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State v. Simpson

Court of Appeals of Iowa

January 23, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
WILLIAM JOHN SIMPSON, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, Kim M. Riley, District Associate Judge.

         William Simpson appeals the sentence imposed upon his conviction of assault with intent to inflict serious injury.

          Shawn Smith of The Smith Law Firm, PC, Ames, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Timothy M. Hau, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

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

          MULLINS, JUDGE.

         William Simpson appeals the sentence imposed upon his conviction of assault with intent to inflict serious injury. He argues the court abused its discretion by imposing an excessive sentence. Because the sentence is within statutory limits, it is "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. Formaro, 638 N.W.2d 720, 724 (Iowa 2002). Simpson's abuse- of-discretion argument is limited to the following:

The district court considered Mr. Simpson's aggravating factors solely such as his criminal history and the nature of the offenses, it failed to consider any of the mitigating factors presented by Mr. Simpson's counsel as well as those contained within the pre-sentence investigators report. Specifically, Mr. Simpson was 46 years old, long standing member of the community and gainfully employed. Additionally, the pre-sentence investigator recommended Mr. Simpson enlists in a class to assess and change behavior. None of these characteristics were considered . . . when his sentence was imposed.

         At the sentencing hearing, the State requested the imposition of a term of incarceration in the amount of two years, citing Simpson's "significant criminal history as evidenced in the presentence investigation report." The State highlighted Simpson's "last conviction for assault causing bodily injury in 2014," the similarity in Simpson's conduct between that and the instant offense, and the fact that a short stint in jail and term of probation was "insufficient to deter him from committing this crime." The State requested a prison sentence for purposes of deterrence and rehabilitation. The State also referenced the nature and circumstances of the instant offense and its effect on the victim.

         Simpson requested a suspended prison sentence as was recommended in the presentence investigation report. Defense counsel related:

He has a great support system, as evidenced by the folks that are in this room today. He's got his wife . . . and his kids. He also has his employer here . . . . He's been employed . . . with that person since January of this year.
There ha[ve] been no issues since this incident .....
. . . .
Again, he's a resident of Marshalltown. He has a house; he has a job; he's got the family support and structure behind him. The Department of Corrections believes that he can succeed on probation, and I ...

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