from the Iowa District Court for Johnson County, Marsha
appeals his conviction for possession of a controlled
substance (marijuana) with intent to deliver.
C. Meyer, Cedar Rapids, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
Eatman appeals his conviction for possession of a controlled
substance (marijuana) with intent to deliver. We find there
is a sufficient factual basis to support Eatman's guilty
plea. Because there is a sufficient factual basis, defense
counsel did not have an obligation to object to the guilty
plea. We affirm Eatman's conviction.
Background Facts & Proceedings
was charged with possession of a controlled substance
(marijuana) with intent to deliver, in violation of Iowa Code
section 124.401(1)(d) (2014), a class "D" felony.
According to the minutes of testimony, officers found a
digital scale with marijuana residue on it in Eatman's
apartment, as well as a Mason jar and sandwich bag filled
with marijuana. The minutes state, "The Defendant
admitted the substance was marijuana, it belongs to him, and
that he sells it."
entered into a plea agreement in which he agreed to plead
guilty to the charge and the State agreed to join Eatman in
recommending a deferred judgment. At the plea hearing, held
on December 8, 2014, Eatman agreed if officers appeared at
trial they would testify as summarized in the minutes. The
court stated, "The court finds that the Trial
Information and the Minutes of Testimony provide a factual
basis for the charge and the defendant's plea of
guilty." The court then questioned Eatman, who initially
stated he had a Mason jar full of marijuana for personal use.
After discussing the matter with his attorney, Eatman stated
he intended to distribute the marijuana to other people. The
court accepted Eatman's guilty plea.
Eatman's whereabouts were unknown for a period of time,
as sentencing was held seven months later on July 10, 2017.
At sentencing, Eatman received a deferred judgment and was
placed on probation for three years. As a condition of his
probation, he was required to reside in a residential
correctional facility. Eatman violated the rules of the
facility and the court revoked his deferred judgment. Eatman
was subsequently found guilty of possession of a controlled
substance (marijuana) with intent to deliver and sentenced to
a term of imprisonment not to exceed five years. He now
appeals, claiming he received ineffective assistance of
Standard of Review
conduct a de novo review of claims of ineffective assistance
of counsel. State v. Maxwell, 743 N.W.2d 185, 195
(Iowa 2008). To establish a claim of ineffective assistance
of counsel, a defendant must prove (1) counsel failed to
perform an essential duty and (2) prejudice resulted to the
extent it denied the defendant a fair trial. Id. A
defendant's failure to prove either element by a
preponderance of the evidence is fatal to a claim of
ineffective assistance. State v. Polly, 657 N.W.2d
462, 465 (Iowa 2003).