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People v. Lutz

OPINION FILED OCTOBER 6, 1978.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT,

v.

THOMAS LUTZ, APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Fourth District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Vermilion County, the Hon. James K. Robinson, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE GOLDENHERSH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

In a jury trial in the circuit court of Vermilion County defendant, Thomas Lutz, was convicted of the offense of aggravated battery. The appellate court, with one judge dissenting, reversed (52 Ill. App.3d 732), and we allowed the People's petition for leave to appeal. The appellate court held that the indictment failed to charge the offense of aggravated battery and that in denying defendant's motion in arrest of judgment, the circuit court had erred.

The indictment contained two counts. In count I it was charged that defendant "committed the offense of AGGRAVATED BATTERY, in that he did knowingly and without legal justification in committing a battery on Dan Wilson use a deadly weapon, to-wit: a firearm, in violation of Illinois Revised Statutes, 1973, Chapter 38, Section 12-4(b)(1) * * *." Count II charged that defendant "committed the offense of AGGRAVATED BATTERY, in that he did knowingly and without legal justification, in committing a battery on Dan Wilson, then and there knew Dan Wilson, the individual harmed, to be a peace officer engaged in the execution of official duties, in violation of Illinois Revised Statutes, 1973, Chapter 38, Section 12-4(b)(6) * * *."

The statutes in pertinent part provided:

"Sec. 12-3. Battery.

(a) A person commits battery if he intentionally or knowingly without legal justification and by any means, (1) causes bodily harm to an individual or (2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 12-3(a).

"Sec. 12-4. Aggravated Battery.

(a) A person who, in committing a battery, intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement commits aggravated battery.

(b) A person who, in committing a battery either:

(1) Uses a deadly weapon; [or]

(6) Knows the individual harmed to be a peace officer, or a person summoned and directed by him, or a correctional officer, while such officer is engaged in the execution of any of his official duties including arrest or attempted arrest;

(9) * * * commits aggravated battery * * *." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 12-4.

The People contend that the appellate court erred in reversing the judgment for the reason that "a defendant who contests the validity of the indictment for the first time in a motion for arrest of judgment must demonstrate that defects foreclosed him from understanding the nature of the charges and preparing a defense thereto, or that the indictment was insufficient to stand as a bar to a subsequent prosecution for the same offense." They argue that "the unspoken rationale of Pujoue" (People v. Pujoue (1975), 61 Ill.2d 335) should be ...


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