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State v. Smith

Supreme Court of Iowa

March 8, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Appellee,
v.
BERNARD ANTHONY SMITH, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Story County, Timothy J. Finn, Judge.

         A defendant challenges his sentence as a habitual offender and the imposition of restitution and a fine. AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Maria Ruhtenberg, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Kyle Hanson, Assistant Attorney General, Jessica Reynolds, County Attorney, and Timothy C. Meals and Shawna Johnson, Assistant County Attorneys, for appellee.

          WIGGINS, Justice.

         The defendant was convicted of second-degree burglary and stipulated to being a habitual offender. The court sentenced the defendant as a habitual offender, ordered restitution, and imposed a fine. On appeal, we conclude the stipulation was not knowingly and voluntarily made because the stipulation proceedings did not comply with the requirements of State v. Harrington, 893 N.W.2d 36 (Iowa 2017). Accordingly, we must reverse the habitual offender judgment, the defendant's sentence, and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with Harrington. See id. at 45-46. We affirm the uncontested judgment of guilt on second-degree burglary.

         I. Facts and Proceedings.

         On September 27, 2017, the State charged Smith with burglary in the second degree in violation of Iowa Code sections 713.1 and 713.5 (2017), a class "C" felony, and being a habitual offender in violation of section 902.8. Following Smith's not-guilty plea, a bifurcated trial on the burglary charge began on November 28.

         While the jury was in deliberations, Smith's counsel informed the court that Smith would stipulate to the predicate priors for the habitual offender charge. The following exchange occurred:

[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Your Honor, I just discussed with my client about the sentencing enhancement charge on the Trial Information of offense of habitual offender and my client has decided that he will withdraw his request for a bifurcated trial and will stipulate to the priors for that particular section should the jury return a guilty verdict that it would be applicable to.
THE COURT: Okay. Very well. Mr. Smith, is that correct?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: I told you earlier about the ramifications of doing that. It's your decision and you voluntarily decided that you will stipulate to the habitual offender element of the trial?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
THE COURT: Okay. All right. Thank you. Anything further on behalf of the State?
[PROSECUTOR]: No, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Thank you.
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Thank you, Your Honor.

         Subsequently, the jury returned a verdict finding Smith guilty of burglary in the second degree. After the court scheduled sentencing, further discussion regarding Smith's stipulation occurred:

[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Your Honor, [the prosecutor] brought to my attention a case State v. Harrington, 893 N.W.2d 36. It concerns a Defendant making admissions to the habitual offender without the State having to prove it up and the issue of bringing it up in a motion in arrest of judgment or making an adequate record.
I believe we probably have an adequate record but just to be safe, it probably would be best to maybe supplement the record a little bit at this time, that the Defendant did freely voluntarily ...

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