from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Scott D.
Winston appeals his sentences following his guilty pleas.
Young of Parrish Kruidenier Dunn Boles Gentry Brown &
Bergmann L.L.P., Des Moines, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Katie Krickbaum, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
Winston pled guilty to willful injury, in violation of Iowa
Code section 708.4(1) (2018) (a class 'C' felony);
willful injury, in violation of Iowa Code section 708.4(2) (a
class 'D' felony); and possession of a controlled
substance with intent to deliver as an habitual offender, in
violation of Iowa Code sections 124.401(1)(c)(3), 902.8 and
902.9(1)(c) (a class 'C' felony). The district court
sentenced Winston to ten, five, and fifteen-year terms of
incarceration for his three convictions, ordering the
sentences to run concurrent to each other but consecutive to
Winston's sentence for his parole
appeals contending the sentencing court abused its discretion
in ordering him to serve his willful-injury and possession
sentences consecutive to his parole-violation
sentence. He argues the court failed to provide a
sufficient explanation on the record as to why it ordered the
sentences to run consecutive to his parole-violation
review Winston's sentencing challenge for an abuse of
discretion. See State v. Seats, 865 N.W.2d 545, 552
(Iowa 2015) (stating a challenge to a sentence that is within
the statutory terms is reviewed for an abuse of discretion).
An abuse of discretion occurs when the evidence does not
support the sentence. See State v. Valin, 724 N.W.2d
440, 445 (Iowa 2006). When the sentences imposed are within
the statutory limits, they are "cloaked with a strong
presumption" in their favor. State v. Formaro,
638 N.W.2d 720, 724 (Iowa 2002).
Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.23(3)(d) establishes, "The
court shall state on the record its reason for selecting the
particular sentence." This applies to a district
court's decision to impose consecutive sentences. See
State v. Oliver, 588 N.W.2d 412, 414 (Iowa 1998). Our
supreme court has reiterated the purpose of requiring the
sentencing court to state its reasons for selecting a
particular sentence on the record is to ensure
"defendants are well aware of the consequences of their
criminal actions" and, most importantly, to allow us
"the opportunity to review the discretion of the
sentencing court." State v. Hill, 878 N.W.2d
269, 273 (Iowa 2016) (quoting State v. Thompson, 856
N.W.2d 915, 919 (Iowa 2014)). A "terse and
succinct" statement may suffice "when the reasons
for the exercise of discretion are obvious in light of the
statement and the record before the court." State v.
Thacker, 862 N.W.2d 402, 408 (Iowa 2015). Furthermore,
"courts should also explicitly state the reasons for
imposing a consecutive sentence, although in doing so the
court may rely on the same reasons for imposing a sentence of
incarceration." Hill, 878 N.W.2d at 275.
asserts the sentencing court failed "to take into
consideration [his] age and chances of reform. Rather,
district court focuses only on the nature of the offense,
[his] status on parole at the time of the offenses and the
Court's belief [he] is a danger to the public." He
contends the court's explanation for running his
sentences consecutive to his parole violation sentence was
inadequate. We disagree.
sentencing hearing, the district court stated:
Court has reviewed the presentence investigation report. I
have also taken into account the victim impact statements
made here today. The Court observes that Mr. Winston is
approximately 38 years old. The presentence investigation
report states and lists numerous attempts of rehabilitation
for [Winston]. All have, apparently, failed.
addition, the Court finds that there is indeed a pattern with
a propensity to violence. The presentence investigation
writer indicated that ...