from the Iowa District Court for Floyd County, DeDra
defendant appeals his sentence for child endangerment causing
bodily injury following his plea of guilty.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, (until withdrawal) and
Vidhya K. Reddy, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Sharon K. Hall, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Tabor, P.J., and Mullins and May, JJ.
Jacobson pleaded guilty to child endangerment causing bodily
injury. The district court sentenced him to an indeterminate
five-year prison term. Jacobson contests his prison sentence
on four grounds: (1) the district court violated his due
process rights by considering a risk-assessment tool; (2) the
court abused its discretion by considering the sentencing
recommendation in the presentence investigation (PSI) report;
(3) the court abused its discretion by failing to consider
mitigating features of youth when sentencing Jacobson, who
was seventeen years old when he committed the crime; and (4)
the sentencing order improperly assessed court costs and jail
first and second grounds for relief are derailed by our
supreme court's recent decision in State v.
Headley, 926 N.W.2d 545, 549-50 (Iowa 2019) (deciding
the district court could consider risk-assessment tools and
sentencing recommendations contained in a PSI when defense
did not object to either matter at the sentencing hearing).
On the third ground, we find no abuse of discretion in the
sentencing court's consideration of Jacobson's youth.
Jacobson may raise his alternative claim that trial counsel
failed to effectively argue those mitigating factors in a
postconviction-relief action. On the fourth ground, applying
State v. Albright, 925 N.W.2d 144, 150 (Iowa 2019),
we vacate the restitution order and remand for the district
court to receive the final restitution plan before
determining Jacobson's reasonable ability to pay.
Facts and Prior Proceedings
guilty plea hearing, Jacobson admitted he "slapped"
a child in his care and "caused a bruise." He also
acknowledged the court could look to the minutes of testimony
to establish a factual basis for his guilty plea. According
to the minutes, Jacobson was caring for his girlfriend's
two-month-old son, E.J., when he called for an ambulance.
Jacobson told the first responders E.J. had fallen and was
not breathing. But they saw heavy bruising to the
infant's face "consistent with child abuse."
The ambulance took E.J. to the emergency room at the Floyd
County Medical Center, where doctors decided the severity of
his injuries required transfer to University Hospitals in
Iowa City. The hospital reported E.J. suffered an acute
subdural hematoma. He had visible bruising on his left cheek,
consistent with a hand print, as well as a linear bruise
across his lower lip. The infant also suffered extensive
diffuse multi-layer retinal hemorrhages.
State originally charged Jacobson with child endangerment
resulting in serious injury, a class "C" felony.
After negotiations, Jacobson accepted the State's offer
to plead guilty to child endangerment resulting in bodily
injury, a class "D" felony. Each side was free to
argue for any available sentencing option.
sentencing, the State lobbied for an indeterminate five-year
prison term. Jacobson asked for a deferred judgment. In his
allocution, Jacobson maintained "there was an
accident" during which the baby fell out of his arms to
the floor and stopped breathing. He told the court: "I
slapped him with a desire to see him breathe again. It was a
mistake, and I regret it very much." The district court
imposed a prison sentence. Jacobson now
Scope and Standards of Review
sentence falls within statutory limits, we review challenges
for an abuse of the district court's discretion.
Headley, 926 N.W.2d at 549. We will find an abuse
only if that court exercises its discretion on grounds or for
reasons that are "clearly untenable or
unreasonable." Id. A ground or reason fits that
description "when based on an erroneous application of
the law." Id. We engage in a de novo review of
constitutional claims, like due process and ineffective
assistance of counsel. More v. State, 880 ...