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People v. Mcgraw

OCTOBER 15, 1969.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,

v.

THOMAS MCGRAW AND JERRY ROBERTSON, APPELLANTS.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ARTHUR B. ZELEZINSKI, Judge, presiding. Reversed and remanded.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE DRUCKER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Rehearing denied November 18, 1969.

After a bench trial, the defendants were found guilty of battery and were sentenced to six months in the Illinois State Farm at Vandalia. The cases were consolidated on appeal. The defendants' sole contention is that they did not knowingly and understandingly waive their right to a jury trial.

The defendants were initially charged with robbery. At the preliminary hearing the State's witnesses testified to the alleged criminal conduct and subsequent arrest of the defendants. After presenting its case the State asked leave to nolle prosse the felonies and file reduced charges of battery. Defense counsel, an Assistant Public Defender, then asked leave to withdraw from the case and have private counsel appointed to represent one of the defendants. He stated that based upon the evidence introduced by the State, the defendants' stories conflicted as to who actually beat the complaining witness and he therefore could not represent two people with conflicting stories being tried together. The following colloquy then took place:

THE COURT: "Do you want to represent one?"

MR. SCHEFFLER: "Unless both want me to represent them."

THE COURT: "Do you boys want the Public Defender to represent you?"

MR. ROBERTSON: "Yes, but what he said about us blaming each other is not right."

MR. McGRAW: "Yes, we want the Public Defender."

THE COURT: "Then you talk with the Public Defender and straighten it out."

(Discussion off the record between the Public Defender and the defendants.)

MR. SCHEFFLER: "They have decided they want to be represented by me today."

THE CLERK: "The charge is battery. What ...


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