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State v. Shelton

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 7, 2018

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
TRENTON D. SHELTON, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark J. Smith, Judge.

         Trenton D. Shelton appeals his convictions for willful injury resulting in serious injury and assault while participating in a felony.

          Eric D. Tindal of Keegan & Farnsworth, Iowa City, for appellant.

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

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

          BOWER, Judge.

         Trenton D. Shelton appeals his convictions for willful injury resulting in serious injury and assault while participating in a felony. On appeal, Shelton claims his counsel provided constitutionally ineffective representation by permitting him to plead guilty to assault while participating in a felony without a sufficient factual basis. Shelton also claims his pleas were not knowing and voluntary because the court failed to advise him of mandatory surcharges. Finally, Shelton claims the court abused its discretion by imposing consecutive sentences. We find the record does not provide a sufficient factual basis of an underlying assault for the the assault while participating in a felony charge. On remand, the court should establish the factual basis for assault while participating in a felony and address potential colloquy deficiencies. We vacate and remand for further proceedings.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         On October 14, 2015, Shelton and a group of others were at a club in Davenport. At approximately 12:17 a.m. on October 15, a fight broke out between Shelton's group and another group. Video evidence showed Shelton striking a victim who was left unconscious in the hallway by the time Shelton returned to the original room. Approximately one minute later, Shelton walked back out and kicked the motionless victim several times before leaving. The victim was hospitalized with severe head trauma. A warrant issued for Shelton's arrest.

         In February 2017, Shelton was arrested for willful injury causing serious injury, in violation of Iowa Code sections 703.1 and 708.4(1) (2015). The State filed a two-count trial information charging Shelton with willful injury resulting in serious injury and attempt to commit murder, in violation of Iowa Code sections 703.1, 703.2, and 707.11(2).

         On July 14, 2017, pursuant to a plea agreement, Shelton pleaded guilty to willful injury resulting in serious injury as a habitual offender. Shelton also pleaded guilty to assault while participating in a felony, in violation of sections 708.3(1) and 703.1. In exchange for his guilty pleas, the State dismissed the charge of attempted murder and did not pursue the habitual offender enhancement on the assault charge.

         On October 20, Shelton was sentenced to a fifteen-year sentence for the willful injury offense as a habitual offender and a five-year sentence for assault to run consecutive to each other. Shelton appeals.

         II. Standard of Review

         "We review claims of ineffective assistance of counsel de novo." State v. Finney, 834 N.W.2d 46, 49 (Iowa 2013). To establish an ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim, the defendant must show counsel failed to perform an essential duty which ...


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