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State v. McElroy

Court of Appeals of Iowa

March 7, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
FELIX CECIL MCELROY, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Bremer County, Peter B. Newell, District Associate Judge.

         Felix Cecil McElroy appeals his conviction for failure to comply with sex offender registry requirements, second offense.

          Andrew C. Abbott of Abbott Law Office, P.C., Waterloo, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Linda J. Hines, Assistant Attorney General

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         Felix Cecil McElroy appeals his conviction for failure to comply with sex offender registry requirements, second offense, in violation of Iowa Code section 692A.105 and 692A.111 (2016). We find the evidence is sufficient to support a conviction. We also find McElroy's trial counsel was effective. We affirm the district court.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         McElroy was required to register as a sex offender. McElroy provided his address to the Iowa Department of Public Safety as 1118 2nd Ave. S.W. Apt. 11, an apartment complex, in Waverly, Iowa. Sergeant Paul Leisinger of the Waverly Police Department and Bremer County Deputy Sheriff Aaron Booth received information indicating McElroy was not staying at his reported residence. Deputy Booth went to McElroy's address.

         The apartment complex was comprised of two buildings, 1118 and 1120. McElroy stated he resided in 1118, but a document listing his residence put his address in the 1120 building. Deputy Booth spoke with the landlord's wife, who agreed McElroy's apartment was in 1120. Deputy Booth placed tape near the bottom of the apartment door, marked the location of the tape, and photographed it. The landlord, Mr. Swinton, testified he witnessed Deputy Booth place the tape on the correct apartment door. Deputy Booth returned to McElroy's residence five of the next seven days, and the tape remained unaltered.[1] Deputy Booth then filed a criminal complaint and obtained a warrant for McElroy's arrest.

         On June 12, 2016, McElroy was arrested by Waterloo Police Officer Jeff Dugan. The State filed a trial information on June 23 charging McElroy with failure to comply with the sex offender registry. McElroy pleaded not guilty and waived his right to a jury trial. Trial began January 27, 2107, McElroy was found guilty the same day, and on March 10, he was sentenced to five years in prison with a suspended $750 fine. McElroy now appeals.

         II. Standard of Review

         Claims that evidence is insufficient are reviewed for correction of errors at law. State v. Thomas, 847 N.W.2d 438, 442 (Iowa 2014) (quoting State v. Sanford, 814 N.W.2d 611, 615 (Iowa 2012)). We consider the entirety of the record in the light most favorable to the State, and the verdict will be upheld if it is supported by substantial evidence. See id. "Evidence that could convince a trier of fact the defendant is guilty of the crime charged beyond a reasonable doubt is substantial evidence." State v. Crone, 545 N.W.2d 267, 270 (Iowa 1996)

         Claims of ineffective assistance of counsel are reviewed de novo. Ledezma v. State, 626 N.W.2d 134, 141 (Iowa 2001). "To prevail on a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, the [defendant] must demonstrate both ineffective assistance and prejudice." Id. at 142. "If the claim lacks prejudice, it can be decided on that ground alone without deciding whether the attorney performed deficiently." Id. Both elements ...


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