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Brown v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

May 16, 2018

DAVEONE RASHAD BROWN, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B. Hanson, Judge.

         Daveone Brown appeals from the denial of his application for postconviction relief.

          Britt Gagne of Gagne Law Office, Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kelli A. Huser, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Vogel, P.J., Doyle, J., and Mahan, S.J. [*]

          MAHAN, SENIOR JUDGE.

         Daveone Brown was convicted of second-degree robbery for taking $1277 from the victim while his codefendant threatened the victim. On appeal, we found substantial evidence supported the conviction. State v. Brown, No. 14-0055, 2015 WL 2393440, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. May 20, 2015) (noting the victim "reported Brown and Andrew Buchanan had robbed her of $1277" and "stated a gun was held to her head and one of the men threatened to kill her if she called the police, " and citing the opinion regarding Brown's codefendant, State v. Buchanan, No. 13-1999, 2015 WL 162028, at *2 (Iowa Ct. App. Jan. 14, 2015), which stated "the evidence at trial shows [the victim] told two officers responding to her call that Buchanan held a gun to her head and said, 'This is a stickup, Bitch, ' while Brown took her money").

         Brown thereafter filed this application for postconviction relief (PCR), contending, in part, trial counsel was ineffective in failing to request a jury instruction defining theft. The district court denied the application, and Brown now appeals.

         "Generally, an appeal from a denial of an application for postconviction relief is reviewed for correction of errors at law." Perez v. State, 816 N.W.2d 354, 356 (Iowa 2012) (citation omitted). However, claims of a constitutional nature, such as 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 applicant must demonstrate both ineffective assistance and prejudice. Both elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. However, both elements do not always need to be addressed. If the claim lacks prejudice, it can be decided on that ground alone without deciding whether the attorney performed deficiently.

Id. at 142 (citations omitted). To establish prejudice, the applicant must affirmatively prove "that there is a reasonable probability that, but for counsel's unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different." Lamasters v. State, 821 N.W.2d 856, 866 (Iowa 2012) (citation omitted).

         Brown was charged with first-degree robbery. At trial, the jury was instructed:

The State must prove all of the following elements of robbery in the first degree as to defendant Daveone Rashad Brown:
(1) On or about the 28th day of January, 2013, the defendant Daveone Rashad Brown, or someone he aided and abetted, had the ...

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