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State v. Smith

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 2, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DAJOUR LYDELL SMITH, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Webster County, Angela L. Doyle, District Associate Judge.

         Dajour Smith appeals his convictions following guilty pleas to the charges of indecent contact with a child and failure to comply with the sex offender registry. AFFIRMED.

          Amy M. Moore of Mid-Iowa Mediation and Law PLLC, Ames, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Timothy M. Hau, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.

          MULLINS, JUDGE.

         Dajour Smith pled guilty to indecent contact with a child and failure to comply with the sex offender registry. On appeal, he claims he did not voluntarily or knowingly waive his right of allocution and the district court failed to advise him that his right must be exercised upon inquiry or it would otherwise be waived. He also contends the district court abused its discretion by imposing an excessive sentence by ordering consecutive prison sentences.

         I. Background Facts and Prior Proceedings

         On April 28, 2017, Smith was charged by trial information with failure to comply with the sex offender registry, an aggravated misdemeanor, in violation of Iowa Code sections 692A.104, .108, and .111 (2017). The requirement to register stemmed from Smith's conviction on December 12, 2016, of indecent exposure. On May 15, 2017, Smith was also charged by trial information with indecent contact with a child, an aggravated misdemeanor, in violation of Iowa Code section 709.12(1)(b) based upon an incident occurring on or about June 25, 2016, in which Smith allegedly touched the clothing covering the immediate area of the buttock of a child while at a Wal-Mart.

         On June 20, Smith filed signed written guilty pleas in each case. The guilty plea forms do not specifically detail the entirety of the plea agreement. However, each written plea agreement noted that Smith would be sentenced to a prison term of two years on each charge, to be served concurrently. On June 26, Smith filed a letter addressed to the court asking for leniency in which he described his home life with his girlfriend and daughter as well as his previous work experience.

         On July 31, a plea and sentencing hearing was held during which the court acknowledged that it had received Smith's written guilty pleas in each of the cases. Because of the nature of the charges, the court held a guilty-plea colloquy in open court. The State detailed the plea agreement on the record and stated the parties both recommended that Smith serve two indeterminate two-year prison terms for the aggravated misdemeanors, to be served concurrently, associated fines and surcharges would be suspended, and Smith would be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

         After a thorough plea colloquy and before accepting Smith's plea, the court explained to Smith that it was not required to sentence him as agreed to by the parties and could impose consecutive sentences. The court asked him several times if he still wished to plead guilty, to which Smith responded in the affirmative and acknowledged that he understood.

         After accepting Smith's guilty plea, the court proceeded with immediate sentencing, per Smith's request, and sentenced Smith to an indeterminate two-year prison term for each count to be served consecutively. Smith was also sentenced to a ten-year special sentence ...


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