North Iowa man convicted of kidnapping loses again in court

Charles Albright
Charles Albright

Franklin County judge upholds guilty verdict and life sentence.

Posted: Jan 7, 2021 4:31 PM
Updated: Jan 7, 2021 8:14 PM

DES MOINES, Iowa – A Meservey man has lost another attempt at overturning his life sentence for abducting and beating a woman.

Charles Raymond Albright, 45, was convicted of 1st degree kidnapping and willful injury causing bodily injury. Authorities say Albright kidnapped a woman in October 2016 and held her hostage for 13 hours, beating the woman with his fists and a cordless drill, cutting her with a knife, and burning her with a taser.

Albright filed an application in Franklin County District Court for postconviction relief, arguing his attorney had provided him with ineffective assistance at trial. Albright claimed his lawyer’s decisions to not present certain evidence, ask certain questions, or make certain objections directly contributed to his being found guilty.

A district court judge has rejected all of those claims, pointing out they were all done in consultation with Albright and as part of a trial strategy. The judge’s ruling says Albright and his attorney deliberately decided to admit guilt to some lesser offenses in the hope the jury would believe Albright when he denied kidnapping the woman. The district court judge rules that while such a strategy failed, its failure is not enough to constitute ineffective assistance of counsel and overturn Albright’s conviction.

The Iowa Supreme Court had previously upheld Albright’s life sentence and rejected his arguments there was insufficient evidence against him and that the jury was prejudiced against him when it was instructed on a lesser charge of 2nd degree kidnapping.

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