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People v. Guyon

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 9, 1981.

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

v.

MICHAEL GUYON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. FRANK J. WILSON, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE MCGLOON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

After a jury trial, defendant Michael Guyon was found guilty of rape, two counts of deviate sexual assault, and two counts of aggravated kidnapping. He was sentenced to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Defendant appeals.

On appeal, defendant argues that (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion for a continuance; (2) discrepancies in the complainants' testimony created a reasonable doubt of guilt; (3) he was deprived of his right to counsel of his choice; and (4) his motion to suppress identification evidence improperly was denied.

We affirm.

The two complainants in this case were 15 years old at the time the incident occurred. The female complainant testified that as she and the male complainant were walking home from school, defendant forced them at gunpoint into the back seat of a car. Defendant drove to an abandoned building and took complainants to a room on the second floor. He ordered the complainants to undress and forced them to engage in intercourse. Both complainants were then ordered to perform fellatio upon defendant, and the female complainant was made to submit to anal and vaginal intercourse with defendant. The ordeal lasted approximately 1 1/2 hours. The male complainant's testimony substantially corroborated the female complainant's testimony regarding these facts.

The female complainant also testified that defendant had both a folding knife and a gun during the incident. She identified the knife at trial. The male complainant testified that defendant had a pistol.

Defendant testified that on the morning of the day in question, he drove his wife to work. During the afternoon, he went to apply for a new job and visited his mother-in-law.

Other witnesses were called by the State and defendant. Their testimony and further testimony of the complainants will be recounted in the discussion of the issues where necessary and appropriate.

First, defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion for a continuance. Defendant's motion was made on April 8, 1980, after the trial court set trial for April 14, 1980. As grounds for his motion, defendant's counsel stated his investigations had not been completed and he was not prepared to go to trial.

In People v. Peterson (1979), 70 Ill. App.3d 205, 209, 387 N.E.2d 951, 955, the court in deciding a similar issue noted the following principles:

"[A] motion for continuance is addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court and `shall be considered in the light of the diligence shown on the part of the movant.' (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 114-4(e).) The action of the trial court will not be disturbed on appeal absent on abuse of discretion. (People v. Hayes (1972), 52 Ill.2d 170, 287 N.E.2d 465.) * * * Where a continuance is sought on the basis of the defense counsel's lack of preparation, the determination of whether the denial of the motion is an abuse of discretion is to be considered in light of the diligence shown on the part of the defendant and the extent to which the denial embarrasses the defendant in the preparation of his case and prejudices his rights. (People v. Jefferson (1976), 35 Ill. App.3d 424, 342 N.E.2d 185.)"

• 1 We find that defendant's rights were not seriously prejudiced by the trial court's denial of a continuance. Defendant had the assistance of counsel for 18 months prior to trial. Discovery requests had been complied with and many pretrial motions had been ruled upon. Furthermore, defendant had an additional week from the time the motion was denied in which to prepare. During this week, defendant had amended his answer to discovery and listed two additional potential witnesses. Obviously he was able to complete some of his investigation during this time. Thus, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion.

Second, defendant contends that his right to counsel was abridged where the trial court refused to appoint new counsel after the trial had begun. During a recess after direct examination of the State's first witness, defendant struck one of the two assistant public defenders representing him. He later explained to the court that his attorneys were not answering his questions about the case and that he was not satisfied with their representation. The following day, the injured attorney was allowed to withdraw from active representation and ordered to assist co-counsel.

When a defendant represented by appointed counsel requests new counsel during or on the day of trial he must express a reasonable basis for substitution of counsel. (People v. Williams (1981), 94 Ill. App.3d 241, 418 N.E.2d 840, citing People v. Williams (1976), 39 Ill. App.3d 449, 350 N.E.2d 135.) It is within the trial court's discretion to grant or deny a continuance for substitution of counsel. People v. Williams ...


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