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Case No. 18-0083

State of Iowa
Ramon Hernandez-Mendoza


State of Iowa


Ramon Hernandez-Mendoza

Attorney for the Appellee

Thomas J. Ogden, Assistant Attorney General

Attorney for the Appellant

Shellie L. Knipfer, Assistant Appellate Defender

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
May 01, 2019

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Crawford County, Jeffrey A. Neary, Judge.  CONVICTIONS AFFIRMED, SENTENCES VACATED IN PART, AND REMANDED FOR RESENTENCING.  Considered by Vogel, C.J., Vaitheswaran, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Vogel, C.J. (11 pages)

            Ramon Hernandez-Mendoza appeals his convictions and sentence for homicide by vehicle, controlled substance violations, and supplying alcohol to minors.  He argues his counsel was ineffective for failing to move for judgment of acquittal on the basis of causation for the homicide by vehicle charge.  He also argues his sentences are illegal because the sentencing order is inconsistent on whether it applied an enhancement and it imposed a minimum term of confinement on one charge without authority.  The State in turn argues his sentences are illegal because the court waived a minimum term of confinement on other charges without authority.  OPINION HOLDS: Because substantial evidence supports finding his intoxicated driving was a factual cause and—if applicable—a proximate cause of death, we find his counsel was not ineffective.  We also find his sentences are illegal because the court misapplied minimum terms of confinement.  Therefore, we affirm his convictions, vacate his sentences in part, and remand for the district court to amend the judgment and sentences.

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