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05/18/87 the People of the State of v. Steven Hanna

May 18, 1987





508 N.E.2d 765, 155 Ill. App. 3d 805, 108 Ill. Dec. 454 1987.IL.637

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Adams County; the Hon. Robert L. Welch, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE KNECHT delivered the opinion of the court. McCULLOUGH and LUND, JJ., concur.


Following his open plea of guilty to residential burglary (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 19-3), defendant filed motions to reduce sentence and to withdraw his guilty plea. The Adams County circuit court denied both motions and defendant appeals.

The claims defendant presents for review do not require an extended Discussion of the facts surrounding his offense, but do require a full explanation of the procedural history leading to this appeal.

On September 19, 1985, the Adams County State's Attorney filed an information charging defendant with conspiracy (burglary), residential burglary, and resisting a peace officer. The charges stemmed from defendant's arrest for a home burglary following an extended chase by sheriff's deputies. At the time of his arrest, defendant was free on bond in cause No. 85CF109, a burglary charge.

The court initially appointed the public defender to represent defendant and subsequently granted defendant's request to represent himself. At defendant's request, the court assigned the public defender to assist in preparing the defense. During the course of proceedings, defendant permitted the public defender to advise him, file motions, and present arguments to the court. Defendant also filed several motions of his own, supplemented counsel's motion to withdraw guilty plea, and was permitted to call and question witnesses at the sentencing hearing. Defendant frequently availed himself of opportunities to argue points to the court.

On November 4, 1985, defendant pleaded guilty to residential burglary in this cause. In return for this plea, the State agreed to drop the conspiracy and resisting a peace officer charges and to not seek an extended term. (See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 1005-8-2.) Prior to accepting defendant's guilty plea, the court admonished him extensively concerning the nature of the residential burglary offense, as well as the potential penalties upon conviction. Specifically, the court made defendant aware it could order any sentence in this case served consecutively with the sentence in No. 85CF109. Defendant indicated he understood the court's admonition.

On December 27, 1985, the court held a combined sentencing hearing for this case and No. 85CF109. At that hearing, defendant represented himself and called several witnesses. Generally, this testimony indicated defendant had cooperated with authorities since his arrest. Witnesses also testified to defendant's claim that his motive for participating in the residential burglary at issue was to involve and then implicate one of the other participants in the burglary. The court indicated it would consider this testimony at the sentencing hearing along with other matters of record, including the presentence investigation report. Given the opportunity to correct inaccuracies in the report, defendant indicated he had found some minor errors which he intended to bring out and clarify as he presented evidence at the sentencing hearing.

The court sentenced defendant to 6 years' imprisonment in No. 85CF109 and to 8 years' imprisonment in this cause, the terms to run consecutively. Elaborating upon the reasons for its sentence in the present case, the court stated:

"As far as factors in aggravation under 5-5-3.2, I have taken into account those that apply, and in particular, the fact that the Defendant has a history of prior delinquency and criminal activity, especially criminal activity. He indicated here today that he was in no trouble up to the age of 13 and apparently he had problems there."

The court then made specific note of four adult offenses: armed robbery in 1974, a bail bond violation in 1975, a felony theft in 1983, and a misdemeanor theft in 1984.

The court also expressed skepticism concerning defendant's claim he had participated in the residential burglary only to get one of his ...

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