from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Brook K.
Jacobsen, District Associate Judge.
defendant appeals his conviction of theft in the third degree
following a jury trial.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Stephan J. Japuntich,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Genevieve Reinkoester,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.
appeal arises following a jury trial where Gregory Jordan was
found guilty of theft in the third degree in violation of
Iowa Code section 714.2(3) (2017). Jordan appeals his
conviction by arguing his counsel was ineffective in failing
to file a motion to suppress evidence and failing to object
to testimony during trial. Because Jordan does not show
prejudice, we affirm.
Background Facts and Proceedings.
August 22, 2017, Jordan entered a Von Maur store at College
Square Mall in Cedar Falls. Security cameras and store
employees observed Jordan taking necklaces from a jewelry
counter and placing them in his pocket. Jordan then
immediately left Von Maur without paying for the merchandise
and was followed by a loss prevention officer into a nearby
Younkers store, where Jordan was observed stealing clothes.
The authorities were notified and police officers found
Jordan just as he was leaving the mall. When questioned by
police officers, Jordan admitted to stealing the necklaces
and was taken back to Von Maur. In a back office, Jordan was
surrounded by police officers and several Von Maur employees.
Jordan signed a statement admitting he stole the necklaces
and discussed prior instances of theft from the Von Maur and
Younkers stores. Jordan indicated he stole from the stores to
pay for drugs. At the conclusion of the interview, Jordan was
arrested. Throughout the process, Jordan was never once read
his Miranda rights.
counsel did not file a pretrial motion to suppress the
evidence obtained after police began interacting with Jordan.
During the trial, the body cam footage from the police was
presented as evidence to the jury. Additionally, the jury
heard testimony about the interview in the back room of Von
Maur, including that Jordan was stealing to pay for drugs and
that he had also stolen from Younkers. Evidence of thefts
occurring before August 22, 2017, were not presented to the
jury returned a guilty verdict after a very brief
deliberation process, and Jordan was sentenced to two years
in jail. Jordan appeals his conviction, arguing ineffective
assistance of counsel on two grounds. First, he claims his
counsel was ineffective by failing to file a motion to
suppress the evidence obtained by police questioning and Von
Maur personnel. Second, he claims counsel provided
ineffective assistance by failing to object to testimony
regarding the subsequent theft that occurred at Younkers.
Scope of Review and Law.
claims are reviewed de novo. State v. Straw, 709
N.W.2d 128, 133 (Iowa 2006). "If an
ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim is raised on direct
appeal from the criminal proceedings, we may decide the
record is adequate to decide the claim or may choose to
preserve the claim for postconviction proceedings."
Id. Here, we find the record to be adequate to
decide Jordan's claim.
establish [a] claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, [a
defendant] must demonstrate (1) . . . trial counsel failed to
perform an essential duty, and (2) this failure resulted in
prejudice." Id. (citing Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687-88 (1984)). "Both
elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence.
However, both elements do not always need to be addressed. If
the claim lacks prejudice, it can be decided on that ground
alone without deciding whether the attorney performed
deficiently." Ledezma v. State, 626 N.W.2d 134,
142 (Iowa 2001) (citations omitted). To show prejudice,
"the [defendant] must demonstrate 'that there is a
reasonable probability that, but for counsel's
unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would
have been ...