In a rare move, the Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled a Clinton County man should get a new trial on his third offense drunken driving charge. Jeremy Fenton had twice been convicted of drunken driving. He was charged with a third “Operating While Intoxicated” offense in October 2003. He was convicted, then sentenced by a judge to up to five years in prison. Fenton appealed, arguing his lawyer was ineffective and he didn’t quite know what was going on in the courtroom when the judge found him guilty. The Court of Appeals has ruled there’s nothing in the court record to demonstrate Fenton voluntarily waived his right to a jury trial, or even knew that was the motion on the table. The Court of Appeals says Fenton’s lawyer is to partly to blame and Fenton should get a new trial.
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