from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert B.
Brandt appeals following her entry of an Alford plea
to a second-degree theft charge. AFFIRMED.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, and Maria L. Ruhtenberg,
Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Israel J. Kodiaga, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Scott, S.J.
Brandt entered an Alford plea to second-degree
theft. On appeal following imposition of judgment
and sentence, Brandt contends her attorney was ineffective in
failing to challenge the factual basis for the plea.
person claiming ineffective assistance of counsel must prove
(1) breach of an essential duty and (2) prejudice. See
Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687 (1984).
"If trial counsel permits a defendant to plead guilty
and waives the defendant's right to file a motion in
arrest of judgment when there is no factual basis to support
the defendant's guilty plea, trial counsel breaches an
essential duty" and "we presume prejudice."
Rhoades v. State, 848 N.W.2d 22, 29 (Iowa 2014).
While ineffective-assistance claims are generally preserved
for postconviction relief, we find the record adequate to
address the issue. See State v. Schminkey, 597
N.W.2d 785, 788 (Iowa 1999).
person commits theft by misappropriation when the person:
Misappropriates property which the person has in trust, or
property of another which the person has in the person's
possession or control, whether such possession or control is
lawful or unlawful, by using or disposing of it in a manner
which is inconsistent with or a denial of the trust or of the
owner's rights in such property, or conceals found
property, or appropriates such property to the person's
own use, when the owner of such property is known to the
Iowa Code § 714.1(2) (2016). "The theft of property
exceeding one thousand dollars but not exceeding ten thousand
dollars in value . . . is theft in the second degree."
Id. § 714.2(2).
contends "[t]he [m]inutes of [t]estimony do not provide
a factual basis" for the requirement that she used or
disposed of the property "in a manner which is
inconsistent with or a denial of the trust or of the
owner's rights." We disagree.
minutes stated a woman "lived in her own home" but
"required 24 hour care due to her numerous medical
conditions including dementia." The woman owned a stand
at the Iowa State Fair and received most of her fair income
"in cash." She also "received social security
payments." The woman signed "a power-of-attorney
document" naming her daughter, Brandt, "as her
attorney-in-fact." Brandt "was specifically not
authorized to make gifts of [the woman's] assets."
The power-of-attorney document instructed Brandt "she
was to act in [the woman's] best interests, to act in
good faith, to do nothing beyond the authority granted in the
document, to act loyally, avoid conflicts, and to keep all
records." An investigation revealed that Brandt
"took $32, 973.70 from [the woman's] accounts for
[her] own benefit." Brandt "gambled over $100,
000" in a single year and "obtained a[n] $8500 loan
in [the woman's] name." "[C]ash from the Iowa
State Fair stand was missing."
minutes provided a factual basis for finding Brandt's
conduct inconsistent with the trust vested in her by virtue
of her power of attorney. Accordingly, counsel did not breach
an essential duty ...