APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT
511 N.E.2d 938, 158 Ill. App. 3d 971, 110 Ill. Dec. 761 1987.IL.1095
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Champaign County; the Hon. Robert J. Steigmann, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE McCULLOUGH delivered the opinion of the court. SPITZ, P.J., and GREEN, J., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCCULLOUGH
Defendant was charged by indictment in the circuit court of Champaign County with enforcement of discipline-escape (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 1003-6-4), a Class 3 felony, for his failure to return to the Urbana Community Correctional Center from furlough on March 24, 1982. He was found guilty following a bench trial on stipulated evidence and was sentenced to three years' imprisonment, to be served consecutive to the sentence in Coles County No. 81-CF-96, the case in which he was serving sentence at the time of his escape.
Defendant appeals, maintaining his conviction should be reversed and, essentially, treated as barred by an agreement of the State's Attorney in Fayette County -- the county of defendant's "parent institution," Vandalia -- at the time of his escape while a resident at the Urbana Community Correctional Center in Champaign County. The Fayette County State's Attorney agreed orally and in writing directed to Iowa authorities that his office would not charge defendant with escape if defendant pleaded guilty to a robbery charge in Iowa and received a 10-year incarceration on that charge. After serving sentence, defendant was returned to Illinois and the instant charge was brought by the State's Attorney in Champaign County.
Defense counsel filed a motion to dismiss the charge, based on the agreement of the Fayette County State's Attorney not to prosecute as a term of the plea agreement concurred in by an Iowa court. The motion was denied. Defense counsel again raised the representation of the Fayette County State's Attorney as an affirmative defense after presentation of the State's case in chief, and made an offer of proof. The trial court reaffirmed its earlier ruling, found defendant guilty, pronounced sentence, and entered judgment. We affirm.
On February 24, 1982, defendant was granted work release from Vandalia Correctional Center in Fayette County, Illinois, and was placed in the Urbana Community Correctional Center in Champaign County, Illinois. Defendant was approved to take a three-hour independent pass from the Urbana Community Correctional Center on March 24, 1982. He failed to return to the center and an escape warrant was issued.
Defendant's whereabouts remained unknown until August 26, 1982, when notification was received by the Illinois Department of Corrections that defendant had been apprehended or arrested in Indianapolis, Indiana, by the sheriff's department of Marion County, Indiana, and was held there on an arrest charge from the State of Iowa. On February 15, 1983, DOC received notification that defendant was serving a 10-year sentence for second-degree robbery at the Iowa State Men's Reformatory in Anamosa, Iowa, having been transported from Indiana to Iowa on November 17, 1982. On May 27, 1986, defendant was returned to Illinois by Iowa authorities. On July 3, 1986, the Champaign County State's Attorney filed an indictment charging defendant with the offense of enforcement of discipline -- escape.
On January 31, 1983, defendant pleaded guilty to the offense of second-degree robbery in Iowa in Dubuque County case No. 15205 pursuant to a negotiated plea under which the State's Attorney for Fayette County, Illinois, agreed not to prosecute defendant for escape. On appeal, defendant maintains (1) although the escape offense arose in Champaign County, Illinois, the State's Attorney of Fayette County, Illinois, had authority to dismiss the escape charge in Champaign County, citing this court's decision in People v. Wantland (1979), 78 Ill. App. 3d 741, 397 N.E.2d 548; and (2) since he has served his term of imprisonment in Iowa, his remedy is dismissal of this cause.
At hearings below, defense counsel argued that under this court's decision in Wantland, the State's Attorney of Fayette County had authority to dismiss cases arising in other counties which would bind the State's Attorneys for those counties.
The State argued the representations of the State's Attorney of Fayette County were made without the knowledge of prosecutorial authorities in Champaign County, who had no knowledge of the subsequent apprehension of defendant or the plea agreement conversations which were had with the Fayette County State's Attorney. The prosecutor pointed out that, at the time of the purported promise not to prosecute by the Fayette County State's Attorney, there were no charges pending as such. He stipulated to copies of the letter by the Fayette County State's Attorney and the transcript of plea hearing in Iowa. The prosecutor argued the Fayette County State's Attorney did not have actual authority to prosecute defendant and, therefore, his representation not to prosecute defendant was illusory and a nullity. The prosecutor further argued the burden was on the defendant to seek out the appropriate prosecuting authorities and, if he failed to locate the appropriate authority, he did so at his peril, irrespective of whether it was reasonable for defendant's Iowa counsel to rely on the representation of the Fayette County State's Attorney.
The trial court found Wantland distinguishable, as there an Illinois court was involved in the plea agreement in Vermilion County.
The letter of the Fayette County State's Attorney to the Dubuque County, Iowa, prosecutor stated:
"Our office will not prosecute Gary Staten for Escape if he pleads guilty to the Robbery charge in your state and receives a ten year incarceration on that charge as ...