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People v. Howell

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 1, 1983.

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

v.

GEORGE HOWELL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Vermilion County; the Hon. Ralph S. Pearman, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE MILLS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Howell escaped from the Vermilion County Jail.

Twelve years later he was tried for escape.

Did the delay deny him any procedural rights?

No.

We affirm.

In an attempt to concisely set forth the tangled jumble of dates and details from the record below, here is a chronological table listing the relevant developments surrounding Howell's past 14 years' experience with the criminal justice system:

Chronology of events

2-12-69 Defendant sentenced to 4 to 6 years in a Federal correctional institution for interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle.

5-70 Defendant escaped from Federal correctional institution in Florida.

6-14-70 Defendant arrested in Vermilion County and charged with rape.

8-3-70 Defendant pleaded guilty to rape and wassentenced to 9 to 10 years' imprisonment to run concurrently with the Federal sentence. Defendant then escaped from the Vermilion County Jail.

9-16-70 Defendant arrested in Texas for robbery. Defendant indicted by Vermilion County grand jury for escape.

11-16-70 Defendant sentenced on the robbery charge to 20 years' imprisonment with the Texas Department of Corrections.

1971 According to defendant, he wrote a letter to the Vermilion County State's Attorney's office requesting that he be brought to trial on the escape charge.

6-19-73 Defendant's file in the Vermilion County State's Attorney's office was reviewed, his Texas conviction noted, and the file marked "close file until notified."

5-30-80 Defendant paroled in Texas and released to Federal custody to complete his initial Federal sentence.

9-15-80 Defendant wrote a letter to the Vermilion County State's Attorney's office.

9-24-80 Defendant wrote a letter to the Vermilion County circuit court.

12-5-80 Defendant was paroled on his initial Federal sentence and began serving an 18-month sentence for his escape from the Florida institution.

12-24-80 A special prosecutor was appointed to prosecute defendant for his Illinois escape.

1-5-81 The Vermilion County authorities were notified of defendant's impending release.

2-4-81 Vermilion County sent to Federal officials a certified copy of defendant's indictment for the Illinois escape.

12-31-81 Defendant was released from Federal prison into the custody of the sheriff's office of Shelby County, Tennessee.

3-24-82 Defendant extradited to Illinois to stand trial for escape.

8-31-82 Defendant convicted of escape after bench trial.

Defendant appeared in Vermilion County circuit court on March 25, 1982, when counsel was appointed and he was given a trial date of April 7, 1982. Prior to trial on the escape charge, defendant's appointed counsel filed a writ of habeas corpus and moved to dismiss the charge on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct and denial of a speedy trial. Both motions and the writ were denied.

Defendant waived a jury trial and proceeded to bench trial on August 31, 1982. He was convicted of escape (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 31-6) and — by his own election — was sentenced under the prior statute to a term of imprisonment of not less than two and not more than six years, to run concurrently with his sentence on the Illinois rape conviction.

Howell appeals, maintaining that: (1) his constitutional and statutory rights to a speedy trial were denied; (2) he was denied due process because of prosecutorial misconduct; and (3) his ...


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