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In Re Walker





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JOHN P. McGRURY, Judge, presiding.


Defendant, a minor, entered an admission to the offense of murder, was found to be a delinquent minor, and was committed to the Illinois Department of Corrections until he reached 21. At the time of commitment, he was 15 years of age. He appeals, contending that his case should be remanded to the Juvenile Court to allow him to file a motion to withdraw his admission, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 604(d) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 110A, par. 604(d)). The pertinent facts follow.

On October 22, 1979, a delinquency petition was filed alleging that on October 19, defendant "intentionally and knowingly shot and killed Edwin Sloss with a gun, without lawful justification, in violation of Chapter 38, Section 9-1(a)(1), Illinois Revised Statutes." On this date, the prosecution also filed a second petition seeking to transfer the minor to the adult jurisdiction. Private defense counsel was appointed on October 26 to represent defendant in this proceeding. Defendant's counsel, on November 25, advised the court that defendant wanted to withdraw his denial and enter an admission to the murder charge. Defendant's counsel told the court that he had advised defendant of the consequences of entering an admission. The arrangement to enter the admission was negotiated between defendant's counsel and the Assistant State's Attorney, but no agreement was reached as to disposition of the case, and therefore defendant's admission was an open plea. After defendant's denial was withdrawn, the court refused to enter the admission because defendant did not agree with the stipulation of facts read into the record by the prosecutor. Defendant testified that the stipulation was "half true and half not true" and that the shooting of Sloss by his co-defendant Crisp may have been accidental.

On November 16, the case came before a different trial judge. Both defendant and co-defendant Crisp stated to the court that they wanted to enter admissions to murder. Defendant further stated that he understood that he had a right to a trial in which the prosecution had to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and that by admitting the charge there would be no trial. In addition, defendant was informed that based on his admission he could be sent to the Department of Corrections and held until he attained 21 years of age. The court did not inquire whether defendant had received any promises or threats pertaining to the admission. Thereafter, the prosecution withdrew its petition to transfer defendant to the adult jurisdiction.

The record discloses that it was stipulated between the parties that on October 19, defendant and co-defendant, Quinton Crisp, committed the offense of murder in that Gregory Baker encouraged and persuaded them to participate in the premeditated and intentional killing of a person known as "Flip" or Edwin "Slas" Sloss. In order to accomplish this, Baker obtained a rifle and instructed defendant and co-defendant Crisp in its use. Defendant, co-defendant Crisp and Baker then went to 87th and Essex with the intention of shooting either "Flip" or "Slas." While at that location, Baker saw "Slas" and defendant asked him "Are you still after me?" Defendant then displayed the rifle he had hidden under his coat and "Slas" grabbed defendant and started fighting. During the struggle, defendant dropped the rifle, co-defendant Crisp picked up the rifle, shot and killed "Slas," and then dropped the rifle. Baker thereafter hid the rifle.

After hearing the stipulation, the court inquired if both the attorney for defendant and co-defendant would stipulate that this would be the evidence if the witnesses were called to testify. Each attorney agreed with the stipulation on behalf of their respective defendants.

It was further stipulated that Officers Chapman and Mack would testify that they responded to a call of a man shot on 87th and Essex. Upon arrival, they found Edwin Sloss on the ground with a gunshot wound in his abdomen. He stated to them that he had been shot by "Quinton." Additionally, Doctor Choi determined that the cause of death was a gunshot wound of the abdomen.

Following the stipulation, the court entered a finding of delinquency and established a wardship.

A dispositional hearing was held on December 5, during which the following colloquy occurred between defense counsel, the judge, the prosecutor and defendant:

"Mr. Brennan [defense counsel]: Would you like to say something to the court concerning how you feel about the crime, how you feel about the future?

The Minor Respondent: About the crime, I didn't really mean —

Mr. Brennan: Speak up.

The Minor Respondent: I didn't really mean for nobody to get hurt. That is all I want to say. I wasn't ...

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