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People v. Williams

OPINION FILED JANUARY 16, 1986.

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

v.

HERMAN WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Romie Palmer, Judge, presiding.

PRESIDING JUSTICE LINN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Following a bench trial, respondent, Herman Williams, was acquitted by reason of insanity of attempted murder and aggravated battery. Williams was ordered to the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (DMHDD) on an inpatient basis for an evaluation to determine whether he was subject to involuntary admission to DMHDD pursuant to section 5-2-4(a) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-4(a)). After a hearing, Williams was found subject to involuntary admission and was remanded to DMHDD for a period of 15 years. On appeal, Williams contends that the trial court committed reversible error in that: (1) he was prematurely committed to DMHDD; (2) the State failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that he was subject to involuntary admission to DMHDD; (3) he was committed to a facility which does not offer him the proper treatment; and (4) he was denied effective assistance of counsel.

We affirm.

BACKGROUND

On November 12, 1982, following a bench trial, respondent, Herman Williams, was acquitted by reason of insanity (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 115-3(b)) of attempted murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, pars. 8-4, 9-1) and aggravated battery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 12-4(b)(1)) of his mother. It was stipulated at trial that on July 31, 1982, Williams walked into his mother's kitchen and with a nine-inch knife stabbed his mother twice in the arm and three times in the chest.

Dr. Gerson Kaplan, a psychiatrist employed by the Cook County Psychiatric Institute, testified in Williams' case in chief. Kaplan asserted that Williams was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, and that his attack upon his mother stemmed from this disease. Kaplan also testified that because of this disorder, Williams was unable to conform his conduct to the law.

At the close of the trial, the trial court determined that Williams had attacked his mother with the intent to commit murder. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)(1).) However, the trial court also found that Williams was insane at the time of the attack, and therefore he was not guilty by reason of insanity. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 115-3(b).

Immediately after the acquittal, the State requested the immediate involuntary transfer of Williams into the custody of the DMHDD. The trial court indicated that it would not order Williams into the custody of DMHDD without first determining whether he posed a danger to himself or others. The State called Dr. Kaplan to the stand. Kaplan, who had testified on Williams' behalf at trial, stated that in his opinion, Williams constituted a danger to others such that he was subject to involuntary commitment. The assistant public defender representing Williams refused to participate in the further proceedings and did not cross-examine Kaplan, object to any of the State's questions asked of Kaplan, or offer any evidence on Williams' behalf. Defense counsel contended that the trial court was proceeding contrary to the requirements and procedures set forth in the statute relating to involuntary commitment. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-4.

Following the State's examination of Kaplan, the trial court determined that Williams did pose a danger to others. The court ordered Williams to the DMHDD facility at Manteno Mental Health Center as an inpatient for an evaluation as to whether he was subject to involuntary admission pursuant to section 5-2-4(a) of the Unified Code of Corrections. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-4(a).) The trial court also ordered that the report be returned to it within 30 days, and directed that Dr. Kaplan's written report of his findings regarding Williams' eligibility for involuntary admission be forwarded to DMHDD. The trial court then determined that Williams was eligible for a 15-year period of confinement apparently pursuant to section 5-2-4(b) of the Unified Code of Corrections. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-4(b).

On January 17, 1983, a DMHDD report prepared by Dr. Robert Wettstein was presented to the trial court. The report stated that Williams was not subject to involuntary admission. On the basis of this report, Williams on February 18, 1983, filed a petition for discharge. The petition was later withdrawn by William's defense counsel.

On February 24, 1983, Williams appeared before the trial court for hearing on the DMHDD report. At that time, the State called Dr. Wettstein to the stand. Wettstein testified that Williams' paranoid schizophrenic condition was in remission with medication, and recommended that Williams follow a course of drug and psychiatric treatment on the outpatient basis at the Edgewater Mental Health Center. Wettstein acknowledged that Williams' disorder could reoccur if Williams were to abuse drugs and alcohol.

The hearing was continued to February 25, 1983, at which time the State again called Dr. Kaplan. Kaplan testified that he had re-examined Williams that day, and that Williams was "not presently subject to involuntary admission." The hearing was continued by the trial court to determine whether the DMHDD report was in compliance with the requirements of the Unified Code of Corrections. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-4(a).) The trial court also ordered that Williams be examined by Dr. Gilbert Bogen, another psychiatrist at the Cook County Psychiatric Institute.

The hearing was continued to August 18, 1983, at which time the State called Dr. Bogen to the stand. Bogen stated that he examined Williams on July 28, 1983, and that during the interview, Williams' thought process deteriorated and Williams displayed psychotic symptoms. Bogen also testified that prior to the examination he read reports from the facility where Williams was sent for his evaluation (Manteno Mental Health Center). Bogen said that the reports indicated that Williams' condition had suddenly deteriorated in March and April of 1983. According to the reports, at that time Williams had spoken of killing people. This was also testified to by the case worker from Manteno Mental Health Center in charge of Williams' case. Based on his examination and the reports from Manteno Mental Health Center, Bogen determined that Williams suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, and that Williams posed a danger to others. In Bogen's opinion, Williams was subject to involuntary admission and should therefore be treated as an inpatient.

On cross-examination, it was established that Dr. Bogen had not read reports by Dr. Wettstein filed after Williams' condition had allegedly improved subsequent to a change in his medication. After reading reports dated June 29, 1983, and July 13, 1983, Dr. Bogen stated that his opinion regarding Williams' status was unchanged.

Defense counsel called Dr. Wettstein to the stand in rebuttal. Wettstein testified that he did not believe that Williams would benefit from further hospitalization and that he should be released to an outpatient treatment program.

On September 29, 1983, the hearing reconvened and the parties gave their final arguments. The trial court ruled that based on the evidence, Williams was subject to involuntary admission. The court made it clear that it had resolved the conflicting testimony of the psychiatrists in favor of Bogen, and that he did not rely on Kaplan's testimony of November 12, 1982. Williams was remanded to Manteno Mental Health Center pursuant to section 5-2-4 of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-4).

OPINION

I

Williams contends that he was denied due process of law when the trial court involuntarily committed him to DMHDD for a period of 15 years without the benefit of an evaluation as required by the Unified Code of Corrections provision which governs proceedings after acquittal by reason of insanity. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 1005-2-4.

Section 5-2-4(a) of the Unified Code of Corrections states in pertinent part:

"After a finding or verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity under Section 104-25, 115-3, or 115-4 of The Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963, the defendant shall be ordered to the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities for an evaluation as to whether he is subject to involuntary admission or in need of mental health services. The order ...


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