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People v. Singleton

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 19, 1983.

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

v.

WILLIE SINGLETON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of McLean County; the Hon. Wayne C. Townley, Jr., Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE TRAPP DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

After a jury trial, defendant Willie Singleton was convicted of the offense of aggravated battery. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 12-4.) Upon consideration of his criminal record, he was sentenced to three years' imprisonment, the sentence to run consecutive to the 10-month misdemeanor sentence of imprisonment then being served. Defendant appeals the judgment of the circuit court of McLean County. We affirm.

Defendant raises two issues on appeal: (1) Whether the language of section 5-8-4(d) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 1005-8-4(d)) prohibits the trial court from ordering a defendant to serve a felony sentence consecutive to the misdemeanor sentence of imprisonment then being served; and (2) whether a consecutive sentence may properly be imposed where the trial judge does not use the statutory language of section 5-8-4(b) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 1005-8-4(b)) to indicate such sentence was imposed to protect the public.

The record discloses the following facts. On the evening of March 27, 1982, while at the Salt and Pepper Lounge in Bloomington, Illinois, defendant struck one Horace Yarbrough in the head causing his nose to bleed. Defendant left the bar, reentering several minutes later with one hand in his raincoat pocket. He drew this hand from his pocket and struck Yarbrough again, knocking him unconscious. Several witnesses testified that they saw a gun cupped in defendant's hand as he struck Yarbrough after reentering the bar. There was testimony that defendant then "stomped" Yarbrough's head. During the course of these events, Yarbrough made no attempt to strike the defendant. As a result of the incident, Yarbrough received 43 stitches inside and outside the area of his mouth and near one eye. One of his teeth was knocked out and his dentures were broken.

On January 14, 1983, a jury found defendant guilty of the offense of aggravated battery.

The sentencing hearing was held on February 28, 1983. The State argued that a sentence of five years' imprisonment was necessary to protect the public; and that a lesser sentence would deprecate the seriousness of the offense and minimize defendant's criminal record. The presentence report reflects the following prior convictions of defendant:

DATE CHARGE CONVICTED OF SENTENCE OR FINE

6/14/61 Indecent liberties one to three years, Illinois Department of Corrections Penitentiary System

2/9/63 Paroled

10/10/65 Disorderly conduct Fined $100; spent two days in county jail

4/7/74 Aggravated assault Fined $32.60

4/30/74 Battery Fined $150

8/10/75 Wrong way on one-way street Fined $10 plus costs

10/16/76 Unlawful use of weapons Sentenced on March 3, 1977, (76-CM-1433) to one year probation, fined $75 and ordered to spend two days in county jail

3/25/77 Failure to obey police officers Fined $50 plus costs

6/18/78 Unlawful use of weapons Sentenced on February 21, (78-CM-659) 1979, to 12 months' probation, 30 days ...


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