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State v. Agee

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 6, 2019

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
RONALD DEAN AGEE, Defendant-Appellant. RONALD DEAN AGEE, Petitioner-Appellant
v.
STATE OF IOWA, Respondent-Appellee.

          Appeals from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeffrey D. Farrell, Judge (19-0345) and the Iowa District Court for Jasper County, Thomas P. Murphy, Judge (19-0131).

         Ronald Agee appeals the district court's dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus and denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence. AFFIRMED ON BOTH APPEALS.

          Ronald Agee, Newton, pro se appellant.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, Darrel Mullins, Assistant Attorney General and John R. Lundquist, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

          Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Mullins and Greer, JJ.

          GREER, JUDGE.

         Ronald Agee appeals the district court's dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus and denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence. Agee argues he can pursue his claims through a petition for habeas corpus and also that he was entitled to an automatic discharge of his lifetime special sentence after ten years with credit for time served in prison. We disagree and affirm the district court rulings.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         In July 2007, Agee was charged with two counts of sexual abuse in the third degree and one count of wanton neglect of a resident of a health care facility. In October, the district court accepted his guilty plea to one count of sexual abuse in the third degree in violation of Iowa Code section 709.1 and .4 (2007), a class "C" felony. As a punishment, the district court sentenced him to ten years in prison as well as a lifetime special sentence under Iowa Code section 903B.1. Agee discharged the prison sentence on February 4, 2013, and was released. At that point, he began serving his lifetime special sentence.

         According to Agee, he violated the conditions of his special sentence on June 3, 2014, [1] and his release was revoked. Agee acknowledges that after revocation of the release, he was given several opportunities to sign a new parole agreement, which would have allowed him to be released. Agee refused and instead remained incarcerated.

         Although scheduled for release on June 3, 2016, Agee asserts that the Iowa Department of Corrections (IDOC) revoked his release for a second time when he again refused to sign a new parole order and agreement at the end of his initial two-year revocation. The record does not reflect his current scheduled release date.

         The first appeal involves Agee's filed petition for writ of habeas corpus, docketed in December 2018. The district court dismissed the petition noting that the habeas corpus statute does not apply to individuals convicted of public offenses. Agee moved to amend or enlarge, which was denied. Then, Agee filed a combined notice of appeal and petition for writ of certiorari. The Iowa Supreme Court treated this filing as a notice of appeal and determined Agee could proceed with his appeal of the district court ruling.

         As for his second appeal, in January 2019, Agee moved to correct an illegal sentence in his original criminal case. The district court denied the motion. In its ruling, the district court noted that questions about Agee's release were for the Iowa Board of Parole (IBOP) and the IDOC, not the court. Agee moved to enlarge or amend, which was denied. Agee again filed a combined petition for writ of certiorari and notice of appeal. He then moved to consolidate this appeal with the appeal from the dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus. The Iowa Supreme Court again treated Agee's filing as a notice of appeal and declined to consolidate the appeals. This order was confirmed by a three-justice panel.

         The Iowa Supreme Court transferred both cases to this court. Although the Iowa Supreme Court declined to consolidate Agee's appeals, we will consider the appeals together as they arise from ...


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