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Schneider v. State

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 9, 2019

STEVE THOMAS SCHNEIDER, Applicant-Appellant,
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Carroll County, Dale E. Ruigh, Judge.

         Applicant appeals the district court decision denying his request for postconviction relief from his convictions of six counts of third-degree sexual abuse.

          Jennifer Frese of Johnson, Bonzer & Barnaby, PLC, Marshalltown, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Bridget A. Chambers, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee State.

          Considered by Mullins, P.J., Bower, J., and Scott, S.J. [*]

          SCOTT, SENIOR JUDGE.

         Steve Schneider appeals the district court decision denying his request for postconviction relief from his convictions of six counts of third-degree sexual abuse. We find Schneider has not shown he received ineffective assistance of counsel during his criminal trial. We affirm the district court's decision denying his request for postconviction relief.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         On December 23, 2013, the State filed a trial information charging Schneider with two counts of sexual abuse in the second degree and four counts of sexual abuse in the third degree. The State alleged Schneider engaged in sex acts with his niece, C.N. The trial information covered the time period from November 2006 to September 2009.

         Schneider filed notice of his intent to depose C.N. and her mother, who were then living in Florida. He asked to have the depositions taken in Iowa, and the State resisted this request. The district court ruled "it is the defendant's responsibility to procure the witnesses for deposition" and he would bear the costs of deposing out-of-state witnesses. C.N. and her mother were not deposed before the criminal trial.

         Schneider gave notice he had an alibi for the time periods from June 2007 to June 2008 and July 2010 to September 2011, when he was serving in the Army overseas. At a pre-trial conference, the district court raised the issue of whether the dates in the trial information should be more specific. Schneider then filed a motion for bill of particulars. On April 28, 2014, the day before trial, the State filed an amended trial information charging Schneider with six counts of third-degree sexual abuse, in violation of Iowa Code section 709.4(2)(b) (2009). The first count corresponded to January 2009, the second to February 2009, and so forth, ending with the sixth count corresponding to June 2009.

         A jury found Schneider guilty on all six counts of third-degree sexual abuse. The district court denied Schneider's motion for a new trial. He was sentenced to a term of imprisonment not to exceed ten years on each count, with the sentences on the first four counts to run consecutively with each other and the sentences on the fifth and sixth counts to run concurrently, for a total of forty years in prison. Schneider's convictions were affirmed on appeal. State v. Schneider, No. 14-1113, 2015 WL 2394127, at *10 (Iowa Ct. App. May 20, 2015).

         On December 29, 2015, Schneider filed an application for postconviction relief, claiming he received ineffective assistance of counsel because defense counsel did not take the depositions of C.N. and her mother or object to the amendment of the trial information. After a hearing, the district court denied Schneider's request for postconviction relief. The court found he had not shown he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Schneider now appeals.

         II. ...


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