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Hoppe v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 21, 2018

TRAVIS HOPPE, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Linn County, Andrew B. Chappell, Judge.

         Travis Hoppe appeals from the district court's denial of his application for postconviction relief. AFFIRMED.

          Anne K. Wilson of Anne K. Wilson Law Office, PLLC, Hiawatha, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Martha E. Trout, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.

          VAITHESWARAN, Presiding Judge.

         Travis Hoppe was arrested and charged with first-degree theft in connection with the removal of concrete forms[1] from a Cedar Rapids parking lot. See Iowa Code § 714.2(1) (2014). Hoppe pled guilty to the charge. The district court sentenced him to a prison term not exceeding ten years, suspended the term, and placed him on probation.

         Hoppe appealed. This court affirmed his conviction and preserved "his ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim for postconviction-relief proceedings." State v. Hoppe, No. 14-2096, 2015 WL 5965596, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. Oct. 14, 2015).

         Hoppe filed a postconviction-relief application alleging, "There is video evidence that shows this is far f[r]om a first-degree theft." Following an evidentiary hearing at which Hoppe did not appear, the postconviction court denied the application. Hoppe appealed.

         I. Ineffective Assistance - Plea Counsel

         Hoppe contends his plea attorney was ineffective in failing to adequately investigate the value of the stolen concrete forms, rendering his plea unknowing and unintelligent and lacking in a factual basis. Hoppe must prove deficient performance and prejudice. See Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984). Where there is no factual basis, prejudice is presumed. State v. Schminkey, 597 N.W.2d 785, 788 (Iowa 1999).

         Our de novo review of the record reveals the following facts. On the day the trial information was filed, the victim witness coordinator filed a statement of pecuniary damages incurred by the concrete company that owned the forms. The statement listed the value of the stolen property as $32, 872. The minutes of testimony, also filed the same day, stated that a representative of the concrete company would testify, "The value of these concrete forms was approximately $50, 000."

         At the plea hearing, the district informed Hoppe the crime included an element "that the property had a value of more than $10, 000." Hoppe said he understood. The court then asked Hoppe, "[D]o you agree, Mr. Hoppe, that the value of the property was more than $10, 000?" Hoppe answered, "Yes." He also confirmed the substantial accuracy of the minutes of testimony.

         At an originally-scheduled sentencing hearing, Hoppe stated he had not been afforded an opportunity to view videos of the crime scene. The district court reset the sentencing hearing and the prosecutor stated, "[T]he ...


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