from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Heather Lauber,
defendant appeals his sentence following his guilty plea to
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, (until withdrawal) and
Shellie L. Knipfer, Assistant Appellate Defender, for
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Sheryl Soich, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Tabor and Bower, JJ.
Williams pleaded guilty to attempted burglary after
surveillance footage showed him carrying items out of his
ex-wife's apartment. This appeal is from his sentencing.
Williams contends the sentencing court abused its discretion
in considering his failure to acknowledge how his actions
"affected the victim of this case." Because that
court properly considered Williams's limited remorse for
his offense, we decline to order resentencing.
his ex-wife was away on a trip in June 2017, Williams entered
her apartment without permission and carried out electronic
equipment in an IKEA bag. That conduct led the police to charge
Williams with burglary in the third degree, a class
"D" felony. After negotiations with the county
attorney, Williams entered a guilty plea to attempted
burglary, an aggravated misdemeanor. Under that agreement, the
parties were free to argue any legal sentence.
sentencing, the State argued Williams was "not a good
candidate for probation" and recommended a prison term
not to exceed two years. In support of that recommendation,
the State pointed to Williams's "significant
criminal history." The prosecutor also read the victim
impact statement filed by the ex-wife. In that statement, the
victim recounted her sleepless nights and increased anxiety
after the crime. The prosecutor told the sentencing court:
He has been given chances at probation, he has been given
fines, he has been given lengthy jail stays and he has been
given prison sentences.
None of those were enough to deter his conduct when he
attempted to break into the residence of his ex-wife causing
her to be placed in fear for some period of time.
other side of the courtroom, defense counsel stressed the
recommendation of probation in the presentence investigation
report. Defense counsel also highlighted the fact his client
had not violated the no-contact order issued to protect the
allocution, Williams acknowledged his "terrible"
criminal history. But then underscored the "positive
path" he had taken in the past year-securing employment,
paying child support, and completing substance-abuse
treatment. He told the court: "The past year has been an
eye-opener. Couple of things I didn't know at the time is
I was affecting family, friends, and those close to me. The
most damaging was the relationship with my children."
Williams continued: "I have also been trying to repair
relationships with my children and others that are important
to me." He told the court he could succeed on probation
this time because he "learned a lot." Although he told
the court he had been drafting his allocution statement
"over the past couple of months," Williams did not
include any direct references to the crime at hand.
hearing those recommendations from both the State and the
defense, the ...