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State v. Mathews

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 2, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JESSIE MATHEWS, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Andrea J. Dryer, Judge.

         A defendant appeals his conviction for first-degree robbery.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Shellie L. Knipfer, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Darrel Mullins, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

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

          BOWER, Judge.

         Jessie Mathews appeals his conviction for first-degree robbery, in violation of Iowa Code sections 711.1 and 711.2 (2013). Mathews claims he received ineffective assistance of counsel and the district court abused its discretion by imposing consecutive sentences. We find the district court did not abuse its discretion and preserve Mathews's claim of ineffective assistance for postconviction proceedings. We affirm the district court.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings

         Mathews lived with his girlfriend, Monica Bray. On April 23, 2014, Mathews and two others left Bray's house. Bray asked where they were going. Mathews told her not to worry and that he was getting some money. Around 11:30 p.m., Mathews and the others entered a Burger King, held two employees at gun point, beat one of the employees, and stole $944. When Mathews returned to Bray's house, they began to argue. He called her ungrateful and threw money at her.

         On April 28, Mathews assaulted Bray. Although she suffered no visible injuries she was taken to the hospital as she was pregnant. Bray's friend informed police Bray had information regarding the Burger King robbery. Bray was interviewed and told police Mathews admitted to the robbery. She also revealed details of the crime not released to the public.

         Mathews was charged by trial information on November 24, 2015. Trial began February 21, 2017. Bray testified against Mathews at trial. Prior to her testimony, defense counsel read a statement into the record noting the State agreed not to file charges against Bray in relation to the Burger King robbery or another robbery, referred to as the Craigslist robbery, if she agreed to testify. Trial counsel stated he wished to make a complete record if he needed to impeach Bray's testimony.

         Testimony showed Bray would not be charged with no-contact order violations, any criminal conduct arising from the Burger King robbery, and another incident involving Mathews. During cross-examination defense counsel asked a series of questions about the charges the State had agreed not to file. During the course of the questioning defense counsel made statements implying Mathews was involved in the Craigslist robbery.

         Mathews was found guilty February 27. On March 27, the district court sentenced Mathews to twenty five years in prison to be served consecutively to other convictions in Black Hawk County, Iowa, and Lake County, Indiana. Mathews now appeals.

         II. ...


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