Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

03/25/94 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. GEORGE KOKKENEIS

March 25, 1994

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
GEORGE KOKKENEIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. The Honorable Mary M. Thomas, Judge Presiding.

Released for Publication May 5, 1994.

Giannis, Egan, McNAMARA

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Giannis

JUSTICE GIANNIS delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a bench trial, defendant, George Kokkeneis, was found not guilty by reason of insanity on a charge of aggravated arson. Based upon the determination that defendant was in need of inpatient mental health services and subject to involuntary admission, the trial court ordered that defendant be committed to the Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities for a maximum term not to exceed 15 years. The trial court's final computation of defendant's maximum term of commitment excluded an additional 180-day period of good time credit. Defendant appeals, contending that he was entitled to receive credit for the additional 180-day period provided for in the statute.

The record reveals that defendant was charged by indictment with aggravated arson. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, par. 20-1.1(a)(1), now 720 ILCS 5/20.1.1(a)(1) (West 1992).) The evidence adduced at trial established that on April 25, 1989, defendant intentionally started a fire in a dumpster located behind the Hellenic Enterprises grocery store, located at 6058 West Diversey, and the fire spread to the building which housed the grocery store and a second-floor apartment. The evidence further established that when defendant started the fire, the grocery store was open for business, and there were people in the store as well as in the upstairs apartment. Defendant was arrested on May 4, 1989, was advised of his constitutional rights through a Greek interpreter, and indicated that he understood those rights. In a statement to the police after his arrest, defendant admitted starting the fire and said he did so because the owners of the grocery had a poster in the window supporting Mayor Daley. Defendant admitted that he knew there were people in the building because shortly before starting the fire he had purchased a sandwich from one of the store owners.

The parties stipulated that if called as witnesses, Gerson H. Kaplan, M.D., and Matthew S. Markos, M.D., would testify that, based upon their independent examinations of defendant on October 6, 1989, they believed that defendant was legally insane at the time of the alleged offense and was unable to conform his behavior to the requirements of the law due to schizophrenia.

The trial court found defendant not guilty by reason of insanity and ordered that he submit to the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities for in-patient evaluation.

Following a hearing, the trial court entered an order on December 12, 1990, involuntarily remanding defendant to the custody of the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities for an indefinite time, but not beyond November 3, 2003 (14 1/2 years from the date of defendant's arrest). The court calculated defendant's commitment term by deducting statutory day-for-day good conduct credit as well as an additional 180 days of good conduct credit from the 30-year maximum sentence possible if defendant had been convicted of aggravated arson. See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, par. 1005-8-1(a)(3), now 730 ILCS 5/5-8-1(a)(3) (West 1992).

On January 31, 1991, an amended commitment order was entered on the court's own motion and over defendant's objection. This amended commitment order revoked the additional 180-day good conduct credit from defendant's maximum period of commitment and thereby changed the maximum commitment term from 14 1/2 years to 15 years from the date of defendant's arrest. Based upon this amended commitment order, defendant would be eligible for release on or before May 3, 2004. Defendant has appealed, contending that he was entitled to receive the 180-days of good-time credit which was revoked by the trial Judge in her amended commitment order.

The State asserts that by failing to object at the hearing and failing to file a motion to reduce his commitment term, defendant has waived his right to challenge the amended commitment order which revoked the additional 180 days of good conduct credit. It has been held, however, that there is no duty to file a post-sentencing motion to preserve alleged errors in sentencing. ( People v. Turner (1992), 233 Ill. App. 3d 449, 455-56, 599 N.E.2d 104, 174 Ill. Dec. 558.) Because the involuntary commitment of a defendant found not guilty by reason of insanity affects the defendant's fundamental liberty interest ( People v. Williams (1986), 140 Ill. App. 3d 216, 223, 488 N.E.2d 649, 94 Ill. Dec. 650), alleged error in the determination of the maximum term of commitment may be considered on review even where that alleged error was not brought to the attention of the trial court ( People v. Young (1989), 128 Ill. 2d 1, 46, 538 N.E.2d 461). We note that defense counsel did voice an objection at the time the amended commitment order was entered by the trial court. Consequently, we reject the State's assertion that defendant waived his right to appeal the trial court's amended commitment order.

On appeal, defendant contends that the trial court erred in computing his maximum term of commitment by excluding the additional 180-day period of good time credit.

Aggravated arson, a Class X felony, is punishable by a sentence of six to 30 years' imprisonment. See Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, pars. 20-1.1, 1005-8-1(a)(3), now 720 ILCS 5/20-1.1, 730 ILCS 5/5-8-1(a)(3) (West 1992).

Section 5-2-4(b) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Code) states that the term of commitment for a defendant found not guilty by reason of insanity shall not exceed the maximum length of time that the defendant would have been required to serve, less credit for good behavior, if he had been convicted of and received the maximum sentence for the most serious crime for which he was acquitted by ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.