from the Iowa District Court for Hancock County, Gregg R.
defendant appeals from his sentences for willful injury
causing bodily injury and domestic abuse assault by impeding
Jeffrey M. Lipman of Lipman Law Firm, P.C., West Des Moines,
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Sheryl A Soich, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., Doyle, J., and Danilson,
POTTERFIELD, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Jacobs appeals from his sentences for willful injury causing
bodily injury and domestic abuse assault by impeding
airflow-both class "D" felonies. Jacobs was
sentenced to two terms of incarceration not to exceed five
years, and he was ordered to serve the sentences
concurrently. He maintains the sentencing court abused its
discretion by placing more weight on negative factors and
failing to consider properly the mitigating factors.
decision of the district court to impose a particular
sentence within the statutory limits is cloaked with a strong
presumption in its favor, and will only be overturned for an
abuse of discretion or the consideration of inappropriate
matters." State v. Bentley, 757 N.W.2d 257, 262
(Iowa 2008) (alteration in original) (citation omitted).
"Abuse of discretion occurs only when 'the decision
was exercised on grounds or for reasons that were clearly
untenable or unreasonable.'" Id. (citation
both of Jacobs's sentences are within the statutory
limits. See Iowa Code §§ 708.4(2) (2016)
(defining willful injury causing bodily injury as a
"D" felony); 708.2A(5) (defining "domestic
abuse assault committed by knowingly impeding the normal
breathing . . . and causing bodily injury" as a
"D" felony); 902.9(1)(e) (providing a "class
'D' felon, not an habitual offender, shall be
confined for no more than five years"). We acknowledge
that Jacobs's therapist and the preparer of the
presentence-investigation report encouraged the court to
suspend Jacobs's terms of incarceration and impose
probation, but we note that the court did not impose the most
severe sentence at its disposal. See, e.g.,
State v. August, 589 N.W.2d 740, 744-45 (Iowa 1999)
(upholding the court's use of discretion to impose
consecutive, rather than concurrent, sentences). And the
State urged the court to impose the sentence Jacobs
before sentencing Jacobs to two five-years terms, the court
explicitly considered a number of factors, stating:
All right. And I wanted to explain . . . that I saw [the
character references] come in yesterday, and I knew that I
had a sentencing hearing coming up today, and so I went
through all those yesterday afternoon when they came in. I
just started at the beginning, and I read through all of
them. . . .
. . . .
And so, Mr. Jacobs, you know, the court has considered a lot
of factors in terms of this sentencing, and I've also
considered the recommendation made in the presentence
investigation report. And the court is aware that you're
41 years of age. The court is aware of your employment
history and the fact that you are presently employed at
Landus. And you do have a home that you own and that
you're maintaining. The court is aware that you do have a
daughter at home that lives with you.
Your prior record was summarized by [the prosecutor], and I
don't believe there were any objections to that portion
of the PSI. But you do have a prior assault back in Linn
County; fine for that. That was over 20 years ago, 1996.
Possession of controlled substance in Cedar Rapids; that was
in 2012. You were granted a deferred judgment for that and
received probation. And then that deferred was later revoked,
and you were sentenced on that and served two days in jail
and were given a fine. Then in 2003, Cedar Rapids, operating
while intoxicated, first offense, and two days in jail and
thousand-dollar fine. Hiawatha, Iowa, 2006, operating while
under the influence, second offense. And you received 67 days
in jail, all but seven days suspended. And probation in that
matter and a fine. Then ...