney. It is unclear from the record before us why the
July hearing did not take place as had been previously
new attorney took no action, and the case was dismissed
pursuant to Iowa Rule of Civil Procedure 215.1 (now rule
December 1996, Walker filed a pro se application for
reinstatement of his PCR action. He maintained that the
counsel who was appointed in May 1995 had never directly
communicated with him about his case. He also stated that he
was told by his co-defendant's counsel that appointed
counsel had stated he was no longer representing Walker. It
was only when Walked filed a pro se motion for appointment
for new counsel in ...