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Case No. 20-0926

LaForest Bennett
State of Iowa


LaForest Bennett


State of Iowa

Attorney for the Appellant

Stephan J. Japuntich, Assistant Appellate Defender

Attorney for the Appellee

Sharon K. Hall, Assistant Attorney General

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Oct 06, 2021

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Heather Lauber, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Vaitheswaran, P.J., and Greer and Schumacher, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (11 pages)

            Laforest Bennett argues that at the critical time, his counsel failed to challenge the district court’s finding of competency and the acceptance of his guilty pleas.  He raises this issue in a postconviction-relief (PCR) format.  On appeal from the denial of his PCR application, he argues the district court failed to make findings regarding if he was restored to competency.  And Bennett urges that his trial counsel should have raised the issue in any event because he was not competent to plead guilty.  OPINION HOLDS: Because of the competency determination made shortly before the plea proceeding, we find Bennett’s trial counsel was not ineffective for failing to challenge the plea or raise issues of Bennett’s competency.

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