from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Michael
J. Schilling, Judge.
Harris appeals the district court's summary disposition
of his actual innocence claim in his application for
post-conviction relief. AFFIRMED.
Mason of JL Mason Law, PLLC, Ankeny, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Sharon K. Hall, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee State.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Potterfield and Doyle,
Harris appeals the summary disposition of his actual
innocence claim asserted in his third application for
postconviction relief (PCR).
Factual Background & Procedural History
district court summarized the relevant background facts in
its order denying Harris's first PCR application:
Harris moved to Burlington, Iowa from Chicago, Illinois with
his girlfriend, Ms. Sandra Badger, for employment
opportunities. On February 7, 2008, Harris went to work as
scheduled, but Ms. Badger did not. Harris returned home after
his shift ended around 6:00 a.m. February 8, 2008. Later that
morning, around 10:00 or 11:00 a.m., Harris and Ms. Badger
argued about money and their relationship. The argument
quickly escalated and became very heated.
Harris went to the kitchen, obtained a knife, and returned to
the bedroom where the argument was taking place. Harris
proceeded to stab Ms. Badger with the knife several times. A
witness attempted to intervene but stopped when Harris made
threatening motions with the knife toward the witness. The
witness left the scene and called 911.
After stabbing Badger, Harris immediately left on foot,
taking Ms. Badger's purse with him. Ms. Badger staggered
outside to the street where she collapsed. Emergency medical
personnel transported Badger to Great River Medical Center in
West Burlington, Iowa where she died about an hour later. The
police apprehended Harris shortly thereafter and he admitted
to stabbing Badger.
was charged with murder in the first-degree on February 8,
2008. Harris later pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on
April 21, 2008. An order accepting the guilty plea was
entered that same day. Harris was sentenced to a fifty-year
prison term on June 2, 2008.
appealed his conviction. The Iowa Supreme Court determined
the appeal was frivolous and dismissed it on October 14,
2008. State v. Harris, No. 08-1144 (Iowa 2008).
Harris filed his first PCR application on November 3, 2008,
alleging his trial counsel did not provide him adequate
advice related to his guilty plea. He did not raise an actual
innocence claim. The district court denied his application on