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State v. Schminkey

Supreme Court of Iowa
597 N.W.2d 785 (1999)


William Schminkey (defendant) consumed numerous alcoholic beverages at a party and at a bar before leaving the bar in a pickup truck belonging to Dale Kimm. Schminkey did not have Kimm’s permission to drive the vehicle, and witnesses attested to Schminkey’s erratic operation of the pickup. While driving through a small town, Schminkey ran a stop sign and collided with two vehicles, killing one of the other drivers. Although Schminkey did not stop at the scene of the accident, he collided with a fence shortly afterward and was arrested with a blood-alcohol level well above Iowa’s legal limit. Schminkey was charged with three offenses under Iowa law: (1) homicide by vehicle, (2) involuntary manslaughter, and (3) theft. Schminkey claimed that, due to his intoxication, he had no recollection of the evening’s events, and therefore entered a plea agreement under which Schminkey offered Alford pleas to the homicide and theft offenses in exchange for dismissal of the manslaughter charge. Schminkey was sentenced to consecutive 10-year and five-year terms of imprisonment. Schminkey appealed and claimed that the record lacked sufficient support for a guilty finding on the theft offense, as there was no evidence Schminkey intended to permanently deprive Kimm of the pickup.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Ternus, J.)

Dissent (Carter, J.)

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