from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Ian K.
Buck Jr. appeals from the denial of his application for
M. Van Daele of Van Daele Law, LLC, North Liberty, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kyle Hanson, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ.
his own misconduct, Shatani Buck Jr. blames his current
plight on his plea counsel and asks that his
felon-in-possession-of-firearm conviction be tossed. We
affirm the district court's denial of Buck's
application for postconviction (PCR) relief.
December 2012, Buck was charged by trial information with
Count I, felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of
Iowa Code section 724.26(1) (2012), a class "D"
felony; Count II, carrying weapons, in violation of section
724.4(1),  an aggravated misdemeanor; and Count III,
possession of marijuana, in violation of section
124.204(4)(m), a serious misdemeanor. Buck bonded out and was
released to the supervision of the Iowa Department of
Correctional Services (DCS). An April 2013 pretrial report of
violation indicated Buck had not reported to DCS since early
January and that he had picked up another drug possession
charge. Buck's pretrial release was rescinded, and he was
and the State reached a plea agreement. The agreement called
for Buck to plead guilty to Counts I and II. In exchange for
these guilty pleas, the State would recommend a deferred
judgment be awarded on Count I with three years of supervised
probation and a suspended civil penalty. For Count II, the
agreement was for the State to recommend 365 days in jail
with all but forty-six days being suspended, two-year's
supervised probation, and credit for twenty-five days already
served. The minimum fine would also to be suspended. Count
III would be dismissed at Buck's cost. Additionally, the
agreement called for the new drug possession charge to be
dismissed at Buck's cost. Finally, the agreement called
for Buck's release from custody to the supervision of DCS
pending sentencing on Count I after he completed serving the
unsuspended portion of the jail sentence imposed on Count II.
2013, Buck filed a written guilty plea to Count II, the
carrying-weapons offense, and was sentenced consistent with
the provisions of the plea agreement. The same day, in open
court, Buck also pled guilty to Count I, the
felon-in-possession-of-firearm offense. A presentence
investigation (PSI) report was subsequently prepared. The PSI
report recommended Buck be given a suspended prison sentence.
This recommendation was based, in part, upon Buck's
extensive juvenile and adult criminal history, despite his
young age, as well as the fact that Buck had not been
compliant during his period of pretrial release.
September 2013, Buck was sentenced on Count I, the
felon-in-possession-of-firearm offense, and despite the PSI
recommendation, Buck was granted a deferred judgment. Three
days later, Buck violated the terms of his probation on Count
II. Buck admitted his misconduct, and he was sentenced to
ninety days in jail and remained on probation.
March 2015, the State sought to revoke Buck's deferred
judgment, alleging Buck had missed and failed drug tests from
August 2014 through January 2015, and alleging new criminal
conduct by Buck. At a May 2015 hearing, Buck admitted he had
violated the terms of his probation under Count I. The
district court revoked Buck's deferred judgment,
adjudicated him guilty of the felon-in- possession-of-firearm
offense, sentenced him to an indeterminate term of
incarceration not to exceed five years, suspended
incarceration, and-yet again- placed Buck on probation. In
August 2015, after additional and repeated violations of his
probation, Buck's probation was revoked and he was sent
to prison to serve the term of incarceration the court had
suspended the previous May.
January 2016, Buck filed a pro se application for PCR relief.
His PCR counsel filed an amended application in April 2016.
Buck alleged his defense counsel, Edward Leff, failed to
adequately consult with him "regarding possible
defenses, trial strategy, penalties and other matters"
and that, as a result, his plea was unknowing and