State v. Hayden, 22-0644

CourtCourt of Appeals of Iowa
Writing for the CourtBOWER, CHIEF JUDGE.
PartiesSTATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. STEVEN JAMES HAYDEN, Defendant-Appellant.
Docket Number22-0644
Decision Date17 November 2022

STATE OF IOWA, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.

STEVEN JAMES HAYDEN, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 22-0644

Court of Appeals of Iowa

November 17, 2022


Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Marshall County, Kim M. Riley, District Associate Judge.

Steven James Hayden appeals his convictions and sentences in three cases after entering guilty pleas to stalking, third-degree harassment, eluding, and two counts of operating while under the influence. AFFIRMED.

Richard Hollis, Des Moines, for appellant.

Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Louis S. Sloven, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

Considered by Bower, C.J., Tabor, J., and Scott, S.J. [*]

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BOWER, CHIEF JUDGE.

In August and December 2021, Steven James Hayden entered written guilty pleas to several charges filed in three different cases.

AGCR097866-Hayden pleaded guilty in count I of stalking in violation of Iowa Code section 708.11(1), (2), and (3)(c) (2020), with the following basis.

I plead guilty because I know I am guilty. I agree with the allegations in the trial information. I state that on or about September 1, 2015 up to an including October 23, 2020 in the County of Marshall and the State of Iowa, I did purposely engage in a course of conduct directed at [L.R.] that would cause a reasonable person to feel threatened and I had knowledge that a reasonable person would feel threatened by the course of the conduct

In count VI, Hayden pleaded guilty to third-degree harassment,[1] in violation of section 708.7(1)(a)(1) and (a)(4), with this factual basis:

I plead guilty because I know I am guilty. I agree with the allegations in the trial information. I state that on or about the 19th day of October, 2020, in the County of Marshall and the State of Iowa, I did purposefully and without legitimate purpose communicate with [L.R.] by writing in a manner likely to cause him annoyance with the intent to intimidate, annoy or alarm him.

OWCR097844-In count I, Hayden pleaded guilty to operating while intoxicated (OWI), second offense, in violation of section 321J.2, with this basis:

I plead guilty because I know I am guilty. I agree with the allegations in the trial information. I state that on or about the 18th day of October, 2020, in the County of Marshall and the State of Iowa, I did operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or drug, or a combination of such substances, and had previously been convicted of this offense within the previous [twelve] years.
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In count II, he pleaded guilty to eluding, in violation of section 321.279(1)(a), with this factual basis:

I plead guilty because I know I am guilty. I agree with the allegations in the trial information. I state that on or about the 18th day of October, 2020, in the County of Marshall and the State of Iowa, I did willfully operate a motor vehicle, and failed to bring the motor vehicle to a stop, or did willfully otherwise elude, or attempt to elude a marked official law enforcement vehicle that was driven by a uniformed peace officer, after being given a visual and audible signal to stop.

OWCR097874-Hayden pleaded guilty to OWI, second offense, in violation of section 321J.2, with this basis:

I plead guilty because I know I am guilty. I agree with the allegations in the trial information. I state that on or about the 24th day of October, 2020, in the County of Marshall and the State of Iowa, I did operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or drug, or a combination of such substances, and had previously been convicted of this offense within the previous [twelve] years.

The written pleas set out the minimum and maximum fines and sentences for each offense, acknowledged the court "does not have to follow the plea bargain," and detailed the sentence the State was going to recommend. Hayden waived his "right to be present while making this plea and personally inform the court of my plea and to speak for myself."

The court accepted the pleas and set sentencing for hearing. Hayden did not file a motion in arrest of judgment.

After several continuances, a combined sentencing hearing on the three cases was held on March 11, 2022. The State recommended a two-year prison term for stalking, a thirty-day jail sentence for harassment, two-year prison terms for each OWI, and a 365-day term for eluding, with the eluding and OWI sentences

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served concurrently, but consecutive to the stalking sentence, for a total four-year term. The State also noted it had agreed these sentences should run concurrently with two Polk County cases. The prosecutor argued Hayden represented a danger to the community and law enforcement and incarceration would best protect the community.

The defense contended the court should consider all the charges were filed within a week and were all related to Hayden's alcohol problems. The defense stated, "Alcohol abuse is not an excuse. It's only an explanation, and I hope the court considers the mitigating factor as we ask the court to consider our recommendation." The defense asked that the court impose "the bare minimum"- run all the sentences concurrently, suspend the sentences, and place Hayden on probation and order him "to undergo counseling and treatment for his obvious alcohol abuse."

In determining the sentences to be imposed, the court stated it had considered

Hayden's personal circumstances as noted by counsel. The court also takes into account the particular facts and
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