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Local News

June 25, 2014

Court rejects local case

DES MOINES — The Iowa Court of Appeals released a ruling on a case out of Appanoose County Wednesday, siding with the district court.

Joseph Agan wanted the court to overturn the district court’s decision on his sentencing.

The state’s inmate locator shows Agan currently serving a sentence on drug charges, with a long history of prior convictions.

Agan was, in a sense, appealing the result of an appeal. He had filed a petition for post-conviction relief, which is when someone convicted of a crime seeks correction of errors. Agan filed a “petition alleging illegal sentence” in 2012. The filings included an application for a transcript of court proceedings and an application for Agan’s attorney to withdraw, thus clearing the way for a possible claim of ineffective counsel.

The court rejected the requests and granted the prosecution’s motion to dismiss the petition “for failure to state a claim.”

The court assessed Agan’s petition as a series of complaints about treatment. He felt he should have been offered a plea bargain, as prosecutors did with two co-defendants. Agan criticized the Appanoose County Sheriff’s Department charging them for his incarceration, which resulted in a restitution judgement for more than $13,000. And he questioned whether online mention of his sentences might lead the parole board to think he required more time behind bars than what his sentence said.

The appeals court agreed with the district court judge that Agan “did not raise any claim that would make him eligible for postconviction relief,” nor did it err in denying the motion to withdraw and the motion for a transcript.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
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