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People v. Mckay

NOVEMBER 27, 1974.

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

v.

GEORGE MCKAY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County; the Hon. JOSEPH F. CUNNINGHAM, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE CARTER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied January 16, 1975.

The appellant, George McKay, was charged by indictment with burglary. He entered a plea of guilty and was sentenced to not less than 1 nor more than 3 years in the penitentiary.

On June 7, 1973, the grand jury of St. Clair County returned an indictment charging the defendant and two other men with burglary. On arraignment the defendant pled not guilty. Later as a result of plea negotiations he pled guilty. In return for the guilty plea the State promised to recommend probation, saying that the defendant did not have a previous felony record. The judge addressed the defendant personally, determining that he could read and write and that he had read the indictment. The minimum and maximum sentences were explained as were the rights to plead not guilty, to have a jury trial, and to confront witnesses. The State's Attorney provided the factual basis for the plea. The court determined that no force or threat had been made to obtain the plea. When the defendant appeared for sentencing, it was disclosed that he had a previous felony conviction for which he had been placed on probation. Considering this and a previous juvenile record, the court sentenced the defendant to 1 to 3 years instead of giving him probation.

Appellant contends that the trial court failed to inform him of the nature of the charge as is required by Supreme Court Rule 402(a)(1).

This well-quoted rule states that:

"In hearings on pleas of guilty, there must be substantial compliance with the following:

(a) Admonitions to Defendant. The court shall not accept a plea of guilty without first, by addressing the defendant personally in open court, informing him of and determining that he understands the following:

(1) the nature of the charge; * * *"

The record discloses that this requirement was discharged in the following manner:

"THE COURT: Can you read and write?

DEFENDANT: Yes, sir.

THE COURT: Have you read the indictment that charges you with the ...


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