A Cedar Rapids man, who has been convicted of felony burglary 14 times with his last conviction in December, decided at the last minute to accept the inevitable and stipulated on the record that has two or more felony convictions, and will be sentenced as a habitual offender.
Last Friday, Darrell Bolden, 52, told a judge he wanted to exercise his right to a jury trial, which would force the state to prove he had at least two of those felony convictions, which would make him an habitual offender under the law and would require him to serve more prison time.
Bolden has 10 felony burglary convictions in Linn County, starting in 1997 up until 2012, and four in Black Hawk County, starting in 1980 and the last one in 1990.
Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden was prepared to go forward to prove Bolden had those convictions by calling a court clerk to testify about the officials records, an admissions official from Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville, and law enforcement officials to testify to Bolden’s identity - that he is the same man who was convicted of those charges.
Bolden told 6th Judicial District Judge Mitchell Turner this morning that he would stipulate to the convictions as long as he didn’t have to give up his rights to appeal.
Vander Sanden said the judge told Bolden in doing so he wouldn’t give up his appeal rights.
“The jury pool was already called and they will be paid for a day of service, at $30 per juror, but the good news is they may still be used because there is another trial starting today. He’s a career burglar. I was ready to go with just these cases,” Vander Sanden said, pointing at the thick folders lying on the floor.
Bolden’s last conviction was a retrial in December, in which a jury took less than two hours to find him guilty of second-degree attempted burglary and possession of burglary tools, an aggravated misdemeanor. That case had to be retried because in the first trial the jury foreperson didn’t show up for the second day of deliberations so it ended in a mistrial.
Back in May, Bolden was also convicted in a separate second-degree attempted burglary case, so as a habitual offender he faces up to 22 years in prison for all charges.
His sentencing is set for Feb. 28 in Linn County District Court.