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People v. Christ

OCTOBER 30, 1975.

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

v.

DEAN WAYNE CHRIST, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Champaign County; the Hon. SARAH M. LUMPP, Judge, presiding.

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

Defendant was convicted of public indecency and sentenced to one year's probation. On appeal he raises three issues: (1) Whether he was denied his right to trial by jury; (2) Whether defendant was proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; and (3) Whether the trial court abused its discretion in allowing the State to ask a leading question. We affirm.

Defendant contends that he was denied his right to trial by jury when the trial court abused its discretion by denying a continuance for trial preparation. This, argues defendant, coerced him into waiving a jury in order to get a postponement of trial. In addition defendant maintains that the record does not show a knowing and voluntary waiver. This contention necessitates a review of the chronology of the case.

Defendant was arrested April 2, 1974.

A complaint was filed April 3, 1974.

After several continuances on defendant's motion, counsel was obtained and appeared on April 17, at which time a jury demand was filed.

On April 24, defendant's trial was allotted to the jury setting commencing on May 31, 1974.

On May 2, 1974, defendant filed three motions: for a list of witnesses, for a bill of particulars, and for pretrial discovery.

On May 16, 1974, the State voluntarily supplied defendant with a list of witnesses (another witness's name was supplied June 25).

On June 3, the case was continued to June 10, due to defendant's counsel being in trial elsewhere.

On June 10, the motions for a bill of particulars and for discovery were denied.

On June 11, the defendant's attorney, by phone, contacted the trial judge to discuss a continuance. That same day defendant appeared and waived a jury. A written waiver was filed June 12.

A bench trial was held August 7, 1974. Counsel objected to the manner in which defendant waived a jury but the objection was overruled.

Different versions exist of the phone conversation of June 11. Defense counsel stated, in affidavit, that the judge refused to grant a continuance unless a jury was waived. The judge's affidavit however, states merely that counsel asked if the case would be tried in June if a jury were waived ...


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