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Case No. 21-0758

Dylan Andrew Karns
State of Iowa


Dylan Andrew Karns


State of Iowa

Attorney for the Appellant

Scott M. Wadding

Attorney for the Appellee

Israel Kodiaga, Assistant Attorney General

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
Date Published:
Jun 29, 2022

No. 21-0758   KARNS v. STATE

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Emmet County, Don E. Courtney, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by May, P.J., and Greer and Chicchelly, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  (9 pages)

            Dylan Karns appeals the denial of his application for postconviction relief (PCR).  He claims trial counsel provided ineffective assistance, arguing counsel breached an essential duty by failing to investigate Karns’s mental health and that he was prejudiced because, if counsel had done so, counsel would have learned Karns was not competent to enter the guilty pleas.  On appeal, Karns argues for the first time that his PCR counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to obtain expert testimony to establish that Karns’s specific mental disorders—combined with the failure to take his medication—affected his competency at the time of the guilty pleas.  OPINION HOLDS: Without a medical expert making the connection for us between Karns’s mental conditions and his competency (or lack thereof), we cannot say trial counsel provided ineffective assistance.  And because the record on appeal is inadequate for us to address Karns’s claim PCR counsel provided ineffective assistance, we do not decide it.  We affirm the denial of Karns’s PCR application.

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