APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Madison County; the Hon.
HAROLD R. CLARK, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE KARNS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Defendant Michael Hudson was convicted of forgery in the Circuit Court of Madison County following a jury trial at which he represented himself. On appeal, defendant contends that his waiver of counsel was invalid and that various trial errors occurred. We find that reversible error occurred in the admission of prior unsworn consistent statements by the State's witnesses, most of whom were, by their own testimony, accomplices of defendant.
Defendant was represented at his arraignment by an assistant public defender. On the morning of trial, the public defender informed the court of a potential conflict of interest based upon certain decisions of this court (see People v. Meng (1977), 54 Ill. App.3d 357, 369 N.E.2d 549; People v. Spicer (1978), 61 Ill. App.3d 748, 378 N.E.2d 169, rev'd (1979), 79 Ill.2d 173, 402 N.E.2d 169; People v. Ishman (1978), 61 Ill. App.3d 517, 378 N.E.2d 179, rev'd sub nom. People v. Robinson (1979), 79 Ill.2d 147, 402 N.E.2d 157), in that the public defender's office represented two of the State's witnesses who were being prosecuted for the same offense. The public defender was allowed to withdraw, and the court informed the defendant that he had a right to appointed counsel and that a continuance would be granted to permit his new counsel to prepare for trial. At that point, defendant objected strenuously to any further delay, inasmuch as he had spent approximately four months in jail awaiting trial. Defendant further insisted on representing himself, as reflected in the following colloquy:
"DEFENDANT HUDSON: Well, your Honor, I would like to represent myself.
THE COURT: What I'm going to do, I'm going to have you talk to a lawyer and he
DEFENDANT HUDSON: I don't wanta' see no lawyer.
THE COURT: Okay. He can sit in the corner and you can ask him questions.
DEFENDANT HUDSON: I'll just sit over there in the Madison County Jail. Why should I have a lawyer when I can send my own self to the penitentiary? I ain't gonna' have no lawyer.
DEFENDANT HUDSON: No, I ain't upset. I ain't done nothin' wrong; I know I ain't did nothin'. I'm not upset. I just know, I'd just rather represent myself. I feel better if I send myself to the penitentiary.
THE COURT: What I'm going to do, I'm going to appoint a lawyer, and then you can tell him that you don't want him to help you. And I'll have him sit here, and he won't bother you in any way, and you
DEFENDANT HUDSON: I don't, I don't, I don't, I don't want you to appoint me a lawyer. I wanta' represent myself. I'm tryin' to make this plain to see I wanta' represent myself. I don't wanta' see nobody comin' over to the courtroom, I mean over to the jail or nothin'.
THE COURT: Mr. Allen [assistant public defender], the Court will allow you to resign at this time. And the Court is going to appoint another lawyer. And this case will be continued until that lawyer ...