Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Houston

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 9, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
KAMESHA HOUSTON, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, John Telleen (plea) and Mark J. Smith (sentencing), Judges.

         Kamesha Houston appeals her convictions for possession of marijuana and carrying weapons, claiming a lack of factual basis for the carrying-weapons plea, and the court erred in sentencing.

          Nathan Legue of Legue Law, PC, Davenport, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kyle P. Hanson, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         Kamesha Houston appeals her conviction and sentence for possession of marijuana and carrying weapons. She contends her counsel provided ineffective assistance in allowing her to plead guilty to a carrying-weapons charge without a factual basis, and the district court abused its discretion in imposing sentence. We find the court applied her guilty plea to the wrong carrying-weapons count and vacate that conviction. We remand for further proceedings.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         On May 30, 2017, Houston was pulled over by law enforcement for speeding. The officer could smell marijuana inside the vehicle and asked Houston and her passenger to step out of the vehicle. The officer began to search the vehicle and found two small baggies of marijuana and 9mm ammunition in the center console. Houston indicated to the officer the marijuana in the console belonged to both her and her passenger and she had a loaded 9mm gun in her purse with an Illinois permit to carry a weapon. The gun and permit were found in her purse; the permit did not authorize the carrying of a concealed weapon. The officer also found more marijuana and a .22-caliber pistol in a black backpack in the back seat of the vehicle within reach of both the driver and passenger seats. Houston denied knowing who owned the weapon in the backpack.[1] The officer arrested Houston for possession of marijuana, first offense, and carrying weapons.

         On June 28, the State filed a trial information accusing Houston of four counts: Count I, conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver marijuana, in violation of Iowa Code section 124.401(1)(d) and (e) (2017); Count II, possession with intent to deliver marijuana, in violation of section 124.401(1)(d) and (e); Count III, carrying weapons by going armed with a .22-caliber pistol, in violation of section 724.4(1); and Count IV, carrying weapons by going armed with a 9mm pistol, in violation of section 724.4(1).

         On October 11, Houston and the State filed a memorandum of plea agreement drafted by the State. The plea agreement provided as the proposed disposition: "The Defendant will plead guilty to Count 4 as charged. Defendant will plead to the lesser included offense of Possession of a Controlled Substance (Marijuana 1st offense). The State will dismiss Counts 2 and 4 with costs to the Defendant." The agreement was signed by Houston, her attorney, and the assistant county attorney. In her written plea, Houston stated, "I possessed marijuana in the center console for personal use; I legally owned a 9mm handgun but impermissibly had it in my purse."

         The court's order accepting her plea stated Houston had entered pleas to Counts I and III. The plea hearing was not recorded or reported. The order accepting the plea does not indicate Houston agreed to plead to Count III instead of Count IV. No record indicates Houston's counsel made any objection or attempt to clarify with the court which weapons charge Houston was pleading to.

         Counsel represented Houston at her sentencing hearing, but Houston did not appear. Her counsel waived reporting and record of the hearing. Houston requested a deferred judgment in light of having no prior criminal history. During the sentencing hearing, the court made a statement that "there has been a lot of gun crime" prior to entering sentence.[2] The court imposed a two-day suspended sentence for the possession offense and thirty-days suspended sentence for the weapons charge, as well as applicable fines and surcharges. Houston was placed on probation. Houston appeals.

         II. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.