CLINTON — A man who was convicted of murder and robbery nearly 20 years ago is requesting post-conviction relief.
George Prentiss III, 56, filed an application for post-conviction relief in April. A Clinton County jury in December 2001 found Prentiss guilty of first-degree murder, a Class A felony, and one count of first-degree robbery, a Class B felony, in connection with the January 2001 stabbing death of Pamela Wiedner in Clinton.
District Court Judge Charles Pelton in January 2002 sentenced Prentiss to serve life in prison on the murder charge. He was sentenced to up to 25 years in prison on the robbery charge, with the sentences to be served concurrently.
Prentiss filed the application for post-conviction relief on grounds the conviction or sentence was in violation of the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Iowa or the laws of the state; that there is evidence of material facts not previously presented and heard that require vacation of the conviction or sentence in the interest of justice; and that the conviction or sentence is otherwise subject to collateral attack upon grounds of alleged error formerly available under any common law, statutory, other writ, motion proceedings or remedy.
Assistant Clinton County Attorney James McHugh filed an answer to the application in May. McHugh in the answer denied the allegations. McHugh also listed several affirmative defenses, claiming the action is procedurally defaulted and barred. He states in the answer that Iowa Code provides that post-conviction is not a substitute for direct review of a sentence or conviction, that Prentiss failed to file the application or amendments within the three-year statute of limitations and Iowa Code prohibits relitigating issues already presented and determined on direct appeal as well as issues that could have been raised and determined and are now waived.
McHugh also filed a motion for summary judgment. Attorney Jeremy Merrill, representing Prentiss in the case, filed a resistance to McHugh’s motion for summary judgment. Merrill states in the motion that Prentiss’ application does not fall within the three-year statute of limitations but the late filing may be excused. Merrill states in the resistance a hearing should be held on the state’s motion.
That hearing was held earlier this week; an order has not yet been filed.