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State v. Davolt

Court of Appeals of Iowa

October 9, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JEREMY JAMES DAVOLT, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Lee (South) County, John M. Wright (sentencing), and Mary Ann Brown (order for reimbursement), Judges.

         A defendant challenges the court's use of a presentence investigation report's sentencing recommendation and contests his reasonable ability to pay assessed costs.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, (until withdrawal) and Vidhya K. Reddy, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Tyler J. Buller, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.

          BOWER, JUDGE.

         Jeremy James Davolt appeals his sentences for involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident. He challenges the court's use of the sentencing recommendation of the department of corrections in the presentence investigation (PSI) report and the order to reimburse correctional fees when Davolt does not have a reasonable ability to pay the fees.

         I. Background Facts & Proceedings

         On January 10, 2018, Davolt pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident. The plea agreement provided a third charge of homicide by vehicle would be dismissed, Davolt would be responsible for restitution, and the parties would be free to argue consecutive or concurrent sentences.

         The PSI report submitted included a recommendation for consecutive sentences. Davolt requested concurrent sentences. The State recommended consecutive sentences. At sentencing on January 16, the court imposed two consecutive five-year terms of incarceration to be served consecutively to a sentence from a separate case. The court imposed a fine and applicable surcharges on each count and ordered $150, 000 in restitution be paid to the estate of the deceased victim. The court then found Davolt did not have the reasonable ability to pay court costs or reimbursement for court-appointed attorney fees.

         On January 17, the sheriff's office requested reimbursement for correctional fees under Iowa Code section 356.7(2) (2018). The court entered an order giving Davolt thirty days to file a written objection, stating if no objection was filed, Davolt was ordered to pay $630 for correction fees. On January 29, a restitution plan was filed which included "costs."

         Davolt appeals.[1]

         II. Standard of Review

         "We apply an abuse of discretion standard when the sentence challenged [is] within the statutory limits." State v. Headley, 926 N.W.2d 545, 549 (Iowa 2019). "We review restitution orders for correction of errors at law." Stat ...


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