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State v. Cramblit

Court of Appeals of Iowa

October 25, 2017

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
LOREN PATRICK CRAMBLIT, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, William P. Kelly (guilty plea) and Robert B. Hanson (sentencing), Judges.

         Defendant appeals his conviction for criminal mischief in the third degree.

          William L. Kutmus and Trever T. Hook of Kutmus, Pennington & Hook, P.C., West Des Moines, for appellant.

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

          Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, Judge.

         Loren Cramblit appeals his conviction for criminal mischief in the third degree. We find Cramblit has not preserved error on his claim there was not a sufficient factual basis in the record to support his guilty plea. We also find Cramblit did not receive an illegal sentence. We affirm Cramblit's conviction and sentence.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         According to the minutes of testimony, Cramblit rented a home from Shane O'Malley in West Des Moines. In February 2016, O'Malley went to the property and found it had been vandalized. Police officers investigated the incident and concluded Cramblit was involved in the damage to the property. Cramblit was charged with criminal mischief in the first degree.

         Cramblit entered into a plea agreement in which he agreed to plead guilty to the lesser included offense of criminal mischief in the third degree, in violation of Iowa Code section 716.5 (2016), an aggravated misdemeanor. Cramblit signed a written plea agreement, which was filed on June 7, 2016. The district court accepted his plea. Before sentencing, Cramblit filed a motion in arrest of judgment, claiming his plea was not knowing and voluntary because he was not fully apprised of the consequences of his plea. The court granted the motion in arrest of judgment.

         On November 10, 2016, Cramblit filed a new written guilty plea to third-degree criminal mischief. The written plea stated, "I admit I did the following: on January 27, 2016, in Polk Co., Iowa, I did intentionally deface a wall w/spray paint in a rental home in Polk Co. causing more than $500 in damage but less than $1000." The written plea also requested the court to accept as true the minutes of testimony to further establish the factual basis for the plea. The court accepted Cramblit's plea. Cramblit was sentenced to 365 days in jail, with all but thirty days suspended, and placed on probation. Cramblit now appeals his conviction.

         II. Guilty Plea

         Cramblit claims the district court should not have accepted his guilty plea because there was not an adequate factual basis in the record for the plea. "The district court may not accept a guilty plea without first determining that the plea has a factual basis." State v. Schminkey, 597 N.W.2d 785, 788 (Iowa 1999); see also Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.8(2)(b). We review challenges to a guilty plea for the correction of errors at law. State v. Keene, 629 N.W.2d 360, 363 (Iowa 2001).

         The State claims Cramblit did not preserve error on this issue because he did not file a motion in arrest of judgment. See Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.24(3)(a) ("A defendant's failure to challenge the adequacy of a guilty plea proceeding by motion in arrest of judgment shall preclude the ...


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