Appeals court upholds Clark sentence

A Fort Dodge man who admitted assaulting a woman had the appeal of his sentence denied Wednesday.

The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the sentence of Mandell Clark, 39, of Fort Dodge, which he received after pleading guilty to assault with the intent to inflict serious injury.

Clark was sentenced to two years in prison, which was to be served consecutively to any sentence he received regarding an unrelated case from another county.

Clark appealed his sentence because he said the court did not state on the record the reasoning behind his sentence.

In their decision, the appeals court cited State v. Snyder, an Iowa Supreme Court ruling which stated “(t)he sentence of imprisonment was … not the product of the exercise of trial court discretion but of the process of giving effect to the parties’ agreement. Under these circumstances, the purpose of a statement of reasons for imposition of the sentence would serve no practical purpose.”

The decision went on to say that Clark’s sentence was upheld “because the district court was merely giving effect to the parties’ agreement, and any failure of the court to state on the record the reasons for imposing the sentence was harmless.”