APPEAL from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County; the Hon.
JOHN J. HOBAN, Judge, presiding.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE JONES DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Defendant, David Eugene Radford, appeals from a conviction after a negotiated plea of guilty to armed robbery, for which he received the recommended sentence of 6 to 18 years. The only issue on this appeal is whether the sentence was excessive because the trial court did not state in the record its reasons for finding that a 6-year minimum sentence was appropriate.
On January 31, 1974, defendant was charged by indictment with having committed armed robbery and deviate sexual assault on October 19, 1973. On February 13, 1974, after being given Miranda warnings, defendant waived his right to have counsel present and made a written confession of both offenses. On February 15, 1974, defendant appeared before the court, was advised of the charges against him, had counsel appointed, and entered a plea of not guilty.
Defendant, represented by counsel, again appeared before the court on April 1, 1974. At the beginning of that proceeding the State's Attorney advised the court that the parties had negotiated an agreement whereby the defendant would plead guilty to armed robbery, the charge of deviate sexual assault and a separate case of theft pending against defendant would be dismissed, and a sentence of 6 to 18 years would be recommended. During the April 1 proceeding the trial judge made several references to the manner in which he would deal with defendant's negotiated plea and to the right of the defendant to present evidence in mitigation. The first such reference was made after the court admonished the defendant of the nature of the charge and the possible penalties.
"The Court: * * * Also in this Court, if there has been plea bargaining, I abide by it unless there is something drastically wrong in the pre-sentence report.
As I understand it, they have recommended a term of years not less than six nor more than eighteen which would keep the ratio the way it has been recommended. I would go along with that if everything else is equal. However, this sort of term means to four years to any number of years. Do you understand that?
The Court: I'm not required to say four to twelve, or six to eighteen, or anything of that sort. In addition, there can be a fine of ten thousand dollars * * *."
After admonishing defendant of his right to jury trial, right of confrontation, right to counsel, and various other rights, the court referred to defendant's right to present evidence in mitigation:
"The Court: * * * A plea of guilty waives * * * the right to call witnesses in your own behalf except those that you might want to call at a hearing in mitigation which would be prior to sentencing * * * Do you understand that?
The Defendant: Yes, sir."
The State's Attorney then made a lengthy statement as to the factual basis for the plea, which covers approximately three pages of the record, and the court determined the plea to be voluntary. Thereafter the following colloquy took place:
"The Court: The Court, before going any further, would inform you that unless something drastically different from the representations made to me appear in the pre-sentencing investigation, I will abide by the plea bargaining. What is your past record? Do you have any felonies?
The Defendant: Theft under $150, I don't know if it is a felony or not, but it was Theft over $150 and they dropped it down to Theft under $150. In 1970 while ...