from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, James
S. Heckerman, Judge.
applicant appeals the denial of postconviction relief.
Krisanne C. Weimer of Weimer Law, P.C., Council Bluffs, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Timothy M. Hau, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ.
the jury waiting, Antonio Giambo II entered a plea agreement
with the State that reduced his charge from third-degree
sexual abuse, a class "D" felony, to assault with
intent to commit sexual abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor.
Following his guilty plea and sentencing, he unsuccessfully
applied for postconviction relief (PCR) as a self-represented
now appeals the PCR court's denial of relief, claiming
trial counsel had a conflict of interest and used threats to
coerce his plea. Giambo additionally alleges his plea was
coerced based on "a conflict of interest with anyone
from the State Public Defender's office representing him
at his January 2014 [criminal] trial because they were
concurrently representing the alleged victim in other,
unrelated cases." After reviewing the record, we affirm
the PCR court's thorough and well-reasoned decision
rejecting these claims. See Iowa Ct. R. 21.26(1)(a),
second issue, Giambo asserts his PCR counsel rendered
ineffective assistance in multiple ways. Such claims are an
exception to the rules of error preservation. See Dunbar
v. State, 515 N.W.2d 12, 15 (Iowa 1994). Our review is
de novo. See Dempsey v. State, 860 N.W.2d 860, 868
(Iowa 2015). "We must now decide whether these claims
present grounds which may be addressed in this appeal or
preserved for further postconviction proceedings."
Dunbar, 515 N.W.2d at 15. Ordinarily, we preserve
such claims to allow development of the facts surrounding
counsel's conduct. See State v. Rawlings, 402
N.W.2d 406, 408 (Iowa 1987). But we may address claims where
the record is sufficiently developed to resolve them.
State v. Johnson, 784 N.W.2d 192, 198 (Iowa 2010).
Here, the record is adequate to resolve all but one of these
succeed, Giambo must establish (1) his PCR counsel failed to
perform an essential duty and (2) that failure resulted in
prejudice. See Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S.
668, 687 (1984). "Reversal is warranted only where a
claimant makes a showing of both elements."
Dempsey, 860 N.W.2d at 868. If a claimant fails to
establish one element, we need not address the other.
first faults PCR counsel for not amending the
self-represented application that failed to include a prayer
for relief. We conclude Giambo was not prejudiced by
counsel's omission because, after his PCR counsel filed a
brief addressing Giambo's claims with a specific prayer
for relief, the court considered and resolved the matters.
also contends PCR counsel failed to adequately investigate
whether plea counsel had a conflict of interest. Because we
agree with the PCR court's conclusion that this claim was
meritless, PCR counsel did not breach a duty by curtailing
further inquiry after she provided Giambo with transcripts
refuting his conflict-of-interest claim. State v.
Hoskins, 711 N.W.2d 720, 731 (Iowa 2006) (ruling counsel
is not ineffective for failing to raise meritless issues).
next asserts PCR counsel failed to identify and present
evidence on the issue of Giambo's reasonable ability to
reimburse court-appointed trial attorney fees. Because such
fee issues do not provide grounds for relief, this claim is
also meritless. See Iowa Code § 822.2(1)(g)
next complains PCR counsel failed to challenge his trial
counsel's ineffectiveness in allowing Giambo to enter a
guilty plea without a factual basis. Determining a factual
basis is a prerequisite for accepting a guilty plea. Iowa R.
Crim. P. 2.8(2)(b). Where there is no factual basis and trial
counsel allows a defendant to plead guilty, trial counsel
breaches an essential duty. State v. Schminkey, 597
N.W.2d 785, 788 (Iowa 1999). In such circumstances, we
presume prejudice. Id. In deciding if a factual
basis existed for Giambo's plea, we examine the record
before the plea court, including the minutes of testimony,
for sufficient proof supporting the conclusion Giambo
assaulted the victim with intent to commit sexual abuse.
See Iowa Code § 709.11 (2015); State v.
Keene, 630 N.W.2d 579, 581 (Iowa 2001). The record need