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06/30/88 the People of the State of v. Robert Wenkus

June 30, 1988





526 N.E.2d 534, 171 Ill. App. 3d 1064, 122 Ill. Dec. 275 1988.IL.1045

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. C. Andrew Hayton, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE INGLIS delivered the opinion of the court. DUNN and REINHARD, JJ., concur.


Defendant, Robert Wenkus, was convicted of criminal damage to property (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 21-1(a)), criminal trespass to land (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 21-3(a)), and battery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 12-3(a)(1)), after a bench trial. He was sentenced to one-year probation concurrent on all charges, with the first 180 days in the county jail. The trial court found that defendant committed bodily harm in relation to the battery and therefore denied defendant "good time credit." Defendant appeals from the denial of a "good behavior allowance" which he claimed pursuant to section 3 of the County Jail Good Behavior Allowance Act (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 75, par. 32). We affirm.

The parties agree that the issue for review is whether "good time credit" should be applied against defendant's county jail sentence. We initially note that the parties use the term "good time credit" when referring to the "good behavior allowance" provided for by statute. (See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 75, par. 32.) While we doubt that no matter how good a defendant's behavior may be while incarcerated, he seldom, if ever, is having a good time; we nonetheless bow to common practice and use the terms interchangeably.

The charges arise out of a fight at the home of Ruben Skinner during a birthday party for Ruben's teenage daughter, Joelle. The altercation took place after defendant, who was an uninvited guest, refused to leave when requested to do so by Joelle.

Ruben testified that he allowed his daughter to have a birthday party at his home on the night of March 2, 1986. Ruben left the home at about 6 p.m. on that date and returned at about 9 a.m. the following day. When Ruben returned to his home, the plasterboard in the entryway was cracked, and several wall hangings, a glass table, and the kitchen window were broken.

Joelle testified that she invited 40 to 45 people to the party. At approximately 11:30 p.m., defendant and a companion arrived. Joelle asked defendant to leave five or six times because he had not been invited. One of the guests, Chris Wilson, joined Joelle in asking defendant to leave. A fight broke out between Wilson and defendant, at which time Joelle was hit in the face. Although Joelle could not identify which person hit her, she testified that defendant pushed her down a stairwell after she was struck. Joelle testified that she bumped her chin on one of the stairs and that she felt "pain" when that occurred. Joelle stated that she ascended the stairs and started hitting defendant on the back. By this time, a group of people had congregated in the hallway. Defendant was bent over and several people circled around him as he was trying to get out of the house. Defendant eventually got free and ran out of the back door.

Laurie Rushton, a guest at the party, testified that she was in the kitchen when defendant entered the Skinner home. Defendant was holding a beer bottle when he arrived. Rushton saw defendant push Joelle down the stairs, but she did not see him strike anyone. Rushton further testified that someone in the group of people sprayed a can of mace and everyone in the crowd pushed their way outside. Defendant was bent over when he left the house and subsequently threw the beer bottle at the kitchen window causing it to break.

At the close of all the evidence, defendant was found guilty of the offenses of battery against Joelle, criminal trespass to property, and criminal damage to property. Defendant was sentenced to concurrent terms of one-year probation with 180 days in jail. In pronouncing sentence, the court stated:

"The charge of battery against [Joelle] alleged bodily harm. I found bodily harm. Accordingly, there will be no good time credit.", Defendant appeals.

Defendant's appeal centers on defendant's interpretation of the term "physical harm" as it is used in the Act. Section 3 of the ...

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