Appeals court rules north Iowa man should go to prison

Tannahill Chad Ryan 04-11-1969

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Court of Appeals says a Cerro Gordo County man should have to spend time behind bars, even though he reached a plea agreement that would have kept him out of prison.

Chad Ryan Tannahill was charged in March 2013 with second degree kidnapping, domestic abuse assault-impeding normal breathing and second degree criminal mischief.  He reached a plea deal with prosecutors where the kidnapping charge was dropped, and Tannahill agreed to plead guilty to the other two counts in return for suspended sentences.

At Tannahill’s sentencing hearing, there was some confusion over the prosecutor’s recommendation, and the judge wound up ignoring the plea agreement and ordering Tannahill to serve a total of 7 years in prison on these charges.

Tannahill appealed, arguing his counsel was ineffective and that the court abused its discretion in sentencing.  The Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled that Tannahill can raise claims of ineffective counsel and whether the prosecutor breached the plea agreement in matters of post-conviction relief.  However, the Court of Appeals affirmed the seven year sentence and said the district court did not abuse its discretion.

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