from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Karen A. Romano
(plea) and Paul D. Scott (sentencing), Judges.
defendant appeals his indeterminate forty-five-year prison
sentence following his guilty pleas to six current offenses
and the revocation of his probation for six prior
Jessica A. Millage of Flanagan Law Group, Des Moines, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kelli A. Huser, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and McDonald, JJ.
district court sentenced Christopher Hanson to a prison term
not to exceed forty-five years. Hanson raises two challenges
related to his sentence. First, he claims his attorney should
have asked to postpone the sentencing hearing after the State
revealed Hanson's no-contact-order violations. Second,
Hanson contends the district court-when revoking his
probation for prior felony convictions-abused its discretion
by not considering the possibility of imposing concurrent,
rather than consecutive, sentences for those offenses.
Hanson cannot show his attorney breached a duty by not
seeking a continuance or that prejudice resulted, his claim
of ineffective assistance of counsel fails. As for his second
claim, because Hanson's direct appeal reaches only the
new offenses, we lack jurisdiction to consider the sentence
tied to the probation revocation.
Facts and Prior Proceedings
and E.F. have a child in common and lived together. After
Hanson assaulted E.F., she left their shared residence and
moved in with her parents. Hanson did not "take the
break up well" and threatened to kill E.F. at her
parents' home in September 2015. Out of an abundance of
caution, E.F. went to stay with her grandparents and was not
at her parents' home during the following incident:
Around 9 p.m., E.F.'s father was making sure their doors
and windows were locked when he smelled cigarette smoke.
Nobody in the family smoked. Checking for the source, the
father found Hanson hiding in a bedroom closet in the
basement. Hanson-armed with a large knife-pushed the father
and ran out the door. Inside the closet, E.F.'s parents
found a duffle bag stuffed with cash and jewelry belonging to
connection with this incident, the State originally charged
Hanson with first-degree burglary, a class "B"
felony, in violation of Iowa Code sections 713.1 and 713.3
(2015). The court issued a no-contact order protecting E.F.
and members of her family. The matter was set for trial in
January 2017, and a jury was selected. But before the State
presented evidence, it reached a plea agreement with Hanson.
Hanson entered Alford pleas to five offenses: (1)
second-degree burglary, a class "C" felony, in
violation of Iowa Code sections 713.1 and 713.5; (2) assault
while participating in a felony, a class "D"
felony, in violation of sections 708.1(2)(b) and 708.3; (3)
first-degree harassment, an aggravated misdemeanor, in
violation of section 708.7(1) and (2); (4) third-degree
theft, an aggravated misdemeanor, in violation of sections
714.1 and 714.2(3); and (5) fourth-degree criminal mischief,
a serious misdemeanor, in violation of sections 716.1 and
716.6. He also pleaded guilty to a sixth crime-suborning
perjury, a class "D" felony, in violation of
plea-taking court informed Hanson he could face up to
twenty-five years in prison for the six counts. At the time
of the plea hearing, Hanson was on probation and faced
another thirty years in prison if his probation was revoked-
for a maximum prison term of fifty-five years. Under the plea
agreement, the parties planned to jointly recommend
consecutive terms, which would be suspended; Hanson would be
on probation for five years, and as a condition of his
probation, he would receive treatment at Bridges of Iowa, a
substance-abuse program. The plea order provided, "On
any new criminal charge or violation of this order,
established by a preponderance of evidence, the State is not
bound by this agreement."
sentencing hearing, the prosecutor told the court Hanson
"decided to throw this plea deal away" by violating
the criminal protective order 296 times since the plea
hearing. The prosecutor then shared the two options he had
presented to Hanson: (1) the State could charge 296 counts of
violating the no-contact order and ask for sentencing to be
continued or (2) Hanson could admit repeatedly calling E.F.
from the Polk County jail, knowing she was the protected
party, thereby relieving the State of its obligation to
recommend probation under the plea agreement. Under the
second option, the State agreed to forego filing new charges.
Hanson decided to acknowledge that he violated the no-contact
order by calling E.F. on the telephone.
prosecutor recommended the six sentences run consecutively
for a total period of incarceration not to exceed twenty-five
years. The prosecutor noted Hanson was on probation for
"six class 'D' felonies, five forgeries, and one
theft, second." The prosecutor continued, "When the
first time we had thirty years hanging around this
defendant's neck at the time that he got out of jail, and
what did he do? He continued to use drugs and continued to
commit crimes. That sentence did not deter Mr. Hanson
whatsoever." The State also asked the district court ...