MICHAEL A. IANNARELLI, Petitioner and Appellant,
DARIN YOUNG, Warden of the South Dakota State Penitentiary, Respondent and Appellee.
CONSIDERED ON BRIEFS ON AUGUST 28, 2017
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE THIRD JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
CODINGTON COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA THE HONORABLE GREGORY J.
M. McCARTY BENJAMIN KLEINJAN Helsper, McCarty &
Rasmussen, PC Brookings, South Dakota Attorneys for
petitioner and appellant.
J. JACKLEY Attorney General JOHN M. STROHMAN Assistant
Attorney General Pierre, South Dakota Attorneys for
respondent and appellee.
WILBUR, Retired Justice.
Habeas petitioner asserts denial of his Fifth Amendment right
against self-incrimination and Sixth Amendment right to
counsel. We affirm.
On February 16, 2007, Michael Iannarelli murdered his
disabled wife and raped his fourteen-year-old stepdaughter.
Afterwards, he made a pot of coffee and called 911.
Iannarelli told law enforcement that he had killed his wife.
The State charged Iannarelli with first-degree murder and
second-degree rape. The State indicated that it intended to
seek the death penalty.
The circuit court appointed Attorney Roger Ellyson to
represent Iannarelli. Attorney Ellyson had practiced law for
over thirty years, including twenty years as a prosecutor.
Attorney Ellyson informed Iannarelli of his rights and had
him sign a document titled, "STATEMENT OF RIGHTS."
That document provided, in part, that if Iannarelli were to
plead guilty he would waive certain rights, including
"the right to not be compelled to incriminate
Attorney Ellyson later testified that he explored the
plausibility of an insanity defense. He moved the court to
appoint an expert witness to conduct a psychiatric
examination. The court granted the motion, and Attorney
Ellyson hired Dr. Stephen Manlove, a forensic psychiatrist.
Attorney Ellyson believed Dr. Manlove could identify
mitigating factors if the insanity defense seemed unlikely.
He asked Dr. Manlove to give an expert opinion on whether
"Iannarelli was insane (as that term is defined by
statute) at the time the alleged offenses (murder and rape)
were committed" and whether Iannarelli "suffered
from mental illness at the time the alleged offenses were
After Dr. Manlove issued his report, Attorney Ellyson
realized that it would not support an insanity defense but
would support a plea of guilty but mentally ill. In the
report, Dr. Manlove had opined with reasonable medical
certainty that Iannarelli suffered from a major depressive
disorder that impaired his judgment at the time of the
offense. Attorney Ellyson also believed that Dr.
Manlove's report contained mitigating evidence. He
advised Iannarelli that an insanity defense would be unlikely
and discussed a plea of guilty but mentally ill. Iannarelli
has an IQ in the 99th percentile, and at all times Attorney
Ellyson believed Iannarelli understood what was being told to
Ultimately, Iannarelli agreed to plead guilty but mentally
ill to first-degree manslaughter and to second-degree rape in
exchange for the State amending the charge and not seeking
the death penalty. Iannarelli entered into a written plea
agreement, which contained a section titled, "WAIVER OF
RIGHTS." In that waiver, Iannarelli indicated that he
"fully understand[s] that by entry of the pleas of
guilty BUT MENTALLY ILL herein, he will have waived . . . his
right to remain silent[.]" The parties submitted the
plea agreement to the circuit court. Iannarelli also
submitted an affidavit and report from Dr. Manlove in lieu of
a factual basis to establish his plea of guilty but mentally
On October 11, 2007, the court held a plea hearing. At the
hearing, Iannarelli indicated his intent to plead guilty but
mentally ill. The court took a recess and reconvened for a
hearing on Iannarelli's mental health. The State and
Iannarelli stipulated to the submission of Dr. Manlove's
report as evidence of Iannarelli's mental health. The
court reviewed the report and found that Iannarelli was
mentally ill at the time of the offenses as defined in SDCL
22-1-2(24). The court also found a factual basis for each
plea and concluded that Iannarelli's guilty but mentally
ill pleas were voluntary, intelligent, and knowing. The court
accepted Iannarelli's plea of guilty but mentally ill to
first-degree manslaughter and second-degree rape.
The court ordered Iannarelli to participate in a presentence
investigation. The court indicated that as part of that
presentence investigation and in consultation with the court
services officer, it would request a psychological evaluation
to assist in sentencing. In response to a question by the
State, the court agreed that the psychological evaluation
would include a psychosexual evaluation.
Dr. Bradley Woldt, a clinical psychologist, evaluated
Iannarelli. Dr. Woldt went through an informed-consent form
with Iannarelli prior to the evaluation. Dr. Woldt later
testified that Iannarelli indicated that he understood the
form. Dr. Woldt conducted a mental-health assessment and
psychosexual examination. Following the evaluation, Dr. Woldt
issued a written opinion on Iannarelli's diagnosis and
likelihood of rehabilitation. He also included a risk
assessment. Dr. Woldt agreed with Dr. Manlove that Iannarelli
suffered from a major depressive disorder and was likely
experiencing a major depressive episode at the time of the
offense but disagreed that it was to the level of
"severe with psychotic features, " as Dr. Manlove
had opined. In Dr. Woldt's opinion, Iannarelli posed a
high risk to the community, and rehabilitation efforts would
be lengthy and difficult. Dr. Woldt's report was made
part of the presentence investigation report.
On December 21, 2007, the circuit court held a sentencing
hearing. The State referred to Dr. Woldt's report as
support for imposition of the maximum possible sentences for
Iannarelli's crimes. Attorney Ellyson relied on Dr.
Manlove's report and argued for sentences less than the
maximum. After hearing arguments from counsel and one
victim-impact statement, the ...