from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mary E. Howes,
defendant appeals an order requiring him to pay restitution.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Shellie L. Knipfer,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kelli A. Huser, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Tabor, P.J., McDonald, J., and Scott, S.J.
appeal of a restitution order, we are asked to resolve
whether it is foreseeable that police officers would end a
high-speed chase of the van driven by Darryl Shears by
hitting his van with their police vehicles. Because we find
such actions foreseeable, we affirm the restitution order.
February 11, 2016, the City of Davenport filed a restitution
claim for $7093.88 for damages to the police vehicles
sustained during the officers' efforts to stop the van
Shears was driving. In April 2016, the State and Shears
entered into a plea agreement, and Shears agreed to plead
guilty to a lesser-included eluding charge and second-degree
criminal mischief as charged.
April 8, 2016 plea hearing, Shears admitted to intentionally
damaging other people's property in excess of $1000 and
failing to stop when signaled to do so by a uniformed officer
in a marked patrol car using flashing lights and sirens while
exceeding twenty-five miles per hour. The court deferred
acceptance of the pleas pending receipt of a presentence
investigation report and set sentencing for May 19, 2016. But
before the hearing, Shears filed a motion in arrest of
judgment on May 4, asking the court to set aside his pleas
and claiming he was not aware "of the potential
consequence [of] restitution for both counts." After the
May hearing on his motion, the court found Shears had
"buyer's remorse" and denied relief.
26, 2016, the court sentenced Shears to five-year and
two-year consecutive, indeterminate terms of incarceration.
The court also required "a victim restitution hearing be
held within the next [thirty] days." At that August 24
hearing, Shears did not challenge the dollar amount of
restitution, only whether he was responsible for paying it.
The court's September 16, 2016 restitution order required
Shears to pay "$7093.88 for damage to Davenport Police
Squad Cars. The squad cars were damaged when the police were
chasing [Shears] by car for his eluding and criminal mischief
crimes, which he later" pled to and was sentenced on.
filed a pro se notice of appeal on September 28, 2016. On
February 1, 2017, the supreme court's order noted Shears
had timely appealed the September 16, 2016 restitution order
and granted Shears a delayed appeal from the July 26, 2016
sentencing order, combining the appeals under the same docket
restitution proceeding, if we find no error of law, we are
bound by the district court's factual findings if they
are supported by substantial evidence. See State v.
Bonstetter, 637 N.W.2d 161, 165 (Iowa 2001). Restitution
connotes "compensating the victim for loss, " and
it "forces the offender to answer directly for the
consequences of his or her actions." Id. The
rationale for a restitution order under Iowa criminal law
"is similar to the rationale of tort under civil
law." Id. Iowa law requires restitution to be
ordered in all criminal cases in which the defendant pleads
guilty. See Iowa Code § 910.2 (2015).
damages that are causally related to the criminal activities
may be included in the restitution order."
Bonstetter, 637 N.W.2d at 168. Thus, in calculating
the amount of restitution, the court "must find a causal
connection between the established criminal act and the
injuries to the victim" by a preponderance of the
evidence. Id.; State v. Holmberg, 449
N.W.2d 276, 377 (Iowa 1989) (noting the same restitution
appeal and citing to cases from Wisconsin, Shears argues his
"act of eluding itself did not cause the damage" to
the police vehicles. "Instead, it was the actions of the
Davenport police" "in carrying out their attempts
to stop him" that caused the "damage to the police
vehicles." See State v. Haase, 716 N.W.2d 526,
527, 530 (Wisc. Ct. App. 2006) (denying restitution where
officer drove squad car into field during pursuit, officer
stopped car without incident to pursue defendant on foot, and
officer's car subsequently burst into flames); State
v. Storlie, 647 N.W.2d 926, 929 (Wisc. Ct. App. 2002)
(denying restitution for the cost of destroyed "stop
sticks" utilized to end high-speed chase ...