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State v. Headley

Supreme Court of Iowa

April 12, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Appellee,
v.
EVAN PAUL HEADLEY, Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Robert J. Blink, Judge.

         A defendant appeals his sentence on various grounds.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender (until withdrawal), and Theresa R. Wilson, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Timothy M. Hau, Assistant Attorney General, John Sarcone, County Attorney, Jaki Livingston and Kevin Hathaway, Assistant County Attorneys, for appellee.

          WIGGINS, JUSTICE.

         A defendant appeals his sentence for domestic abuse assault and second-degree burglary. He argues the sentencing court violated his due process rights and abused its discretion by considering the risk assessment tools contained in the presentence investigation report (PSI). He also argues the court abused its discretion by considering the investigator's recommendation in the PSI. If these claims were not preserved, he claims ineffective assistance of counsel in the alternative.

         The defendant also challenges the restitution imposed by the district court. He claims the court imposed an illegal sentence by ordering him to pay the court costs associated with the dismissed charges. He further claims the court erred by failing to determine his reasonable ability to pay prior to determining the amount of restitution owed.

         On appeal, we find the district court did not abuse its discretion in considering the risk assessment tools on their face as contained within the PSI. We further find the defendant failed to preserve error on his due process and abuse-of-discretion claims regarding the court's consideration of the risk assessment tools contained in the PSI. We also find the record is insufficient to reach these due process and abuse-of-discretion claims on direct appeal.

         In regard to his claim that the district court abused its discretion when it considered the department of correctional services' sentencing recommendation, we find it did not. We also find the court did not enter an illegal sentence by requiring the defendant to pay the court costs associated with dismissed charges. However, we find the district court erroneously ordered restitution without first conducting the applicable reasonable-ability-to-pay analysis. Therefore, we vacate the restitution portion of the defendant's sentence and remand for resentencing in light of this opinion and our opinion in State v. Albright, ___ N.W.2d__ (Iowa 2019).

         I. Factual and Procedural Background.

         On July 28, 2017, Des Moines police officers responded to a domestic fight at the home of S.M. When officers arrived in the neighborhood, S.M. was several houses north of her address and waived the officers down. S.M. told officers her ex-boyfriend, Evan Headley, had shown up to her house uninvited and forced his way into her home. S.M. said she and Headley began arguing and Headley forced S.M. into her bedroom, onto her bed, and held her down with his body weight. Headley left swelling on S.M.'s shoulders before S.M. was able to escape Headley's grasp.

         When officers entered S.M.'s home, they made contact with Headley as he was attempting to jump out of a window of the residence. Officers took Headley into custody and transported him to the Polk County Jail. At the time of this incident, Headley was on supervised probation for domestic abuse assault, and a nonexpiring protection order was in place between S.M. and Headley, with S.M. being the protected party.[1]

         On September 11, the State charged Headley with burglary in the second degree, assault with intent to commit a sexual abuse, domestic abuse assault enhanced, and stalking in violation of a protective order. On December 26, pursuant to a plea deal, Headley pled guilty to burglary in the second degree in violation of Iowa Code sections 713.1 and 713.5 (2018), and domestic abuse assault, enhanced second offense, in violation of sections 708.1(2)(a) and 708.2A(3)(b).

         On January 25, 2018, the department of correctional services filed a PSI. The PSI included evaluations of Headley using both the Iowa Risk Revised (IRR) and the Dynamic Risk Assessment for Offender Re-Entry (DRAOR) risk assessment tools. Headley's IRR score was "in the high category for future violence and the high category for future victimization." His DRAOR score "placed him in the moderate/high category to recidivate," or in other words, indicated he would fail on community-based supervision. Based on the personal interview with Headley, the Iowa Mental Health Screen, the IRR, the DRAOR, and Headley's criminal history, education, employment, and family history, the presentence investigator recommended incarceration.

         On March 13, at the sentencing hearing, the district court judge asked Headley's counsel about the PSI, questioning, "Have you and your client been able to review this, Mr. Webber?" Headley's defense counsel replied, "We have, Your Honor." The court then asked, "Any additions, corrections, deletions, or modifications on behalf of the defendant?" Defense counsel replied, "No, Your Honor."

         Headley's counsel asked the court to place Headley at the Fort Des Moines Residential Facility based on Headley's substance abuse, mental health issues, and his eligibility according to the PSI and a substance abuse evaluation. The State recommended incarceration.

         The district court sentenced Headley to prison for a total term not to exceed eighteen years for the burglary, domestic abuse assault, and four probation violations. The district court judge also ordered Headley to make restitution, saying, "I'm not aware of the amount. If it's brought to my attention as to a specific amount, an order will be entered and ...


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