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06/29/89 the People of the State of v. Grover Procell

June 29, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

GROVER PROCELL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIFTH DISTRICT

541 N.E.2d 791, 185 Ill. App. 3d 476, 133 Ill. Dec. 580 1989.IL.1036

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jackson County; the Hon. Richard E. Richman, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE GOLDENHERSH delivered the opinion of the court. CHAPMAN and RARICK, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE GOLDENHERSH

Defendant, Grover Procell, appeals from the judgment of the circuit court of Jackson County finding him guilty of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and escape. The court sentenced him to serve concurrent terms of three and five years which are consecutive to the sentence imposed by the circuit court of Peoria County. We affirm.

One of defendant's issues on appeal is whether his conviction for possession of a stolen vehicle must be reversed because the penalty provision is unconstitutional. Defendant argues that a first conviction for possession of a stolen motor vehicle is a greater class offense (Class 2 felony) than the more serious offense of auto theft (Class 3 felony). Our supreme court addressed that issue in People v. Bryant (1989), 128 Ill. 2d 448, holding:

"We believe that the legislature's decision to steadily increase the penalty for possession of a stolen motor vehicle was designed to distinguish possession of a stolen motor vehicle from theft in order to remedy the increasing frequency of the offense of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and its related activities. Therefore, we hold that section 4 -- 103(b) of the Vehicle Code is reasonably designed to protect the public from the evils of the offense of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and its related activities. As such, section 4 -- 103(b) of the Vehicle Code does not violate sections 2 and 11 of article I of the Illinois Constitution." 128 Ill. 2d at 457-58.

Thus, this court finds that section 4 -- 103(b) is not unconstitutional pursuant to Bryant.

The remaining issue before this court is whether defendant's sentence was excessive. The record reveals the following facts.

At the bench trial on February 19, 1987, Howard Saver, a Community Correctional Center supervisor at Southern Illinois Community Correctional Center in Carbondale , stated that he is responsible for placing inmates in work release sites. Defendant was transferred to SICC on October 24, 1986. On October 30, 1986, defendant was assigned a work release job at Cristado's Bakery in Carbondale. Saver was on call that night when he received a message on his beeper at 11:48 p.m. The message told him to report to the center immediately. After he arrived at the center, Greg Prineas, an employee of SICC, informed him of defendant's escape. Saver then patrolled the area where defendant ran until 4 or 5 a.m. If defendant had worked the shift, he would have returned to the center at 4 a.m. Defendant did not report to the center.

Greg Prineas was in the process of making a transportation run on the evening of October 30. He was dispatched to Cristado's Bakery to check on defendant because there had been a problem with him returning to work after his break. When he arrived at the bakery at 11:40 p.m., he began a search of the building and general vicinity. As he walked toward the west end of the shopping center where the bakery is located, he saw defendant. He asked defendant why he did not go back to work after the break. Prineas could not recall defendant's answer. Prineas then proceeded to take defendant back to the center. When Prineas and defendant began to park the car in the parking lot at the center, defendant ran from the vehicle. Prineas and others searched for defendant but could not find him.

Steve Odom, a City of Carbondale police officer, was on patrol on October 30, 1986, at 5:50 a.m., when he observed an Oldsmobile Delta 88 accelerate rapidly and swerve. The driver of the car lost control of the car as the car swerved, causing the car to end up in the northbound lane of the street but traveling southbound. The officer eventually initiated a traffic stop. Odom discovered that defendant was driving the car. He had seen defendant earlier in the evening when defendant was first taken into custody. Odom asked defendant how he got the car and defendant stated that he took it and that the keys were in the car.

John Beatman, the owner of the car defendant was driving, stated that he did not give defendant ...


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