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State v. Shade

Court of Appeals of Iowa

August 1, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JOSEPH EUGENE SHADE, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Karen A. Romano (waiver/plea) and Carla T. Schemmel (sentencing), Judges.

         Defendant challenges his sentence for robbery in the first degree.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Bradley M. Bender, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

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

          MCDONALD, Judge.

         Joseph Shade was convicted of robbery in the first degree, in violation of Iowa Code section 711.2 (2016). At the time of the offense, Shade was sixteen years old. The district court sentenced Shade to an indeterminate term of incarceration not to exceed twenty-five years with no mandatory minimum. In this appeal, Shade challenges his sentence. He contends he was entitled to a Miller hearing at the time of sentencing. See State v. Lyle, 854 N.W.2d 378, 402 n.8 (Iowa 2014); State v. Ragland, 836 N.W.2d 107, 115 n.6 (Iowa 2013) (listing required sentencing factors identified in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460, 477 (2012)). He also contends his counsel provided constitutionally-deficient representation at the time of sentencing. Finally, he contends the district court imposed an illegal surcharge.

         By way of background, in December 2016, Shade accompanied another man to meet Jessica Valles Rivera at a local elementary school for the purported purpose of purchasing a smart phone from Rivera. According to Shade, he served as a look out while the other man approached the car, pulled out a handgun, and pointed it at Rivera and her husband while demanding money. The man then fled with a wallet, forty dollars, and the phone. Rivera's children were in the car at the time of the robbery. According to the victim, Shade was the person who wielded the gun.

         In January 2017, Shade was charged with the robbery of Rivera and her husband as well as two additional armed robberies in unrelated incidents. At the time Shade was charged with the Rivera robbery, he was already subject to a juvenile-court consent decree for the armed robbery of a taxi driver in a different incident. As part of a plea agreement, Shade pleaded guilty to one count of robbery in the first degree arising out of the robbery of Rivera, and the State agreed to dismiss the other two counts. The parties were free to argue at the time of sentencing. After hearing argument and recommendations from both sides, the district court sentenced Shade to an indeterminate term of incarceration not to exceed twenty-five years without any mandatory minimum. The court reasoned,

For the sentence consideration, the Court determines that the sentence set forth herein will provide maximum opportunity for rehabilitation of the defendant and protection of the community from further offenses.
Pursuant to the Iowa Code, the Court has considered the following factors: The defendant's age, the defendant's prior record of convictions and deferment of judgments, if any, the defendant's family circumstances, the nature of the offense committed. . . . .
. . . I want you know this is a difficult case. You are young, but you have been committing violent crimes.
I do, however, consider your safety, and I am not convinced that you would be any safer in the public than you would be in prison, number one; number two, there are programs available in prison for you to take advantage of, but that's up to you. And if you don't take advantage of them, you may find yourself repeating and repeating in the system.
You are a bright young man. You had troubles in your life, and you went down the wrong way. This is not the end. It will be difficult. You're going to have to be a man. I hope you can be successful in prison and get out and become a good and productive ...

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