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06/15/88 the People of the State of v. Ronald Bradshaw Et Al.

June 15, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

RONALD BRADSHAW ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



A second Judge heard the motion for substitution of Judges. In his offer of proof, Bradshaw stated that Hines' mother, if called to testify, would state that she saw McKnight's mother write something down on an index card and give it to one of the assistant State's Attorneys. After which, the assistant State's Attorney gave the card to the trial Judge. According to Ms. Hines' account, the trial Judge then recessed the court and he and McKnight's mother went into the Judge's chambers. Following argument, the second Judge denied Bradshaw's motion for substitution of Judges.

APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, THIRD DIVISION

525 N.E.2d 1098, 171 Ill. App. 3d 971, 121 Ill. Dec. 791 1988.IL.940

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Kenneth L. Gillis, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE RIZZI delivered the opinion of the court. WHITE, P.J., and McNAMARA, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE RIZZI

Defendants, Henry Hines and Ronald Bradshaw, were both convicted of two counts of aggravated battery, two counts of armed violence and one count of attempted murder. Hines was sentenced to 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Bradshaw was sentenced to 22 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. On appeal, Bradshaw argues that: (1) he was denied the right to a fair and impartial trial because the trial Judge erred in failing to recuse himself after having an ex parte conversation with the victim's mother in his chambers and (2) the State failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Hines argues that his conviction should be reversed and this cause remanded for a new trial because, based on his erroneous belief that the trial Judge did not have an ex parte communication with the victim's mother, he (1) improperly decided to forego a motion to substitute Judges and (2) did not make a knowing and intelligent jury waiver. We reverse and remand for a new trial.

Bradshaw and Hines obtained a check in the amount of $13,457.75 made out to Nancy J. Greene. Desiring to cash this check, Bradshaw and Hines needed the assistance of a woman who would obtain false identification in the name of Nancy J. Green, open up a bank account in Green's name and then cash the check. The victim, Pamela McKnight, was a friend of Hines. Hines approached McKnight to enlist her assistance in this plan to cash the check. McKnight agreed to participate in the plan provided that she receive $3,000 from the check.

Hines subsequently introduced McKnight to Bradshaw. Bradshaw, Hines and McKnight then obtained false identification for McKnight. Bradshaw then gave McKnight $150 for an initial deposit, and McKnight proceeded to Citicorp Bank to open an account. However, when McKnight attempted to open the account, she was informed that she did not have the proper forms of identification. McKnight left the bank and returned the $150 to Bradshaw.

The following day, Bradshaw gave McKnight $250 to open an account at another bank. This bank also required identification that McKnight did not have, so she was unable to open an account. McKnight did not return this money to Bradshaw.

McKnight met Hines at a restaurant the next day. McKnight informed Hines that she did not have the money to return to Bradshaw because she had been pickpocketed on the train. Hines then accused McKnight of lying and told her that Bradshaw would hurt her if she did not return the money. Hines also told McKnight to be "ready after school" because Bradshaw would be waiting for her.

McKnight saw Hines and Bradshaw the next day in the lobby of the building where she was taking classes. Bradshaw signaled McKnight to come over to where he and Hines were standing. Bradshaw questioned her about the money and McKnight explained why she did not have it. Bradshaw grabbed McKnight by the shoulder, told her to shut up and pulled out a knife that he was carrying. Bradshaw then stabbed McKnight three times in the stomach and twice in the back of her arm. As McKnight broke Bradshaw's grip and ran for safety, Bradshaw and Hines fled from the building. McKnight was then rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency trauma surgery.

Bradshaw and Hines were arrested and indicted for attempted murder, armed violence and aggravated battery. Prior to trial, Bradshaw made a motion for substitution of Judges. In his motion, Bradshaw alleged that the trial Judge was prejudiced in favor of McKnight because McKnight's mother, who is a deputy sheriff in the criminal courts building, had requested and had actually spoken with the trial Judge.

At trial, Bradshaw proceeded pro se and was tried by a jury. Hines waived his right to a jury trial and was tried by the trial Judge. Following the introduction of evidence, the jury returned a verdict finding Bradshaw guilty on all counts as charged. Hines was also ...


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