from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Duane E.
Popplewell appeals his conviction for second-degree theft.
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, (until withdrawal) and
Nan Jennisch, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, and Israel Kodiaga, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Doyle and Bower, JJ.
Popplewell appeals his conviction for second-degree theft, a
class "D" felony, in violation of Iowa Code
sections 714.1(4) and 714.2(2) (2018). He contends his
counsel was ineffective in allowing him to plead guilty to
the charge because there is no factual basis to support his
plea. We review his claim de novo. See State
v. Rodriguez, 804 N.W.2d 844, 848 (Iowa 2011).
succeed on his claim, Popplewell must prove by a
preponderance of the evidence that his counsel failed to
perform an essential duty and prejudice resulted. See
id. If counsel allowed him to plead guilty without a
factual basis, we presume prejudice. See id. at 849.
The question is whether the record before the district court
at the time of the plea provides a sufficient basis for
finding Popplewell committed the offense. See id.
Iowa Code section 714.1(4), a person commits theft by
"[e]xercis[ing] control over stolen property, knowing
such property to have been stolen, or having reasonable cause
to believe that such property has been stolen, unless the
person's purpose is to promptly restore it to the owner
or to deliver it to an appropriate public officer." The
court reviewed the elements of the charge with Popplewell at
the plea hearing:
THE COURT: What did you do on that date that leads you to
believe you're guilty of this charge?
THE DEFENDANT: I stole a truck.
THE COURT: Okay. And did you know that you didn't have
permission to take that truck?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: And did you make any efforts to return it to the