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People v. Jones

OPINION FILED SEPTEMBER 24, 1976.

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

v.

LEON JONES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. KENNETH R. WENDT, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE BARRETT DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Leon Jones, defendant, was charged with the offense of burglary in violation of section 19-1 of the Criminal Code of 1961. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 19-1.) After a bench trial, he was found guilty and sentenced to a term of one to three years. On appeal, defendant contends that he did not knowingly and understandingly waive his right to a jury trial; and that he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

• 1 However, in accordance with First Capitol Mortgage Corp. v. Talandis Construction Corp., 63 Ill.2d 128, 345 N.E.2d 493, the case will be reviewed on its merits. The pertinent facts will be set forth in the discussion of the respective issues.

On September 11, 1974, prior to trial, the following colloquy ensued:

"THE COURT: Have Mr. Jones step up here please.

All right, Mr. Jones, in Illinois you are entitled to a trial by jury and see if that jury would render a verdict of guilty or innocent. Do you understand that?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes.

THE COURT: And you wish to waive that right and be tried by me?"

Defense counsel then interposed an inquiry as to whether certain witnesses should be permitted to testify at the trial. After this discussion, the court renewed the colloquy with defendant relative to his waiver of the jury trial.

"All right. Once again, sir, I am going to say to you, you have a right to be tried by a jury. * * * It's come to my attention you wish to waive your right to a trial by jury. In the State of Illinois you are entitled to a trial by jury.

Now, do you wish to waive your right to trial, Mr. Jones, by jury?

THE DEFENDANT: Yes.

THE COURT: Would you so kindly indicate by signing what we ...


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