from the Iowa District Court for Pottawattamie County, Mark
J. Eveloff, Judge.
Maddox appeals from the denial of his application for
H. Kouris, Council Bluffs, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Mullins and McDonald, JJ.
DANILSON, Chief Judge.
Maddox appeals from the denial of his application for
postconviction relief (PCR) challenging his convictions for
kidnapping in the third degree, a class "C" felony,
in violation of Iowa Code sections 710.1 and .4 (2009);
attempted murder, a class "B" felony, in violation
of section 707.11; and first-degree robbery, a class
"B" felony, in violation of Iowa Cod sections 711.2
and .2. Maddox asserts his trial counsel rendered ineffective
assistance and his appellate counsel was ineffective in
failing to raise trial counsel's ineffectiveness on
Maddox's first appeal. Because we conclude Maddox has not
established trial or appellate counsel rendered ineffective
assistance, we affirm.
Background Facts & Proceedings.
previously stated the facts of this case on Maddox's
[Maddox], co-defendant Jeremy Gibler, and the victim were
riding around together on December 17, 2009, after having
spent time together drinking at the home of Gibler's aunt
and then going to the home of a person [Maddox] knew.
[Maddox] was driving, Gibler was in the back seat, and the
victim was in the passenger's seat. At some point,
[Maddox] parked the car close to the Missouri River. As
[Maddox] got out and walked around the car, Gibler struck the
victim in the head from behind. [Maddox] pulled the victim
out of the car, then [Maddox] and Gibler pulled the victim
through trees and brush, down a slope to the rocks along the
river. This area was not visible from the road. Once there,
[Maddox] and Gibler beat and kicked the victim. Gibler took
what the victim had in his pockets. Then [Maddox] lifted the
victim by the neck of his shirt, said he knew the victim was
a "snitch" or a "cop" and he was going to
put him "in the river where people like [him] go, people
that talk to cops," and then threw the victim into the
river. When the victim stood up in the waist-deep water,
[Maddox] threw a bowling-ball-size rock at him. In deflecting
the rock with his hands, the victim ended up about
shoulder-deep in the river. He moved with the current to a
point where he could get out of the river. The victim walked
nearly one and two-thirds miles in sub-freezing temperatures
over a period of about forty-five minutes to a gas station,
where the attendant called 911. The victim was treated at the
hospital and released.
[Maddox] and Gibler were charged in January 2010 with
kidnapping in the first degree, attempt to commit murder, and
robbery in the first degree. Following a jury trial in April,
both were found guilty of all charges. [Maddox]'s motion
in arrest of judgment and motion for new trial were denied.
In May, the court sentenced [Maddox] to life for the
kidnapping conviction and terms of up to twenty-five years
each on the robbery and attempted murder convictions.
State v. Maddox, No. 10-0831, 2011 WL 2075421, at *1
(Iowa Ct. App. May 25, 2011) (footnote omitted).
first appeal, Maddox challenged the sufficiency of the
evidence to support his kidnapping conviction and argued
trial counsel was ineffective in not moving in arrest of
judgment to assert there was no proof of serious injury to
establish Maddox committed first-degree kidnapping.
Id. This court concluded there was sufficient
evidence supporting the kidnapping conviction, but the
evidence did not support the finding that the injuries
inflicted by Maddox created a substantial risk of death.
Id. at *7. Thus, this court reversed the
first-degree kidnapping conviction and remanded for entry of
judgment and sentence for kidnapping in the third degree.
Id. at *8.
filed a PCR application on November 27, 2012, an amended
application on March 16, 2015, and an addendum to the amended
application on March 3, 2016. In addition to a number of
other claims, Maddox asserted trial counsel rendered
ineffective assistance of counsel in failing to adequately
advise Maddox of his right to testify at trial, failing to
object to and move for mistrial in response to alleged
prosecutorial misconduct, and failing to object to bad-acts
evidence. He also asserted counsel was ineffective in making
an inadequate motion for judgment of acquittal to challenge
the first-degree robbery and attempted-murder charges. Maddox
argued the cumulative effect of the errors alleged denied
Maddox a fair trial and warranted granting his PCR
application. Maddox also contended appellate counsel was
ineffective in failing to raise these issues during
Maddox's first appeal.
a trial held March 7, 2016, the PCR court determined Maddox
had failed to establish trial or appellate counsel provided
Maddox ineffective assistance. Thus, the court denied
Maddox's PCR application. Maddox now appeals.
Standard of Review.
we review the court's denial of a PCR application for
correction of errors at law. Lamasters v. State, 821
N.W.2d 856, 862 (Iowa 2012). "However, when the
applicant asserts claims of a constitutional nature, our
review is de novo. Thus, we review claims of ineffective
assistance of counsel de novo." Id. (citation
contends trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance of
counsel in a number of respects and appellate counsel was
ineffective in failing to raise those issues on Maddox's
first appeal. "To prevail on a claim of ineffective
assistance of counsel, a claimant must satisfy the
Strickland [v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668,
687 (1984), ] test by showing '(1) counsel failed to
perform an essential duty; and (2) prejudice
resulted.'" State v. Clay, 824 N.W.2d 488,
495 (Iowa 2012) (citation omitted). The claimant must make a
showing of both elements to establish ineffective assistance
of counsel. Id.
Right to Testify.
first asserts trial counsel provided ineffective assistance
in failing to adequately advise Maddox of his right to
testify at trial. "A defendant has a constitutional
right to testify at a criminal trial[, ]" and
"[c]ounsel has a duty to advise the defendant about the
consequences of testifying so that an informed ...