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People v. Reddick

APRIL 25, 1973.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

JAMES REDDICK, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JAMES M. BAILEY, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE BURMAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied May 15, 1973.

The defendant, James Reddick, was indicted for murder. He entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to 14 years to 14 years and a day in the penitentiary.

On appeal, the sole issue is whether the trial court determined that there was a factual basis for defendant's guilty plea, in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 402(c), Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 110A, par. 402(c).

Supreme Court Rule 402(c) requires that:

"The court shall not enter final judgment on a plea of guilty without first determining that there is a factual basis for the plea."

The Committee Comments to Rule 402(c) point out that,

"The language of paragraph (c) is based upon the recent revision of Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and, as is true under the Federal rule, no particular kind of inquiry is specified; the court may satisfy itself by inquiry of the defendant or the attorney for the government, by examination of the pre-sentence report, or by any other means which seem best for the kind of case involved." S.H.A., ch. 110A, par. 402, Committee Comments.

• 1 On January 13, 1971, the defendant appeared in court to withdraw his not guilty plea and enter a plea of guilty to the charge of murder. The following colloquy occurred:

"THE COURT: You did, on or about November 2nd, 1969, hit one Carl Steiger with a water pitcher without legal justification, therefore causing his death.

Do you understand that?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes, I understand."

The factual statement to which the defendant assented was not complex, but it nonetheless provided an adequate basis for the court to conclude that defendant's conduct fell within one of the Illinois definitions of murder, a killing without lawful justification through acts which the defendant knew created a strong probability of death or great bodily harm, Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)(2).

After admonishing the defendant as to his legal rights, explaining the consequences of a guilty plea, and inquiring into the voluntary character of the defendant's decision, the court received several stipulations. It was stipulated that the facts in the indictment were "true and correct and sufficient in law to sustain the charges contained therein." It was further stipulated that if "the complaining witness and the police officers were called to testify * * * their testimony ...


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