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People v. Jenkins

APRIL 24, 1975.

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

v.

JOHN JOSEPH JENKINS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County; the Hon. WILLIAM R. NASH, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE HALLETT DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The defendant was prosecuted under the Controlled Substances Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 56 1/2, par. 1401), waived indictment by the grand jury, entered a plea of guilty to the charge and was sentenced to a term of 1 to 3 years in the penitentiary. The sole issue presented on review is whether the trial court adequately admonished the defendant as to the nature of the charge in connection with the defendant's waiver of his right to indictment by a grand jury and his plea of guilty to the charge. We affirm.

On May 10, 1973, Deputy Michael Smith filed a complaint charging that on February 27, 1973, the defendant, John Joseph Jenkins, had violated the Controlled Substances Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 56 1/2, par. 1401) in that he "knowingly and unlawfully delivered to Deputy Michael Smith less than 30 grams of a controlled substance containing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)." Thereafter, the defendant was arrested and released on a $3500 bond.

On October 10, 1973, the defendant appeared in court for the purpose of waiving his right to indictment by the grand jury, thereby allowing the State to prosecute him on the basis of an information. The waiver of one's right to an indictment by the grand jury is governed by Supreme Court Rule 401(b) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 110A, par. 401(b)).

In the case at bar, the defendant was represented by counsel at this and at subsequent court proceedings as well. Pursuant to this rule, the trial judge stated the following which is pertinent to this appeal.

"You are charged in this Information that the People wish to file with a violation of the Illinois Controlled Substance Act, which is alleged to have occurred on February 27, 1973, in Winnebago County, Illinois, by delivering to a Michael Smith a quantity of LSD less than thirty grams in amount. This is the nature of the charge. Do you understand that?"

The defendant responded that he did understand the nature of the charge. In addition, the defendant was informed by the trial judge of the penalty to which the defendant may possibly have been subjected, the composition and function of the grand jury, and his right to a grand jury indictment as a prerequisite to prosecution by the State. Throughout this explanation of his rights, the trial judge inquired of the defendant if he understood these matters, and the defendant had responded in the affirmative. Having ascertained that the defendant understood his rights and that he voluntarily waived them, the trial judge allowed the waiver and permitted the filing of the information by the State's attorney of Winnebago County.

After a brief recess, counsel for the defendant informed the court that as a result of negotiations with the State, his client was prepared to enter a plea of guilty to the offense charged in the information. The agreement with the State, wherein the State promised not to prosecute the defendant for another alleged delivery of a controlled substance to Michael Smith on February 16, 1973, was stated in open court. Then the trial judge addressed himself to the defendant in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 402 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 110A, par. 402), pertaining to pleas of guilty.

In informing the defendant and determining that he understood the nature of the charge, the trial judge stated

"* * * In that event, there are certain things that I must say to you, and I guess some of them I will have to explain to you again as I just did a few minutes ago.

I will call your attention again to the fact that you have been charged here with violation of the Controlled Substance Act, claimed to have occurred on February 27, 1973, in Winnebago County, Illinois, by the delivery to one Michael Smith a quantity of LSD less than thirty grams.

That is the nature of the charge. Do you understand that?"

The defendant responded affirmatively. The trial judge then informed the defendant of the minimum and maximum sentences, of his right to plead not guilty and to be tried by a jury or by the court, and of the consequences of waiving his rights to a trial by pleading guilty. Thereafter, the factual basis for the prosecution was read into the record and was undisputed by the defendant. The trial judge inquired of the defendant if he still wished to enter a plea of guilty to the offense. Having determined that the defendant understood all of his rights and that the plea was voluntary, the court accepted the guilty plea of the defendant.

On November 8, 1973, a sentencing hearing was held and the court imposed a sentence of 1 to 3 years imprisonment upon the ...


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