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State v. Popplewell

Court of Appeals of Iowa

October 9, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
IVIE THOMAS POPPLEWELL III, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Woodbury County, Duane E. Hoffmeyer, Judge.

         Ivie Popplewell appeals his conviction for second-degree theft.

          Mark C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, (until withdrawal) and Nan Jennisch, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Israel Kodiaga, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

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

          DOYLE, JUDGE.

         Ivie 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.[1] We review his claim de novo. See State v. Rodriguez, 804 N.W.2d 844, 848 (Iowa 2011).

         To 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.

         Under 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 ...

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