Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Dearborn

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 24, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
LAVERN DEARBORN, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Fayette County, John J. Bauercamper, Judge.

         Laverne Dearborn appeals from his convictions and sentences for the offenses of possession of a controlled substance within a jail, and burglary in the third degree.

          John J. Bishop, Cedar Rapids, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Thomas J. Ogden, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.

          DOYLE, JUDGE.

         Laverne Dearborn appeals from his convictions and sentences for the offenses of possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) within a jail and burglary in the third degree, both class "D" felonies. He contends his trial counsel was ineffective in permitting him to plead guilty to burglary in the third degree when the record did not support a factual basis for the charge. Dearborn also contends that, because the district court did not adequately inform him of the nature of the charges as required by Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.8(2)(b), his plea was not knowingly and voluntarily made and his trial counsel was therefore ineffective in permitting him to plead guilty to both charges. Upon our review, we vacate the conviction on the burglary charge and remand for further proceedings.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         On December 29, 2016, a resident of Arlington, Iowa reported to the Fayette County Sheriff's Office that she observed two persons enter and remove items from an abandoned house that had been condemned by the city.[1] Following the report, a deputy contacted the mayor, who confirmed the city did not grant anyone permission to enter the property or to remove items. Deputies located Dearborn in a residence next door to the abandoned house. In a conversation with the deputies, Dearborn admitted to entering the abandoned house and to removing several items. Dearborn was arrested for burglary and transported to the Fayette County Jail.

         Upon arrival at the Fayette County Jail, Dearborn was twice asked, once by a deputy and once by a jailer, if he possessed any guns, knives, drugs, or other contraband on him, to which he replied "no." Dearborn was taken to a booking area. A detention officer searched Dearborn and found two bags of marijuana in his front pockets.

         Dearborn was charged by trial information with introducing, possessing, and/or conveying a controlled substance (marijuana) into or within a jail (Count I), in violation of Iowa Code section 719.7 (2016), and burglary in the third degree (Count II), in violation of section 713.6A. Dearborn initially entered a plea of not guilty. The State then filed a motion to amend the trial information to allege Dearborn was a habitual offender.[2] Following a plea agreement, the State agreed to withdraw the habitual-offender sentencing enhancement and to recommend imposition of suspended, consecutive sentences with probation. On April 5, 2017, Dearborn appeared before the district court and entered Alford pleas on the marijuana and burglary charges.[3]

         During the plea hearing, the court inquired into the terms of the plea agreement. The State noted that part of the reason for the plea agreement was its concern over whether the structure Dearborn entered "would be considered an occupied structure or not." Dearborn's trial counsel mirrored the same concerns stating, "I was concerned that there may not be a factual basis for a plea" but ultimately believed there was a factual basis for the plea "inasmuch as the house was a place for safekeeping of valuables."

         The district court accepted Dearborn's pleas to both the marijuana and burglary charges, finding that a factual basis for the pleas existed and that the pleas were knowingly and voluntarily made. Dearborn requested immediate sentencing, and the court ordered Dearborn to serve a term not to exceed five years in prison on each charge. The prison sentences were suspended, and Dearborn was placed on supervised probation for a term of two-to-five years. The court ordered that if the prison sentences were later imposed, they would be served consecutive to each other.

         Dearborn appeals. He contends his trial counsel was ineffective in permitting him to plead guilty to third-degree burglary when the record did not support a factual basis for that charge. Dearborn also contends his trial counsel was ineffective in permitting him to plead guilty to both charges because his pleas were not intelligently and voluntarily made because the district court did not adequately inform him of the nature of the charges required by rule 2.8(2)(b).

         II. Standard of Review.

         We review ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims, which are rooted in the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, de novo. See State v. Thorndike, 860 N.W.2d 316, 319 (Iowa 2015); State v. Finney, 834 N.W.2d 46, 49 (Iowa 2013); see also Everett v. State, 789 N.W.2d 151, 159 (Iowa 2010). "In a criminal case, an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim 'need not be raised on direct appeal from the criminal proceedings in order to preserve the claim for postconviction relief purposes.'" Everett, 789 N.W.2d at 156 (quoting Iowa Code § 814.7(1)). However, such claims may be raised on direct appeal when the record is adequate to permit a ruling. See Finney, 834 N.W.2d at 49; State v. Willis, 696 N.W.2d 20, 22 (Iowa 2005). The record here allows us to review Dearborn's ineffective-assistance claims on direct appeal.

         III. Discussion.

         A. Lack of Factual Basis-Burglary Charge.

         Dearborn argues his trial counsel was ineffective for allowing him to plead guilty to burglary in the third degree without a factual basis. Dearborn entered an Alford plea to the charge of burglary in the third degree. He claims the minutes of testimony provided no evidence that he entered an "occupied structure, " a necessary element of the burglary offense.

         To succeed on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, Dearborn must demonstrate "(1) his trial counsel failed to perform an essential duty, and (2) this failure resulted in prejudice." State v. Straw, 709 N.W.2d 128, 133 (Iowa 2006) (quoting Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984)). "Where a factual basis for a charge does not exist, and trial counsel allows the defendant to plead guilty anyway, counsel has failed to perform an essential duty." State v. Schminkey, 597 N.W.2d 785, 788 (Iowa 1999). In such a case, prejudice is inherent. See id.

         Before accepting a plea of guilty, the court must determine the plea has a factual basis. See Iowa R. Crim. P. 2.8(2)(b); State v. Sisco, 169 N.W.2d 542, 548 (Iowa 1969). "This requirement exists even where the plea is an Alford plea." Schminkey, 597 N.W.2d at 788. "The factual basis must be contained in the record, and the record, as a whole, must disclose facts to satisfy all elements of the offense." State v. Ortiz, 789 N.W.2d 761, 767-68 (Iowa 2010). A factual basis may be determined from (1) statements of the defendant; (2) statements of the prosecutor; (3) examination of the presentence report; and (4) the minutes of evidence. See id. at 768; State v. Schminkey, 597 N.W.2d 785, 788 (Iowa 1999). We need only be satisfied the facts support the crime, "not necessarily that the defendant is guilty." State v. Keene, 630 N.W.2d 579, 581 (Iowa ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.