from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, William P.
appeals the district court decision denying her application
for postconviction relief from her conviction for
E. Allen, Johnston, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Bridget A. Chambers,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
Petithory-Metcalf (Petithory) appeals the district court
decision denying her application for postconviction relief
from her conviction for second-degree murder. We conclude
Petithory has not shown she received ineffective assistance
due to defense counsel's strategic decision to withdraw a
motion to suppress a videotape. We affirm the district
court's decision denying Petithory's application for
Background Facts & Proceedings
November 28, 2013, Juan Carlos Chavarria got drunk and broke
some bottles in the apartment he shared with Irvan
Alfaro-Hernandez (Alfaro). Petithory, who was a friend of
Alfaro's, came into the apartment and got mad, stating,
"nobody disrespect this homie's apartment."
Petithory confronted Chavarria and they began shouting at
each other. Petithory told Chavarria, "You don't
know me and you don't know what I'm capable of."
Petithory stabbed Chavarria with a switch blade in front of
several witnesses and he died as a result.
was given a ride to the police station in the vehicle of
Officer David Cerne. A videotape (Videotape A) was made of
Petithory as she sat in the back of the squad car. She told
Officer Cerne she did not see what happened and was in the
bedroom looking for her car keys at the time. She was crying
during the drive. At the police station, Petithory was placed
in an interview room by herself, where another videotape was
made (Videotape B). She made several telephone calls.
was charged with first-degree murder for the stabbing death
of Chavarria. She raised defenses of justification and
intoxication. Petithory filed a motion to suppress the two
videotapes. The district court ruled Videotape A was not
admissible because Petithory had not been informed of her
Miranda rights at the time the statements were made.
The court ruled the majority of Videotape B was admissible.
During the trial, Petithory's two defense attorneys
decided to withdraw the motion to suppress Videotape A and
both videotapes were shown to the jury.
was convicted of murder in the second decree, in violation of
Iowa Code section 707.3 (2013), a class "B" felony.
Petithory's conviction was affirmed on appeal. State
v. Petithory-Metcalf, No. 14-1478, 2016 WL 530241, at
*10 (Iowa Ct. App. Feb. 10, 2016). The issue of whether
Petithory received ineffective assistance when defense
counsel withdrew the motion to suppress was preserved for
possible postconviction proceedings. Id.
filed an application for postconviction relief on February
17, 2017, claiming she received ineffective assistance of
counsel based on the withdrawal of the motion to suppress.
deposition, one of the defense attorneys stated the motion to
suppress was withdrawn because the court had ruled Videotape
B was admissible. The attorney testified, "The first
statement that Miranda gave when she was in the police car,
while she's crying and seems more sympathetic to the
jury, the problem with that video [Videotape A] is she's
lying about what happened." Concerning Videotape B,
however, she stated Petithory seemed to be "a despicable
person," "very unflattering," "very
aggressive," and "used a lot of profanity." In
Videotape B, Petithory "was just very ...