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Case No. 20-0475

Ronald Taylor
v.
State of Iowa

Appellant

Ronald Taylor

Appellee

State of Iowa

Attorneys for Appellant

Ashley Beisch

Attorneys for Appellee

Sharon K. Hall, Assistant Attorney General

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
20-0475
Date Published:
Mar 03, 2021
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Buena Vista County, Don E. Courtney, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Doyle, P.J., and Tabor and Ahlers, JJ.  Opinion by Tabor, J.  (12 pages)

            Ronald Taylor appeals the denial of his second and third postconviction-relief (PCR) actions, arguing the PCR court failed to address his claim of actual innocence and trial counsel was ineffective.  He contends the district court failed to apply the standard from Schmidt v. State, 909 N.W.2d 778, 797 (Iowa 2018).  He also contends his attorney was ineffective (1) for not investigating the State’s threat to file additional charges, (2) in failing to offer proof at the hearing on his motion in arrest of judgment, and (3) in failing to support his motion to withdraw his Alford pleas.  OPINION HOLDS: Because the prior PCR action addressed several of these issues, we find them precluded from our review.  On the actual-innocence claim, we find the court did apply Schmidt and properly determined Taylor did not meet that heavy burden of proof.  On the remaining claim—that counsel was ineffective for not offering evidence to bolster the motion to withdraw his pleas—Taylor fails to show that counsel breached an essential duty.  We thus affirm the denial of relief.

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