Appeal from Circuit Court of Macon County. No. 92CF490. Honorable Rodney A. Scott, Judge Presiding.
As Corrected May 10, 1994. Released for Publication June 1, 1994.
Honorable Robert J. Steigmann, J., Honorable James A. Knecht, J., Honorable Carl A. Lund, J.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Steigmann
JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the opinion of the court:
In October 1992, a jury found defendant, Sean A. Peck, guilty of aggravated battery to a police officer (720 ILCS 5/12-4(b)(6) (West1992)) and resisting a peace officer (720 ILCS 5/31-1 (West 1992)). The trial court imposed concurrent sentences of six years in prison on the conviction of aggravated battery and 364 days in jail on the conviction of resisting a peace officer. Defendant appeals, arguing that (1) the State failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; and (2) the conviction of resisting a peace officer must be vacated because it was based upon the same physical act as the conviction of aggravated battery.
The essential facts underlying defendant's convictions are as follows. In June 1992, the police were summoned to defendant's residence to quell a neighborhood disturbance. Several police officers responded and spoke with the local residents, including defendant. As the officers spoke with defendant, he was belligerent and spit on one officer's face, glasses, and cheek. The officers then attempted to arrest him, but he fought them by kicking and pulling away while they tried to restrain and place handcuffs on him. Ultimately, three police officers subdued defendant and placed him under arrest.
At trial, the State presented six witnesses, three of whom were the police officers at the scene, and three were neighbors. The defense introduced testimony from defendant's then-girlfriend and defendant himself, who claimed that any spitting that occurred was accidental. The jury found defendant guilty of one count of aggravated battery and one count of resisting a peace officer and acquitted him of another count of aggravated battery.
II. SUFFICIENCY OF THE EVIDENCE
A. Aggravated Battery and Spitting
Defendant first argues that the State failed to prove him guilty of aggravated battery beyond a reasonable doubt. In essence, defendant contends that spitting alone cannot sustain an aggravated battery conviction. We disagree.
Section 12-4(b)(6) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Code) (720 ILCS 5/12-4(b)(6) (West ...