review from the Iowa Court of Appeals.
from the Iowa District Court for Scott County, Mark D. Cleve
(motion for competency evaluation and plea) and Henry W.
Latham II (motion in arrest of judgment), Judges.
defendant appeals his conviction for willful injury resulting
in serious injury, in violation of Iowa Code section
C. Smith, State Appellate Defender, (until withdrawal), and
Melinda J. Nye, Assistant Appellate Defender, for appellant.
J. Miller, Attorney General, Tyler J. Buller, Assistant
Attorney General, Michael J. Walton, County Attorney, and
Andrea L. Glasgow and Caleb J. Copley, Assistant County
Attorneys, for appellee.
WIGGINS, Chief Justice.
State charged Darreon Draine with willful injury resulting in
serious injury, in violation of Iowa Code section 708.4(1)
(2018). He was sixteen years old at the time he allegedly
committed the crime. His counsel filed a reverse-waiver
motion requesting the district court transfer the case to the
juvenile court. The district court denied the reverse-waiver
motion. Counsel then moved the court to suspend the
proceedings and order a competency evaluation for Draine. The
court also denied this motion. Draine decided to plead
guilty. After entry of his plea, Draine filed a timely motion
in arrest of judgment. The court denied the motion in arrest
of judgment and sentenced Draine. Draine filed his notice of
appeal on July 18, 2018.
raises three issues on appeal. First, he claims the district
court erred in denying his request for a competency
evaluation shortly after it denied his reverse-waiver motion.
Second, he argues the court erred in overruling his motion in
arrest of judgment. Finally, he argues the court should have
ordered a competency evaluation following his motion in
arrest of judgment.
transferred the appeal to the court of appeals. It affirmed
Draine's conviction on May 15, 2019. The court of appeals
found the district court did not err in not ordering an
initial competency hearing. It also found "Draine [did]
not identify any specific facts upon which the court should
have relied to hold a preliminary hearing and find probable
cause to order a competency evaluation following the motion
in arrest of judgment." Finally, it found the district
court did not abuse its discretion when it denied
Draine's motion in arrest of judgment. Draine asked for
further review on May 31, 2019, which we granted on June 18,
2019 legislative session, the general assembly amended Iowa
Code section 814.6(1) (2019). The amendment denies a
defendant the right of appeal from a guilty plea, except for
a guilty plea to a class "A" felony or in a case
where a defendant establishes good cause. 2019 Iowa Acts ch.
140, § 28 (to be codified at Iowa Code §
814.6(1)(a)(3) (2020)). The amendment's
effective date was July 1, 2019. See Iowa Code
§ 3.7(1) (2019). The State in its supplemental brief
argues we should apply the amendment retroactively. Thus, the
State contends, we have no jurisdiction of the appeal
regarding Draine's guilty plea or the district
court's denial of Draine's motion in arrest of
judgment under this amendment.
addressed this jurisdictional issue in State v.
Macke, 933 N.W.2d. 226, 235 (Iowa 2019). There we held
the amendment to section 814.6(1) is not retroactive and the
statutes controlling appeals are those that were in effect at
the time the judgment or order appealed from was rendered.
Id. Therefore, we do have jurisdiction of this
the merits of the appeal, when reviewing an application for
further review, we retain discretion to review all the issues
raised on appeal or in the application for further review, or
only a portion thereof. Gits Mfg. Co. v. Frank, 855
N.W.2d 195, 197 (Iowa 2014). In our discretion, we choose to
review only the jurisdictional issue raised by the State on
further review. Accordingly, the court of appeals decision
stands as the final decision as to Draine's claims the
district court erred in failing to order a competency
evaluation prior to Draine's guilty plea and at or near
the time Draine filed his motion in arrest of judgment. The
court of appeals decision also stands as the final decision
regarding Draine's claim the district court abused its
discretion when it denied his motion in arrest of judgment.
Consequently, we affirm the district court's judgment in
OF COURT OF APPEALS AND JUDGMENT OF DISTRICT COURT AFFIRMED.
Waterman, Mansfield, and Christensen, JJ., join this opinion.
Mansfield, J., files a concurring opinion in which Waterman
and Christensen, JJ., join. Appel, J., files a dissenting
opinion. McDonald, J., takes no part.
