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State v. Sandstrom

Court of Appeals of Iowa

August 1, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
SCOTT ROBERT SANDSTROM, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert J. Blink, Judge.

         Scott Sandstrom appeals from the sentence imposed following his guilty pleas. AFFIRMED.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Mary K. Conroy, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Bridget A. Chambers, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

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

          DANILSON, CHIEF JUDGE.

         Scott Sandstrom appeals from the sentence imposed following his guilty pleas, contending he did not voluntarily waive use of the presentence investigation. He also asserts the court failed to consider letters filed with the court, made an erroneous reference to matters outside the record, and gave inadequate reasons for the sentence imposed. Finding no legal errors or abuse of the court's discretion, we affirm.

         I. Background Facts.

         After assaulting a convenience store clerk and taking money from the store, Scott Sandstrom was charged with robbery in the second degree, in violation of Iowa Code sections 711.1 and .3 (2017), and theft in the first degree, in violation of sections 714.1 and .2(1).

         On September 8, 2017, Sandstrom entered guilty pleas to both charges. The plea agreement, which was made part of the record, provided Sandstrom would plead guilty to both counts of the amended trial information and the parties would jointly recommend the district court impose the seventy-percent mandatory minimum on the robbery charge, and the two ten-year sentences would run consecutively for an indeterminate period not to exceed twenty years in prison.

         The court first informed Sandstrom the minimum term for second-degree robbery was seven years (seventy percent of the ten-year term). Defense counsel interjected, noting the July 1, 2017 change in the law. The court observed, "That is true. There's a range of [fifty] percent to [seventy] percent at the court's discretion." Sandstrom requested immediate sentencing, waiving consideration of the presentence investigation report (PSI). The district court imposed the agreed- upon sentence stating, "The court does this by virtue of the plea agreement and your age, [and] the court's understanding of your prior criminal record."[1]

         On appeal, Sandstrom contends he was not adequately advised about the function of the PSI and, thus, he did not voluntarily waive its use; the court failed to consider letters filed with the court; the court made an erroneous reference to matters outside the record; and the court gave inadequate reasons for the sentence imposed.

         II. Scope and Standards of Review.

         We review sentencing challenges for correction of errors at law. State v. Formaro, 638 N.W.2d 720, 724 (Iowa 2002). We will not reverse "absent an abuse of discretion or ...


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