APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Stephenson County; the Hon.
WILLIAM B. PHILLIPS, Judge, presiding.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE THOMAS J. MORAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Defendant appeals from a theft conviction. He claims that, at the time he pleaded guilty, the trial judge failed to properly admonish him of his right to a trial by jury.
The defendant is a 44 year old man who professed himself to be educated. He was brought from the State Farm at Vandalia to be arraigned under an indictment charging him with theft by deception. During the proceedings in the case, he frequently entered into the discussions between the judge and his attorney. At all times defendant indicated that he was satisfied with his counsel.
On May 15, 1970, the defendant with his counsel, appeared for arraignment and the following occurred:
"Court: * * * The penalty on this charge you are charged with, theft by deception of an article of the value of more than $150 with intent to deprive the owner permanently of the use and benefit of the property, the penalty, if you are found guilty or you plead guilty is from one to ten years in the penitentiary. Now, you may plead guilty, or you may plead not guilty, or you may stand mute, in which case I will enter a plea of not guilty for you. Now, if you plead not guilty, you are entitled to a trial either before a judge or before a judge and a jury, and you are entitled to have an attorney present with you at all times during any of the proceedings that take place here. Do you understand all that?
Court: Now, are you prepared to plead at this time, or do you wish to wait and have a chance to talk further with your attorney? * * *
Mr. Schirmer [Defendant's counsel]: Could we set this for Tuesday?
Mr. Knowlton [State's Attorney]: That's agreeable, counsel.
Mr. Schirmer: And we will enter a plea at that time."
On Tuesday, May 19, 1970, after opening remarks by the prosecutor, the following transpired:
"Court: All right, are you prepared to plead?
Mr. Schirmer: We are, your Honor.
Court: How do you wish ...