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State v. Brown

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 13, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ISIAC JOSEPH BROWN, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Jeffrey L. Poulson, Judge.

         Isiac Brown appeals his conviction and sentence for second-degree theft as a habitual offender.

          Rees Conrad Douglas, Sioux City, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Benjamin M. Parrott, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Tabor and Mullins, JJ.

          VAITHESWARAN, Presiding Judge.

         Isiac Brown appeals his conviction and sentence for second-degree theft as an habitual offender.[1] He contends (1) the district court erred in finding sufficient evidence to support a conviction for second-degree theft, (2) the evidence was insufficient to support the habitual-offender enhancement, (3) his trial attorney was ineffective in failing to protect a claimed right to a jury trial on the sentencing enhancement, and (4) the sentence imposed was partially illegal.

         I. Sufficiency of the Evidence-Second-Degree Theft

         The State charged Brown with theft under Iowa Code section 714.1(4) (2015). Section 714.1(4) states a person commits theft when the person:

4. Exercises control over stolen property, knowing such property to have been stolen, or having reasonable cause to believe that such property has been stolen, unless the person's purpose is to promptly restore it to the owner or to deliver it to an appropriate public officer.

         Brown waived his right to a jury trial and was tried to the district court. The court broke down the crime into the following elements:

1.An automobile and other personal property was stolen.
2. On or about the 22nd day of September, 2015, the defendant exercised control over the property.
3. At the time, the defendant knew the property had been stolen.
4.The defendant did not intend to promptly return it to the owner or to deliver it to an appropriate public officer.

See Iowa Crim. J. Inst. 1400.13. The court made the following pertinent fact findings:

Joe Trudell . . . was hospitalized for surgery, and when he returned home, his vehicle was missing. After reporting the missing vehicle . . ., Isiac Brown returned the vehicle. Isiac told Joe Trudell that he thought the car belonged to [Trudell's roommate], who had given him permission to drive the car.
Joe Trudell informed Isiac the car was his and [his roommate] had no authority to use the car or to ...

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