from the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County, Bradley
J. Harris, Judge.
applicant appeals the district court decision denying his
application for postconviction relief.
M. Wadding of Kemp & Sease, Des Moines, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Martha E. Trout, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Doyle, P.J., May, J., and Gamble, S.J. [*]
Gamble, Senior Judge.
Reed appeals the district court decision denying his
application for postconviction relief. The
postconviction-relief court found Reed established a claim of
ineffective assistance of appellate counsel but improperly
concluded it did not have authority to grant Reed relief. We
reverse the decision of the district court and remand for
Background Facts & Proceedings
was charged with eluding, possession of methamphetamine, and
driving while license revoked. He stipulated his driver's
license had been revoked during the relevant time period.
Reed's criminal trial, Officer Albert Bovy of the
Waterloo Police Department testified he observed Reed's
vehicle did not have license plates, so he turned on his
lights and siren and attempted to stop the vehicle. He stated
Reed did not stop, but went forty-five to fifty miles per
hour in a twenty-five mile per hour zone. Officer Bovy
followed Reed's vehicle, which eventually skidded through
an intersection and struck a house. He testified that
"when [Reed] crashed into the house, I could see his
driver's window was open. His arm comes flinging up as if
to throw something." Officer Bovy stated he found
"a baggie of crystal ice," a type of
methamphetamine, and a pipe used to smoke methamphetamine on
the ground at the scene of the crash. The State presented a
videotape recording of the incident from Officer Bovy's
closing arguments, defense counsel stated the video showed
Officer Bovy placed something on the ground, which she stated
could be the bag of methamphetamine. Defense counsel asked
the jury to find Reed not guilty of possession of
methamphetamine. On the eluding charge, defense counsel
stated, "You have to decide whether or not you trust
Officer Bovy's testimony about the speed."
rebuttal, the prosecutor discussed Officer Bovy's
testimony concerning the defendant's speed and stated,
"He's telling you the truth." Concerning the
bag of methamphetamine, the prosecutor stated, "Why-why
would a person who's gonna risk perjury, your career, do
something like that in such a weak way? That's called
candor. He's being honest." Defense counsel objected
to this statement, and the court overruled the objection.
jury found Reed guilty of eluding, possession of
methamphetamine, and driving while revoked. Reed stipulated
to being a habitual offender. The district court denied
Reed's motion for a new trial. The court sentenced Reed
to a term of imprisonment not to exceed fifteen years for
eluding and fifteen years for possession of methamphetamine,
to be served concurrently, and a fine for driving while
direct appeal, Reed challenged only his conviction for
possession of methamphetamine. State v. Reed, No.
16-1673, 2017 WL 3525175, at 1* (Iowa Ct. App. Aug. 16,
2017). We found there had been prosecutorial misconduct
because the prosecutor vouched for Officer Bovy's
credibility during the closing arguments. Id. at *4.
We stated, "When the prosecutor personally vouched for
the officer's honesty rather than sticking to the
evidence presented, Reed was denied a fair trial."