MANSFIELD, Justice (concurring specially).
the majority opinion. I write separately to explain briefly
why I agree with the determinations of the district court and
the court of appeals that did not find probable cause to
believe Darreon Draine was "suffering from a mental
disorder which prevent[ed] the defendant from appreciating
the charge, understanding the proceedings, or assisting
effectively in the defense." Iowa Code § 812.3(1)
(2018). To be sure, the dissent raises some legitimate
overall concerns about juveniles and their competency to
stand trial. However, I am not convinced they are manifested
in this particular case.
critical point is that Draine had been seen repeatedly over
the years by mental health professionals, partly at the
insistence of his mother. They had diagnosed his issues as
behavioral. This is not a situation of a young man
falling through the cracks and not receiving diagnosis or
treatment. In December 2017, a detailed evaluation by a
psychiatrist concluded that Draine exhibited "ADHD
Combined type," "Conduct Disorder
Childhood-Onset," "Nonadherence to Medical
Treatment," "Oppositional Defiant Disorder,"
and "Intellectual Disability Mild." In fact, an
earlier note had stated, "The doctors think he is
functioning higher than what his IQ shows." On January
9, 2018, the same psychiatrist followed up with the Iowa
Department of Human Services and gave the following verbal
[B]ecause this is primarily behaviors he really should go
into the juvenile system and be held accountable for these
behaviors as medicines are not a fix . . . [H]e has been
given every opportunity at every level to work on these
behaviors and has chosen not to do so.
weeks later, Draine beat up a thirty-year-old staff member at
his latest placement, giving him a concussion along with
other cranial and facial injuries and leading to the criminal
charge in this case.
when Draine's attorney filed his April 2018 motion for
competency evaluation in the present case, a psychiatric
evaluation of Draine had just occurred four months earlier.
This psychiatrist, like other mental health professionals
before him, had concluded that Draine's issues were
mainly behavioral. The district court reviewed these records
and discussed them when it denied Draine's motion for
while attorney representations to the court should always be
taken seriously, the district court here did exactly that.
Draine's attorney made three points at the hearing.
First, he noted that in their most recent meeting, Draine had
"misidentified [him] as his juvenile court attorney as
opposed to his District Court attorney initially." This
strikes me as unexceptional for a person who is enmeshed in
the legal system and has different appointed counsel serving
different roles. Second, the attorney said that after he
"got through what [he] wanted to get through fairly
quickly, probably in about 20 minutes or so," and as he
was getting ready to leave, Draine threatened him "first
for talking with him and then for looking at him."
Third, the attorney relayed secondhand reports of Draine
urinating all over his jail cell and "engag[ing] in
continuous threatening behavior at the jail." The
district court specifically discussed the second and third
representations in its ruling on Draine's motion, finding
them characteristic of the previously diagnosed behavioral
have transcripts of the guilty plea and sentencing
proceedings. These support the conclusions of the district
court and the court of appeals that Draine understood the
proceedings against him and his issues were behavioral.
Notably, at the guilty plea hearing, Draine and his counsel
made a clarification about Draine not having struck the
victim with a radio:
MR. TUPPER: Your Honor, just for clarity of the record, Mr.
Draine and I had discussed this matter multiple times
previously. He does indicate that the portion of the Minutes
of Testimony in the police reports where it is said he struck
Mr. White with a radio -- he indicates that didn't
happen, but he does admit the other portions of the assault
where he was striking Mr. White with his fist. So there is a
portion of the Minutes that he does disagree with, and I just
wanted to clarify that.
THE COURT: Very well.
MR. TUPPER: Do you agree with that?
THE DEFENDANT: Yeah.
at sentencing, Draine made the same clarification
without the assistance of counsel:
I shouldn't go like to prison or nothing, because I
didn't hit the dude with a radio, I hit him with my
closed fist. So I shouldn't go to prison or Eldora or
anything like that. I should be on probation here with my
mom, you know, my family. So that's all I got.
not only did Draine understand the charges against him, he
understood them well enough to insist on making a factual
clarification and argue why it should mitigate his
v. Einfeldt is a different case. See 914 N.W.2d
773 (Iowa 2018). There, the defendant had a prior diagnosis
of mental illness and was engaging in bizarre courtroom
behavior. See id. at 781-83. State v. Kempf
is also a different case. See 282 N.W.2d 704 (Iowa
1979). There, the sixteen-year-old defendant had a
"limited grasp of reality," was allowed to plead
guilty against his attorney's recommendation, and was
sent for a psychiatric evaluation following the guilty plea
that the district court disregarded. See id. at
foregoing reasons, I specially concur.
Waterman and Christensen, JJ., join this special concurrence.
years ago, the commentary to the ABA Criminal Justice Mental
Health Standards declared that "present mental
incompetency . . . is the single most important issue in the
criminal mental health field." ABA Criminal Justice
Mental Health Standards, standard 7-4.1 cmt. intro., at 168
(Am. Bar Ass'n 1989). In my view, this comment is as true
today as when it was first made. The issue of adjudicative
competence in this case demands thorough and careful
examining the record, I conclude the district court did not
properly consider the cumulative impact of factors in the
record related to the competence of the defendant:
intellectual disability reflected in an IQ of 60, a history
of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), the age of the defendant
and the impact of age on psychological development, and the
professional statement of counsel regarding his ability to
communicate with the defendant. When these factors are