from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, David N. May,
Rathjen appeals her convictions for possession of a
controlled substance with intent to deliver.
D. Lubinus of Lubinus Law Firm, PLLC, Des Moines, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kyle P. Hanson, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Tabor, JJ.
Rathjen appeals her convictions for two counts of possession
of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) with intent to
deliver, as a subsequent offender. She argues her counsel was
ineffective for allowing her to plead guilty after denial of
her motion to dismiss and for failing to file a motion in
arrest of judgment to preserve her challenge to her guilty
plea. We find the record inadequate to address her claims.
Therefore, we affirm her convictions and preserve her claims
for possible postconviciton proceedings.
February 9, 2016, the State filed a trial information
charging Rathjen in case number FECR291675 with multiple
offenses, including possession of a controlled substance with
intent to deliver. According to the minutes of evidence, on
or about December 31, 2015, officers with the Des Moines
Police Department found approximately thirty-six grams of
methamphetamine and related paraphernalia inside
Rathjen's home. Following her arrest, she agreed to
cooperate with law enforcement on pending investigations. On
July 22, 2016, she signed a "Memorandum of
Understanding" with the State setting the terms of her
cooperation. Also on July 22, she signed a waiver of her
rights to speedy trial and an admission that she possessed
methamphetamine with the intent to deliver on December 31,
2015. Case number FECR291675 was subsequently
failed to comply with the cooperation agreement. On October
26, 2016, the State filed a trial information for case number
FECR299016 charging Rathjen with multiple offenses, including
possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver.
According to the minutes of evidence, on or about September
19, 2016, law enforcement officers searched Rathjen's
vehicle as part of her ongoing cooperation and found a
crystalline substance that tested positive for
methamphetamine. Officers then searched her home and found
several narcotics and related paraphernalia. They
subsequently arrested her and terminated her cooperation
agreement. On October 26, the State filed a trial information
in case number FECR299018, charging her again with possession
of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and other
offenses related to her arrest on December 31, 2015. On
November 3, she was arraigned on both FECR299016 and
December 1, 2016, Rathjen filed a motion captioned
"Waiver of Speedy Trial" for case numbers
FECR299016 and FECR299018. This motion states, in its
entirety, "Defendant hereby waives her constitutional
and statutory right to a speedy trial with respect to the
public offense(s) charged in this action." On July 13,
2017, she filed a motion to dismiss the charges in
FECR299018, arguing the charges dated back to her earlier
arraignment for case number FECR291675 and therefore violated
her one-year right to a speedy trial. On July 21, the court denied
her motion to dismiss and ruled on other pending motions.
Friday, July 28, 2017, Rathjen pled guilty to the two counts
of possession of a controlled substance with intent to
deliver in case numbers FECR299016 and FECR299018. However,
at Rathjen's request, the court did not make final
acceptance of her plea at the time. On Monday, July 31, the
court held a hearing to accept her plea, during which she
said she no longer wanted to plead guilty. The court
accepted her plea despite her statement, noting it had
"previously found that Defendant was acting voluntarily
in pleading guilty and that she fully understood the rights
and consequences of her plea and there was a factual basis
for the plea." On September 12, the court sentenced her
to terms of incarceration of thirty years for case number
FECR299016 and twenty-five years for case number FECR299018,
the sentences to run consecutively. During the sentencing
hearing, Rathjen said she was "in shock" during the
July 31 hearing, she needed several days to be "able to
look at it, admit it, and accept it," and she now
accepted she "was helping drug dealers."
now appeals. She argues her counsel was ineffective for
allowing her to plead guilty after the court's denial of
her motion to dismiss. She also argues her guilty plea was
not made knowingly and voluntarily, and her counsel was
ineffective for failing to file a motion in arrest of
judgment to preserve her challenge to her guilty plea.
review ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims de novo.
State v. Maxwell, 743 N.W.2d 185, 195 (Iowa 2012).
"In order to succeed on a claim of ineffective
assistance of counsel, a defendant must prove: (1) counsel
failed to perform an essential duty; and (2) prejudice
resulted." Id. (citing Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984)). The defendant
must satisfy both prongs to prevail. Id.
Of course, if a defendant wishes to have an
ineffective-assistance claim resolved on direct appeal, the
defendant will be required to establish an adequate record to
allow the appellate court to address the issue. If the
defendant requests that the court decide the claim on direct
appeal, it is for the court to determine whether the record
is adequate and, if so, to resolve the claim. If, however,
the court determines the claim cannot be addressed on appeal,
the court must preserve ...