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People v. Mcpherson

OPINION FILED SEPTEMBER 9, 1985.

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

v.

STEVEN A. MCPHERSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Fulton County; the Hon. Charles H. Wilhelm, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE BARRY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The defendant, Steven A. McPherson, was charged with murder (two counts), voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter. The charges stemmed from the death of the defendant's wife. Following a jury trial, the defendant was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment. On appeal, the defendant challenges the imposed sentence. We affirm.

At the sentencing hearing, the trial court considered all of the statutory factors in mitigation and aggravation. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, pars. 1005-5-3.1 and 1005-5-3.2.) The court found the following factors in mitigation to be applicable: (1) the defendant had no history of prior criminal activity; (2) the defendant's character and attitudes indicated that he was unlikely to commit another crime; (3) the defendant's conduct was the result of circumstances unlikely to reoccur; (4) he was likely to comply with the terms of probation; (5) the defendant's imprisonment would entail excessive hardship to his dependents; and (6) such imprisonment could endanger his medical condition.

In aggravation, the trial court found that the sentence was necessary to deter others from committing the same crime. After considering these various factors in mitigation and aggravation, the court imposed a 30-month term of imprisonment. The defendant filed the instant appeal.

The defendant argues on appeal that the trial court erred in sentencing him to a term of imprisonment rather than probation. The defendant bases his argument on three alleged errors committed by the court in sentencing him.

• 1 The defendant first contends that imprisonment was improperly imposed because the court made no specific findings as to the necessity of a sentence of imprisonment as opposed to a sentence of probation. The defendant relies on section 5-6-1(a) of the Unified Code of Corrections (hereafter the Code) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 1005-6-1(a)).

Section 5-6-1(a) of the Code specifies the factors upon which probation may be denied:

"(a) Except where specifically prohibited by other provisions of this Code, the court shall impose a sentence of probation or conditional discharge upon an offender unless, having regard to the nature and circumstance of the offense, and to the history, character and condition of the offender, the court is of the opinion that:

(1) his imprisonment or periodic imprisonment is necessary for the protection of the public; or

(2) probation or conditional discharge would deprecate the seriousness of the offender's conduct and would be inconsistent with the ends of justice." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 1005-6-1(a).)

Under this statutory provision, it is not necessary that the trial court expressly recite the basis upon which probation is denied. The statutory requirements are satisfied where the record reveals substantial compliance with the statute. (People v. Cox (1980), 82 Ill.2d 268, 412 N.E.2d 541.) Substantial compliance may be found in the trial court's discussion of the presentence report or in the factors presented in the sentencing hearing. People v. Roberts (1983), 115 Ill. App.3d 302, 450 N.E.2d 451.

We find in the case at bar that the trial court substantially complied with the statutory requirements of section 5-6-1(a). Although the court did not expressly recite the basis upon which probation was denied, the record clearly indicates that the court did review and consider all of the factors presented at the sentencing hearing. The factors in mitigation were outweighed by the aggravating factor of the need for deterrence. The court's analysis of these factors is well supported by the record. We note further that the court's finding of the need for deterrence constitutes substantial compliance with the statutory provision that probation would deprecate the seriousness of the offense.

• 2 The defendant next contends that the trial court improperly suggested that he should have been convicted of a greater offense. The defendant cites as support the following comments of the court:

"The circumstances of the use of that firearm, on this record, would seem to indicate more than involuntary manslaughter. I do not quarrel with the jury's verdict in this case. They ...


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