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Case No. 21-0028

Joel Enrique Herrarte, Jr.
State of Iowa


Joel Enrique Herrarte, Jr.


State of Iowa

Attorney for the Appellant

Christopher A. Clausen

Attorney for the Appellee

Israel Kodiaga, Assistant Attorney General

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Jun 29, 2022

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Wapello County, Lucy J. Gamon, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., Badding, J., and Blane, S.J.  Opinion by Blane, S.J.  (9 pages)

            Herrarte appeals the denial of his postconviction-relief application.  He argues that his criminal trial counsel was ineffective for (1) incorrectly arguing the evidence supported a conviction of kidnapping in the third degree, of which he was convicted, when it was not a lesser included offense of kidnapping in the second degree, the crime charged, and (2) failing to object to the court finding him guilty of third-degree kidnapping.  OPINION HOLDS: We find, applying Iowa Rule of Criminal Procedure 2.22(3), since the kidnapping statute established three degrees of the crime, the trial court properly determined Herrarte guilty of kidnapping in the third degree.  Herrarte’s criminal trial counsel was not ineffective in arguing the court find Herrarte guilty of kidnapping in the third degree as trial strategy, and in not objecting to the court finding him guilty of third-degree kidnapping.  We find counsel did not fail in an essential duty and affirm the denial of postconviction relief.

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