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People v. Jones





Appeal from the Circuit Court of Champaign County; the Hon. Harold L. Jensen, Judge, presiding.


Burglary (three counts) and possession of burglary tools.

Jury: guilty.

Judge: six years for each burglary, two for the possession — all concurrent.

We affirm.

(Jones does not challenge his conviction — only the sentencing.)


Jones first contends that the trial court erred in not advising him of his right to elect treatment under the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Act. (Ill. Rev. Stat., 1984 Supp., ch. 111 1/2, par. 6301 et seq.) This admonition is mandated by section 23 of the Act if the trial court has reason to believe that the offender is an addict, or the offender so states, and the court finds that he meets the eligibility criteria found in section 21. (Ill. Rev. Stat., 1984 Supp., ch. 111 1/2, pars. 6323, 6321; see also People v. Richardson (1984), 104 Ill.2d 8, 470 N.E.2d 1024.) Jones argues that there was reason to believe he was an addict.

At trial, the evidence was that defendant burglarized a pickup truck and several cars parked on the Goodyear lot in downtown Champaign. He was seen carrying tools and rummaging through the vehicles shortly after the store closed. As the police arrived, he hid underneath the pickup truck, but his location was pointed out by an onlooker. The radio had been pried from the dash of one of the cars defendant had entered. Some knobs and plastic trim rings like those missing from the radio were in defendant's possession. Two screwdrivers were inside one of the automobiles defendant had entered, and pliers were found in another. Defendant told the arresting officer — and repeated at trial — that permission had been given him to be on the Goodyear lot. The service manager confirmed that he had agreed to let defendant work on an abandoned car which defendant had expressed an interest in buying. This "junk" (which was not the subject of the burglary charges) was the only vehicle defendant had been authorized to enter.

Jones, the defendant, testified that he opened several car doors to lock them in order to insure nothing would be stolen, but discovered the locks did not function properly. This was also true of the rear hatch on the pickup truck. He denied loosening a car radio or having an intent to steal anything from the vehicles. According to defendant, he hid from the police because he "was sort of high that day" and had been mistreated by law enforcement officers in the past. Jones said that he was "high" from drinking alcohol earlier in the day with a friend.

Following trial and conviction, the presentence report showed that Jones left high school in 1976 and had a sparse employment history. His criminal record includes prior convictions for burglary and felony theft, plus a juvenile adjudication for aggravated assault. He is generally in good health but of limited intelligence. One section of the presentence report was devoted to alcohol and drug abuse:

"Robert admitted he does drink alcohol and use drugs. Mr. Jones reported his drug use includes amphetamines, barbiturates and cocaine. Robert relayed to this officer alcohol and drugs are a problem for him because they get him in trouble. Mr. Jones indicated he has received out-patient counseling and detoxification at Prairie Center. As of this writing, no information has been received from Prairie Center concerning the defendant's prognosis from there. On October 9, 1984, this officer telephoned Prairie Center about Mr. Jones. On 8/2/83 the defendant was processed for a full intake as an out-patient client. Nancy Mercer felt the defendant was not appropriate for residential treatment. Mr. Jones utilized the Detox Unit at Prairie Center seven times. Robert's first detoxification occurred on 8/23/82 and his last visit was on 7/19/83. Mr. Jones never attended any out-patient counseling sessions according to the information given to this officer by Mary Thatch of Prairie Center."

At the sentencing hearing, defense counsel made no mention of a drug problem and requested the minimum period of incarceration.

Although Jones apparently has experienced problems due to alcohol and drug abuse, this did not give the trial court reason to believe he was an ...

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