from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Linda M.
Duane Fuller appeals his convictions for possession with
intent to deliver a controlled substance and carrying a
weapon. VACATED AND REMANDED FOR FURTHER
W. Pilkington of Nidey Erdahl Fisher Pilkington & Meier,
PLC, Marengo, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Timothy M. Hau, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
Duane Fuller appeals his convictions for possession of
with intent to deliver and carrying weapons. On appeal,
Fuller contends his trial counsel was constitutionally
ineffective for permitting him to enter Alford pleas
without a sufficient factual basis for the
pleas. Additionally, he argues trial counsel was
constitutionally ineffective in failing to file a motion in
arrest of judgment.
Background Facts and Proceedings
September 2016, Fuller was subject to a valid traffic stop by
a Black Hawk County Sheriff's deputy. During the traffic
stop, Fuller revealed his driver's license was suspended.
The deputy arrested Fuller for the traffic violations, and
then discovered Fuller had an active warrant for his arrest.
deputy conducted an inventory search of the vehicle, and
found what appeared to be methamphetamine on the floor in
front of the driver's seat, residue appearing to be
methamphetamine in a baggy found between the seats, a
methamphetamine pipe, and several glass jars suspected of
containing methamphetamine in a safe and arm rest of the
vehicle. Also in the vehicle was an expandable baton next to
where Fuller was sitting. Based on these items, Fuller was
charged by trial information with possession of
methamphetamine with intent to deliver, in violation of Iowa
Code section 124.401(1)(c) (2016), and carrying weapons, in
violation of Iowa Code section 724.4. Fuller pled not guilty
to both charges.
May 15, 2017 plea hearing, the State orally moved to amend
the trial information to change the drug from methamphetamine
to MDMA, stating the amendment was consistent with the lab
report on the substance. No additional charges, enhancements,
or additional minutes of evidence were filed. Fuller entered
Alford pleas to both charges. The district court
found a factual basis existed for each charge and accepted
the pleas. On August 1, Fuller was sentenced to concurrent
terms of ten years and two years of incarceration, with
statutory-minimum fines and surcharges imposed.
now appeals, claiming ineffective assistance of counsel.
Standard of Review
review for a lack-of-a-factual-basis challenge to a guilty
plea is for correction of errors of law. State v.
Martin, 778 N.W.2d 201, 202 (Iowa Ct. App. 2009). We
review claims of ineffective assistance of counsel de novo.
Ennenga v. State, 812 N.W.2d 696, 701 (Iowa 2012).
To establish a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, a
defendant must show (1) the attorney failed to perform an
essential duty and (2) prejudice resulted. State v.
Carroll, 767 N.W.2d 638, 641 (Iowa 2009). Counsel is
presumed competent, and a defendant must show by a
preponderance of evidence that counsel's ...