from the Iowa District Court for Boone County, Timothy J.
defendant appeals his conviction and sentence for theft in
the second degree.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Brenda J. Gohr,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Katherine M. Krickbaum,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
POTTERFIELD, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Steenhoek appeals his conviction and sentence for theft in
the second degree in violation of Iowa Code sections 714.1
and 714.2(2) (2017). Steenhoek argues the district court
erred by assessing financial obligations to him without first
making a determination of his reasonable ability to pay and
abused its discretion when it sentenced him to five
Background Facts and Proceedings.
2017, Steenhoek was charged with two counts of first-degree
robbery. In September, the State filed an amended trial
information charging Steenhoek with one count of theft in the
second degree. Steenhoek plead guilty to the amended charge.
Pursuant to a plea agreement, both sides were permitted to
recommend sentences but Steenhoek was required to pay a fine
of $750 plus surcharges, additional fines and fees,
restitution, and court costs.
October, the district court accepted Steenhoek's guilty
plea and sentenced him. After hearing from the State and from
Steenhoek, the district court sentenced Steenhoek to a prison
term not to exceed five years and imposed the minimum fine of
$750 plus surcharges, court costs, and attorney fees. The
court gave the following rationale for its sentence:
When I looked at the PSI before I came in, I frankly-every
judge makes kind of an initial call in their mind what they
think is appropriate. I looked at your fairly lengthy
criminal record and I have to say that prison seemed to me to
be a logical choice to make.
I looked at the nature of the crime here. It appeared to me
that it was particularly violent, although there was no one
injured apparently, but to pull somebody over in a road and
rob them essentially. I guess that wasn't the charge you
pled guilty to but theft in the second degree, particularly
So that kind of shifted me towards thinking prison was the
appropriate sentence here.
Then I heard your side of this and you make a good argument
why that ...