from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Carol S. Egly,
District Associate Judge.
Macke appeals the judgement and sentence entered following
her plea to four counts of child endangerment.
L. Campbell of Dickey & Campbell Law Firm, PLC, Des
Moines, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Thomas J. Ogden, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Mullins, JJ.
Macke appeals her convictions and sentences for four counts
of child endangerment. She contends that the State breached
the parties' plea agreement and her attorney was
ineffective in failing to object to the breach. Macke also
urges this court to adopt the plain-error doctrine. Because
the record is insufficient to resolve Macke's
ineffective-assistance-of-counsel claim on the merits, we
affirm her convictions and preserve the issue of ineffective
assistance of counsel for potential postconviction-relief
Background Facts and Proceedings.
State charged Macke with four counts of child endangerment,
in violation of Iowa Code section 726.6(1)(a) (2017), and one
count of transfer of a pistol or revolver to a person under
twenty-one, first offense, in violation of Iowa Code section
724.22(2). Macke filed a "Petition to Plead Guilty
(Alford)." The petition states: "The plea
agreement is Alford plea to Counts 1-4 of TI; joint
Recommendation of Deferred Judgment and Probation. State will
dismiss Ct 5." (Underlining in original). Macke and
her attorney both signed the petition. Although the
prosecutor did not sign the petition, nothing in the record
shows the State objected to the petition's statement that
the recommendation of deferred judgement would be joint.
plea hearing, Macke's attorney described the plea
agreement to the court as follows:
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: . . . Your Honor, a substantial [benefit]
is being received by Ms. Macke in this case. That
substantial benefit being dismissal of . . . Count V, the gun
charge, in this case, as well as the . . . joint
recommendation of a deferred judgment to the charges.
THE COURT: And regarding the likelihood of conviction?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Your Honor, in regards to the likelihood
of conviction, and based on the information provided in the
trial information, we believe that, if tried, there is a
substantial risk of conviction, at least to the four counts
of child endangerment, should a jury hear that case. In
addition, Your Honor, as an option of not trying to take the
children through this avenue, we have also decided to ask the
Court to accept a guilty plea.
THE COURT: So that is one of the benefits as well as the
dropping of the fifth count.
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Correct, Your Honor.
THE COURT: The Court has now reviewed the minutes of
testimony, and I do find that it's substantially likely
that if this matter went to trial before a jury that the
defendant would be found guilty of the four counts of child
endangerment. I accept the plea pursuant to North
Carolina vs. Alford. . . . The discussion between your
counsel and the State's attorney was regarding whether
the Court would order a presentence investigation report. ...