from the Iowa District Court for Calhoun County, William C.
appeals his denial for postconviction relief.
Baxter of Wild, Baxter & Sand, PC, Guthrie Center, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Kyle Hanson, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Vogel, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Mullins, JJ.
Trott appeals the denial of his application for
postconviction relief (PCR). He raises multiple
ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claims against his trial
counsel, appellate counsel, and PCR counsel. In addition,
Trott's pro se brief raises various other issues. We
affirm the denial of PCR and preserve some of the
ineffective-assistance claims for further postconviction
Background Facts and Proceedings
September 8, 2013, Trott allegedly assaulted his mother at
his home. Officers arrived to the home and when they tried to
go into the residence, Trott shot at and killed one officer.
In September 2014, Trott was found guilty of first-degree
murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
Trott appealed his conviction to our court where he asserted
his right to counsel was violated and argued the motion to
suppress his statements made to law enforcement should have
been granted. State v. Trott, No. 14-1608, 2015 WL
9450670, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. Dec. 23, 2015). We affirmed the
conviction and concluded Trott failed to preserve the
right-to-counsel issue. Id. at *8. We further
stated, "Trott's right to remain silent was
scrupulously honored and he knowingly and voluntarily waived
the right [to remain silent]." Id.
then filed an application for PCR in December 2016. A hearing
was held on January 4, 2018. The district court denied
Trott's application on March 7, 2018. Trott appeals.
Standard of Review
claim of ineffective assistance of counsel requires a de novo
review because the claim is derived from the Sixth Amendment
of the United States Constitution." Bowman v.
State, 710 N.W.2d 200, 204 (Iowa 2006). To prevail on an
ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim, the claimant must
show counsel failed to perform an essential duty and such
failure resulted in prejudice. State v. Straw, 709
N.W.2d 128, 133 (Iowa 2006) (citing Strickland v.
Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687-88 (1984)). Both must be
proven by a preponderance of the evidence. Ledezma v.
State, 626 N.W.2d 134, 142 (Iowa 2001).
Ineffective Assistance by Trial Counsel During Jury
first asserts his trial counsel provided ineffective
assistance when trial counsel allowed two allegedly biased
jurors to remain on the jury. The State argues trial counsel
had no duty to make challenges for cause because neither
juror had a fixed opinion. Also, the State argues Trott
cannot establish prejudice because he does not show how the
verdict would change with two different jurors.
argues the two jurors were biased because each were related
to a law enforcement officer. One juror's brother was a
deputy sheriff, so ...