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Kirkland v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

September 13, 2017

DEANTHONY D. KIRKLAND, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Kellyann M. Lekar, Judge.

         Deanthony Kirkland appeals the district court's denial of his applications for postconviction relief. AFFIRMED.

          Angela L. Campbell of Dickey & Campbell Law Firm, P.L.C., Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Genevieve Reinkoester, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Mullins, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.

          BOWER, Judge.

         Deanthony Kirkland appeals the district court's denial of his two applications for postconviction relief. We find Kirkland's trial counsel was ineffective by failing to timely file an appeal but the underlying claim that the traffic stop was pretextual has no merit. Additionally, we find Kirkland's counsel was not ineffective for failing to: (1) file a motion to suppress, (2) object during opening statements, (3) object to the admissibility of a gun found in Kirkland's home, and (4) object to the same judge presiding at both the underlying criminal trial and the postconviction hearing. We affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         On October 7, 2012, Kirkland, along with other individuals, robbed a group of people in a Waterloo apartment. The apartment residents identified Kirkland as a pizza delivery driver who had delivered pizza earlier in the night. Officers determined Kirkland's identity and waited outside Kirkland's residence. When Kirkland left, the officers noticed Kirkland's vehicle did not have a license plate or a functioning license plate lamp and the temporary paper tag was not clearly displayed. After Kirkland was stopped, officers discussed the equipment violations with him, and began to ask questions about the robbery. They informed Kirkland they were in the process of securing a search warrant for his home. Kirkland stated he had a non-operable handgun in his bedroom. Officers also searched the vehicle and found marijuana.

         Kirkland filed a motion to suppress the gun discovered in his apartment and his statements about the gun. No motion to suppress was filed concerning the vehicle stop. The district court denied the motion. Kirkland proceeded to trial, and was convicted of first degree robbery, in violation of Iowa Code section 711.2 (2011), first degree theft, in violation of Iowa Code section 714.2(1), and carrying weapons, in violation of Iowa Code section 724.4. On February 25, 2013, Kirkland was sentenced to a period of incarceration not to exceed twenty five years for the robbery, ten years for the theft, and two years for carrying weapons, to run concurrently. On April 23, Kirkland pled guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, in violation of Iowa Code section 124.401(d) and was sentenced to five years of incarceration to run concurrently with the robbery case.

         Kirkland appealed his convictions for robbery, theft, and carrying weapons, which were affirmed on March 12, 2014. See State v. Kirkland, No. 13-0980, 2014 WL 970043, at *5 (Iowa Ct. App. Mar. 12, 2014). On August 27, Kirkland filed for postconviction relief (PCCV125656). The State filed a motion to dismiss claiming Kirkland was precluded from raising the issues he had already raised on direct appeal. Kirkland's counsel was directed to file an amended petition. Counsel failed to do so, and the district court dismissed portions of the postconviction action. A hearing on the merits was held, and his application was denied April 11, 2016.

         On July 10, 2015, Kirkland filed a postconviction relief action on the possession of marijuana with intent to distribute case (PCCV127705). Kirkland's application was denied on December 7, 2015, as the petition was not verified and Kirkland had discharged his sentence related to the charge. Kirkland filed a notice of appeal for both postconviction actions on April 13, 2016.

         II. Standard of Review

         "The standard of review on appeal from the denial of postconviction relief is for errors at law." McLaughlin v. State, 533 N.W.2d 546, 547 (Iowa 1995). However, "[w]hen there is an alleged denial of constitutional rights, . . . we make our own evaluation of the totality of the circumstances in a de novo review." Id. Claims of ineffective assistance of counsel are reviewed de novo. Ledezma v. State, 626 N.W.2d 134, 141 (Iowa 2001). "To prevail on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, the [defendant] must demonstrate both ineffective assistance and prejudice." Id. at 142. "If the claim lacks prejudice, it can be decided on that ground alone without deciding whether the ...


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