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Brown v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

October 10, 2018

CARDNEL BROWN JR., Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott D. Rosenberg, Judge.

         Applicant for postconviction relief appeals the district court denial of his application.

          Andrew Dunn of Parrish Kruidenier Dunn Boles Gribble Gentry Brown & Bergmann LLP, Des Moines, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Genevieve Reinkoester, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         Cardnel Brown Jr. appeals the dismissal of his application for postconviction relief (PCR). On appeal, he claims his counsel provided ineffective assistance. We find Brown failed to establish by a preponderance of evidence his counsel provided ineffective assistance. We affirm the district court.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         Following a series of three robberies in fall 2011, Brown was charged with three counts of robbery in the second degree and two counts of kidnapping in the third degree. In 2013, prior to trial, Brown and the State reached an agreement where Brown stipulated to being a habitual offender in exchange for the State reducing the two felony counts of kidnapping in the third degree to misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment. Following a jury trial, Brown was convicted of two counts of second-degree robbery and acquitted of the other three charges. In State v. Brown, No. 13-0456, 2014 WL 2600221, at *3 (Iowa Ct. App. June 11, 2014), this court addressed his claims of insufficient evidence and affirmed his convictions. We will not restate the background facts, as they are set out in our prior opinion. Brown, 2014 WL 2600221, at *1-2. The sentencing court ordered consecutive sentences and applied a habitual-offender enhancement increasing the mandatory minimum sentence.

         Brown filed a pro se application for PCR on November 30, 2014. Counsel later supplemented the application on May 13, 2016. The court denied the application on December 14, 2016.

         On appeal, Brown claims his trial counsel failed to provide effective assistance in three ways: (1) advising Brown to try the three robberies he was charged with in a single proceeding; (2) failing to move to suppress pretrial photo lineup identifications; and (3) failing to ensure the court colloquy met the requirements for a voluntary and intelligent guilty plea to the habitual offender enhancement.

         II. Standard of Review

         We ordinarily review PCR proceedings for errors at law. Lamasters v. State, 821 N.W.2d 856, 862 (Iowa 2012). We review claims of ineffective assistance of counsel de novo. Ledezma v. State, 626 N.W.2d 134, 141 (Iowa 2001).

         III. ...


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