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State v. Gilliland

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 24, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ROBERT WILLIAM GILLILAND, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Winneshiek County, David P. Odekirk, Judge.

         Robert Gilliland appeals his convictions for possession of methamphetamine, third offense, possessing pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture, and possessing lithium with intent to manufacture.

          Les M. Blair III of Blair & Fitzsimmons, P.C., Dubuque, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Zachary C. Miller, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         Robert Gilliland appeals his convictions for possession of methamphetamine, third offense, in violation of Iowa Code section 124.401(5) (2017); possessing pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture, in violation of Iowa Code section 124.401(4)(b); and possessing lithium with intent to manufacture, in violation of Iowa Code section 124.401(4)(f). We find the district court did not abuse its discretion by sentencing Gilliland to five years in prison. We preserve Gilliland's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel for possible postconviction proceedings. We affirm Gilliland's convictions.

         I. Background Facts and Procedures

         On April 2, 2016, the Decorah Police Department received a call about a suspicious purchase of a lye-based drain cleaner. After purchasing the lye, Gilliland and a woman he was with left the store and drove away in a blue van. A Decorah police officer responded to the call, located the van, and stopped it for equipment violations. The woman was driving the van, Gilliland sat in the passenger seat, and two young children sat in the back seats.

         The woman was arrested for operating while intoxicated, and the officer decided to impound the van. The officer asked Gilliland to exit the vehicle. Gilliland appeared agitated, nervous, and shaky. He handed the officer a box of Claritin-D. The officer asked Gilliland to empty his pockets, but Gilliland refused. Gilliland reached inside his jacket and placed or moved something. The officer noted this, and Gilliland allowed the officer to remove the item. It was an M&M package with electrical tape along the bottom. Gilliland allowed the officer to pat him down. The officer did and found a metal tin, which he removed from Gilliland's pocket. Gilliland then revoked his consent to be searched. The officer placed Gilliland in handcuffs, and, found a key, a pocketknife, and several baggies containing white powder on Gilliland. When the metal tin was opened it contained white powder residue. Both substances were later confirmed to be methamphetamine.

         Inside the van the officer found two bottles of lye-based drain cleaner, a package of pseudoephedrine, two packages of lithium batteries, and coffee filters with methamphetamine residue on them. Gilliland admitted he used methamphetamine and informed the officer he did not like to buy methamphetamine but preferred to make and use his own.

         On February 21, 2017, Gilliland appeared and plead guilty to possessing methamphetamine, third offense, possessing pseudoephedrine with intent to manufacture, and possessing lithium with intent to manufacture. He requested probation in order to pursue substance-abuse treatment. On April 18, Gilliland was sentenced. The State argued for suspended concurrent five-year prison sentences with two to five years of probation. Gilliland made the same request.

         The district court noted it had considered the plea agreement, the nature of the offense, Gilliland's age, prior criminal record, employment, family circumstances and "other matters outlined in the Presentence Investigation Report." Focusing on Gilliland's lengthy criminal record the district court sentenced him to five years in prison on each count to be served concurrently. Gilliland filed his appeal on April 26.

         II. ...


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