from the Iowa District Court for Cerro Gordo County, DeDra L.
Schroeder, Judge (postconviction), and Annette L. Boehlje,
District Associate Judge (plea and sentencing).
Hopkins appeals the dismissal of his first
M. Mclntee, Waterloo, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
VAITHESWARAN, PRESIDING JUDGE.
E. Hopkins pled guilty to willful injury resulting in bodily
injury. See Iowa Code § 708.4(2) (2013). This
court affirmed his judgment on direct appeal. See State
v. Hopkins, No. 14-0916, 2015 WL 1331682, at *1-2 (Iowa
Ct. App. Mar. 25, 2015).
filed an application for postconviction relief (PCR) raising
several ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims. Following
trial, the district court denied the application. The court
also denied a post-trial motion.
appeal, Hopkins contends his plea attorney was ineffective in
(A) failing to ensure he understood the plea agreement and
the effect of entering a guilty plea, (B) failing to pursue
or investigate a potential claim of self-defense, (C) failing
to object to an incorrect criminal history in a presentence
investigation report and a comment in the criminal history,
and (D) failing to request recusal of the sentencing judge.
He also contends his PCR attorney was ineffective in failing
to address his self-defense claim by deposing the person he
injured and calling that person as a witness at the PCR
trial. Hopkins was required to establish counsel breached an
essential duty and prejudice resulted. See Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687(1984).
argues his guilty plea was not knowing, intelligent, or
voluntary because he thought he was pleading guilty to other
crimes with which he was charged. On our de novo review of
the record, we are unpersuaded by his assertion.
prosecutor committed the proposed plea agreement to paper.
His letter outlined the charge in the pending case as well as
the proposed reduction in the charge. The letter also
outlined misdemeanor charges in other cases and the
prosecutor's proposed reduction of those charges. Hopkins
signed and initialed a written guilty plea agreement in the
pending case. In accord with the letter, the agreement left
no doubt about the pending offense, identifying it as willful
injury causing bodily injury, a Class "D" felony.
plea hearing, the prosecutor explained that the plea
agreement "actually encompasse[d] three cases" but
two were "already . . . taken care of." In the
pending case, the prosecutor stated he agreed to amend the
charge of willful injury resulting in serious injury to the
lesser crime of willful injury resulting in bodily injury in
exchange for Hopkins' guilty plea. Hopkins acknowledged
his understanding of the elements and penalties associated
with the offense as well as the rights he was giving up. He
also affirmed his knowledge of other pending charges that
were not in front of the court. He described the facts
underlying the charge to which he was pleading, stated ...