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04/29/88 the People of the State of v. Lawrence E. Woods

April 29, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

LAWRENCE E. WOODS, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

523 N.E.2d 190, 169 Ill. App. 3d 126, 119 Ill. Dec. 722 1988.IL.638

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County; the Hon. Michael Colwell, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE LINDBERG delivered the opinion of the court. INGLIS and NASH, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LINDBERG

On motion of defendant, Lawrence E. Woods, the circuit court of Kane County entered a judgment dismissing an information charging defendant with burglary of a motor vehicle in Kane County (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 19-1). The court found that there was an agreement between defendant and the State's Attorney of De Kalb County whereby defendant would plead guilty in De Kalb County case No. 85 CF 8 and that the instant Kane County charge would be dismissed. The court further found that in reliance upon the agreement, defendant pleaded guilty to the De Kalb County case and that, therefore, he is entitled to specific performance by the State's Attorney of Kane County of the agreement of the State's Attorney of De Kalb County. The State appeals.

The State argues that the State's Attorney of De Kalb County did not have authority to bind the State's Attorney of Kane County not to prosecute for a Kane County offense. The State relies on the authority of our holding in People v. Click (1974), 22 Ill. App. 3d 89, 316 N.E.2d 808.

Defendant argues that: (1) the State does not deny that the evidence established the agreement by the State's Attorney of De Kalb County with the defendant that the Kane County offense would not be prosecuted; (2) one county's State's Attorney can bind another county's State's Attorney; (3) defendant's reliance on the agreement in pleading guilty to the De Kalb County offense implicates the principles of equity requiring that the defendant receive the benefit of his bargain; and (4) the circuit court of Kane County did not err in granting specific performance of the agreement.

The rule is well established that an unfulfilled promise which induced a defendant's plea renders the plea involuntary even though facts may be independently established to verify his guilt. (Santobello v. New York (1971), 404 U.S. 257, 30 L. Ed. 2d 427, 92 S. Ct. 495; People v. Starks (1985), 106 Ill. 2d 441, 478 N.E.2d 350; People v. Pier (1972), 51 Ill. 2d 96, 281 N.E.2d 289; People v. Harris (1980), 91 Ill. App. 3d 376, 414 N.E.2d 911; People v. Wadlington (1979), 78 Ill. App. 3d 1072, 398 N.E.2d 88.) However, the only issue which this case presents is whether, as a matter of law, one State's Attorney's agreement that a defendant will not be prosecuted for a particular offense in another county can bind that other county's State's Attorney. Also, not before us is the validity of defendant's De Kalb County conviction pursuant to the De Kalb County plea agreement. People v. Click (1974), 22 Ill. App. 3d 89, 316 N.E.2d 808.

In Click, the defendant contended that his plea agreement in Ogle County was based upon a letter sent by his public defender in Ogle County to the State's Attorney of Kane County "attempting to clear up all matters" involving the defendant. The letter sought the Kane County State's Attorney's agreement that "all charges can be consolidated in one case" wherein the defendant, under a plea agreement, would be sentenced to four years' probation in Ogle County with the first two years to be served in the Ogle County Public Safety Building. Pursuant to section 5-4-2(b) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 1005-4-2(b)), the circuit court of Ogle County entered judgment upon defendant after he entered his plea of guilty to the Ogle County offense and the five specific offenses detailed in the Kane County State's Attorney's written acknowledgement and approval of the entry of defendant's plea of guilty to the five Kane County offenses.

Thereafter, it was determined that defendant was charged with two other Kane County offenses not discussed by the parties, and of which the Kane County State's Attorney testified that he had no knowledge at the time he approved the defendant's plea to the other five Kane County offenses. After trial, the circuit court of Kane County entered judgments of conviction against defendant on the two Kane County offenses, and he appealed.

This court concluded:

"It was pursuant to the foregoing provision [Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 1005-4-2(b)] that defendant made his plea bargain, as the statute provided, with the Ogle County State's Attorney (not with the Kane County State's Attorney). Moreover, the defendant himself certainly was aware of his probation status in Kane County, also that he had not reported to his probation officer there, and that he had violated the conditions of his probation in Kane County. It was incumbent upon him and his attorney to ascertain whether these probation violations (or any petition to revoke such probations) were ...


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