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State v. Schminkey

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


Facts

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

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Ternus, J.)

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Dissent (Carter, J.)

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