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People v. Siglar

FEBRUARY 21, 1974.

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

v.

JAMES SIGLAR, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Randolph County, the Hon. CARL H. BECKER, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE CARTER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied April 19, 1974.

On January 3, 1969, an indictment was filed in the Circuit Court of Randolph County charging the defendant, James Siglar, with the alleged offenses of escape, kidnapping, theft in excess of one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) (two counts), burglary, and armed robbery.

On February 20, 1969, defendant entered a plea of not guilty to all of the above charges.

On November 22, 1972, defendant, accompanied by his court-appointed counsel, withdrew his plea of not guilty and pleaded guilty to each of the above six charges. At this time it was announced that this plea was the result of negotiations, the terms of which were that defendant would receive a sentence of three to six years for each charge except kidnapping, for which a sentence of three to five years would be imposed, all sentences to run concurrently.

After the court admonished the defendant concerning the guilty plea, the State's Attorney related the circumstances of the alleged offenses.

Defendant was alleged to have escaped from prison by kidnapping a prison official and taking a prison truck. He was then alleged to have entered a private residence and to have stolen several articles, including a gun, while waiting for the residents to return. Upon their return, Siglar was alleged to have used the gun to rob them and to have taken their automobile to further facilitate his escape.

The court accepted defendant's guilty plea to all charges and imposed sentence in conformance with the plea negotiations.

From these sentences defendant appeals.

The issues presented to this court are whether the trial court could properly impose separate sentences on all six counts of the indictment and whether the sentences imposed conform to the Unified Code of Corrections.

Defendant-appellant contends that there were in fact only two separate offenses, escape and armed robbery, and that sentences imposed for all counts, except the count of armed robbery, are not in accord with the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat., ch. 38, sec. 1001-1-1 et seq.). The State contends that more than two offenses were chargeable and, regardless of how many separate offenses were involved, appellant is precluded from raising this issue on appeal because he pleaded guilty to all six counts. The State admits that sentencing was not in accord with the Unified Code of Corrections.

With regard to the proper number of chargeable offenses, the applicable statute is Ill. Rev. Stat., ch. 38, sec. 1005-8-4(a). It provides that "The Court shall not impose consecutive sentences for offenses which were committed as part of a single course of conduct during which there was no substantial change in the nature of the criminal objective. Sentences shall run concurrently unless otherwise specified by the Court."

• 1 Our supreme court has accepted an "independent motivation" test to determine whether particular chargeable offenses are "part of a single course of conduct during which there was no substantial change of the criminal objective." People v. Whittington, 46 Ill.2d 405, 265 N.E.2d 679; People v. Stewart, 45 Ill.2d 310, 259 N.E.2d 24; People v. Prim, 53 Ill.2d 62, 289 N.E.2d 601.

In discussing the meaning of the independent-motivation test, this court in People v. Ike, 7 Ill. App.3d 75, 286 N.E.2d 391, stated: "We take this to mean that under the facts of this particular case it was determined that force was an essential element to be shown in proving the offense of attempted robbery and that as such the hitting was an integral and inseparable part of that crime. In other words, the same element of proof (force) was essential to both the robbery and battery." We do not subscribe to the theory that the defendant's conception of his motivation is determinative. The test must be more objective and must consist in an appraisal of all the surrounding facts to determine if the ...


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