Man accused of stealing lawn mower from Mason City business wins appeal of conviction

first_imgMASON CITY — A Des Moines man convicted in connection with stealing a lawn mower from a Mason City business has had his sentence vacated after an appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court. 55-year-old Charles Ross was accused of stealing a lawn mower from Mills Fleet Farm in September 2018. He eventually pleaded guilty to second-degree theft, possession of a tool with the intent to unlawfully remove a theft detection device, and possession of methamphetamine and was sentenced to five years in prison.  Ross in his appeal argued that his trial counsel was ineffective for allowing him to plead guilty to the possession of a tool to remove a theft detection device charge because the padlock-steel cable combination was not a theft detection device in the Iowa Code. The Iowa Supreme Court in their ruling issued earlier today agreed with Ross’ argument that the padlock-steel cable combination was a theft “prevention” device and not a theft “detection” device. The court vacates the guilty plea and remands the case back to Cerro Gordo County District Court for further proceedings. Prosecutors will have the option of withdrawing from the plea agreement it had with Ross and reinstating any charges it previously dismissed.last_img

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