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04/08/87 the People of the State of v. Gayle Eugene Siler

April 8, 1987

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

GAYLE EUGENE SILER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIFTH DISTRICT

506 N.E.2d 756, 154 Ill. App. 3d 102, 107 Ill. Dec. 13 1987.IL.458

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Shelby County; the Hon. Joseph L. Fribley, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE KASSERMAN delivered the opinion of the court. KARNS, P.J., and WELCH, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE KASSERMAN

Defendant, Gayle Eugene Siler, was found guilty of one count of child pornography and two counts of indecent liberties with a child after a jury trial held between July 25 and August 3, 1984, in the circuit court of Shelby County. Defendant was sentenced to 15-year terms of imprisonment on each count, with the sentences for the indecent-liberties counts to be served concurrently with each other but consecutively to the child-pornography sentence. Defendant has perfected the instant appeal from his convictions and sentences. We affirm.

Defendant's appointed appellate counsel raises two issues on appeal in defendant's behalf: (1) whether the trial court erred in allowing defendant to represent himself at trial; and (2) whether the trial court should have sua sponte declared a mistrial when defendant was unable to conduct proper examination of defense witnesses. Defendant has filed a pro se brief raising one additional issue: whether the trial court in sentencing defendant failed to consider that imprisonment might endanger defendant's medical condition. Defendant does not contest the sufficiency of the evidence against him and therefore we need not repeat the details of these offenses.

At his first appearance on December 2, 1983, defendant was advised of the charges against him and of his right to counsel. When defendant expressed his desire to represent himself, the following colloquy occurred:

"THE COURT: Now, is it your intent as of this minute to continue to represent yourself in these proceedings?, DEFENDANT: I hate to repeat myself. I said I would represent myself and that's an affirmative on that.

THE COURT: Now, have you been represented by counsel in other proceedings prior to this one?, DEFENDANT: (Shakes head from side to side.)

THE COURT: You have never been represented by an attorney, is that correct?, DEFENDANT: You got it.

THE COURT: You understand that it is possible that an attorney representing you might be able to do a better job with the case than you yourself might be able to do?, DEFENDANT: You know what B.S. is?

THE COURT: I will take that, Mr. Siler, as an affirmative statement that you wish to represent yourself., DEFENDANT: I think I would be better off to represent myself and I think we have that clarified, don't we?"

On December 16, 1983, defendant stated to the court: "I will let [the public defender] serve as my mouthpiece on this, ask all the questions that I feel should be brought out in this case. If he ever fails to do so, I would like him to withdraw immediately or I will ask that he be removed. I mean I have had this happen before and I find it much easier to represent myself a lot of times and have in the past." The court then suggested that if ...


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