from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Randy V.
defendant appeals his conviction for willful injury causing
serious injury alleging his attorney was ineffective in a
number of respects. AFFIRMED.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Stephan J. Japuntich,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Timothy M. Hau, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., Tabor, J., and Scott, S.J.
Chinberg appeals his conviction for willful injury causing
serious injury, in violation of Iowa Code section 708.4(1)
(2016). On appeal, he asserts counsel was ineffective in
failing (1) to object to a jury instruction regarding his
out-of-court statements to the sheriff deputies, (2) to
object to the State's impeachment of his chief defense
witness with the witness's prior conviction, (3) to
object to the State's questions to the sheriff deputies
that he contends improperly shifted the burden of proof to
the defense. Because we conclude Chinberg cannot prove
prejudice, we reject his ineffective-assistance claims and
affirm his conviction.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
March 6, 2016, Chinberg, along with his adult son, Colt, and
other acquaintances, went to the house of Tom Talsma to
confront Talsma about Talsma's treatment of
Chinberg's grandson. An altercation ensued, and Talsma
was seriously injured in the fight.
were brought against Chinberg and others, and the matter
proceeded to a jury trial against Chinberg in September 2016.
Witnesses to the fight testified for the State that Chinberg
participated in the beating of Talsma. Witnesses for the
defense testified the fight was just between Chinberg's
son and Talsma, and Chinberg did not join in the fray. The
jury returned a verdict of guilty as charged, and the court
sentenced Chinberg to ten years in prison. He appeals
asserting his counsel was ineffective in a number of ways.
II. Scope and Standard of Review.
review ineffective assistance claims de novo as they
implicate a defendant's constitutional rights under the
Sixth Amendment. State v. Clay, 824 N.W.2d 488, 494
We ordinarily preserve such claims for postconviction relief
proceedings. "That is particularly true where the
challenged actions of counsel implicate trial tactics or
strategy which might be explained in a record fully developed
to address those issues." We will resolve the claims on
direct appeal only when the record is adequate.
Id. (citations omitted). We determine the record is
adequate to resolve Chinberg's claims on direct appeal.
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel.
prove a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, Chinberg
must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that counsel
failed to perform an essential duty and he suffered prejudice
as a result. State v. Thorndike, 860 N.W.2d 316, 320
(Iowa 2015). "Unless a defendant makes both showings, it
cannot be said that the conviction . . . resulted from a
breakdown in the adversary process that renders the result
unreliable." Id. (citation omitted). Thus, if
we conclude Chinberg failed to prove he was prejudiced by the
inaction of counsel, we need not address whether counsel
performed deficiently. See id.
prove prejudice, Chinberg must prove "counsel's
errors were so serious as to deprive [him] of a fair
trial." See id. He must show "there is a
reasonable probability that, but for counsel's
unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would
have been different." See id. (citation
omitted). "A reasonable probability is a probability
sufficient to undermine confidence in the outcome."