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The People v. Castillo

SEPTEMBER 23, 1970.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

JOE CASTILLO, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JAMES D. CROSSON, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Defendant has appealed from three convictions entered upon pleas of guilty, contending that the trial court did not properly inform him of the nature of the charges against him. Four indictments had been returned against defendant, one on a charge of robbery and three on charges of armed robbery. Ill Rev Stats 1965, c 38, §§ 18-1, 18-2. To all four indictments, he had entered pleas of not guilty. Defendant was then tried on one of the indictments, convicted of armed robbery, and sentenced to a term of 5 to 15 years. That judgment is not before us on this appeal. Subsequently, he changed his plea to guilty as to the remaining three indictments, and, after being adjudged guilty by the court, received three sentences of 3 to 12 years, to run concurrently with the prior sentence.

Defendant was arraigned on March 28, 1967, at which time he was furnished with copies of the indictments and orally informed by the court of the nature of the charges against him. Defendant, being represented by counsel, waived formal reading of the indictments, and entered a plea of not guilty as to each offense. Following defendant's trial and conviction for armed robbery on April 29, 1968, the trial of the remaining three charges was set for June 6, 1968. At that time, defendant and his attorney stood before the bench, and defense counsel stated that defendant desired to change his plea with respect to the three pending indictments. The following colloquy then took place:

MR. DARRAGH (defense counsel): "May it please the Court, Jose Castillo, is present before the Court. At this time, Judge, you will recall, this was formally a jury trial under Indictment 67-948. The jury found him guilty of armed robbery.

"Heretofore, your Honor, pleas of not guilty have been entered on Indictments 67-946-7-9. At this time, your Honor, we would like to withdraw those pleas of not guilty and enter pleas of guilty to Indictments 67-946, 947 and 949."

THE COURT: "Mr. Castillo, you just heard your lawyer say to this Court that you desire to withdraw your pleas of not guilty heretofore made in Indictments 67-946, 67-947, 67-949 and enter, in lieu thereof, a plea of guilty, is that correct?"

DEFENDANT CASTILLO: "Yes, sir."

THE COURT: "Now, you realize, that when you enter a plea of guilty you automatically do away with the right to a trial by jury?"

DEFENDANT CASTILLO: "Yes, sir."

THE COURT: "You waive the defects in the indictments, except the jurisdiction, perhaps, but you have no right to raise technical objections to the indictments. And the Court may sentence you to the Illinois State Penitentiary for a period of — let me see, I want to get the right one here."

MR. BURNHAM (Assistant State's Attorney):

"Two to any number, Judge, on each."

THE COURT: "Two to any number of years. In other words, it is indefinite. I may give you two to any number of years.

"Knowing that, on each indictment, and they may run consecutively. That is, after you finish the sentence on one indictment, you may, the next sentence starts to ...


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