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06/01/95 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. JUAN YBARRA

June 1, 1995

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JUAN YBARRA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Earl E. Strayhorn, Judge Presiding.

The Honorable Justice Theis delivered the opinion of the court: Hoffman, P.j., concurs. Cahill, J., dissents.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Theis

JUSTICE THEIS delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a bench trial, the defendant, Juan Ybarra, was convicted of burglary (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 19-1) and sentenced as a Class X offender to a term of 15 years' imprisonment. The defendant appeals this decision, raising two issues for our consideration: (1) whether he was proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and (2) whether he was properly sentenced. We affirm.

Chicago police officer Cruz Reyes testified that he was with his partner at about 12:30 a.m. on September 1, 1992, when they heard a loud alarm begin sounding from a block away. When they rounded the corner, Reyes observed the defendant "pulling back the boarded up bottom portion of the door" to a laundromat. Once the defendant pulled back a portion of the door, he crawled inside the laundromat.

Cruz stood at the front door to the laundromat, announced his office and ordered the defendant outside. Cruz testified that the defendant came out. The laundromat consisted of coin-operated machines and was closed. Upon searching the defendant, the police found no money or burglary tools on him.

The parties stipulated that if the owner of the building, Ahmed Awad, were called to testify, he would say that he did not give the defendant permission to be in that location and in that business at that time.

The defendant then testified that at about 10:30 p.m. on the night in question, he left his house and went to the liquor store two blocks away where he bought some beer. During the next two hours the defendant stood outside the liquor store and drank 40 ounces of beer and two bottles of wine. The defendant then went to the alley behind the liquor store and relieved himself. The defendant returned to the liquor store and purchased another bottle of wine. The defendant began walking toward his house but again stopped at the alley to relieve himself. The defendant then started drinking the wine as he walked.

The defendant testified that at about 12:30 a.m. on the night in question he "crawled inside the laundromat" through a partially boarded-up front door. At that time, the defendant heard the police tell him to come out so he complied. The defendant explained that he had entered the laundromat to use the washroom. He stated that he did not stop in the alley nearby because he "couldn't hold it any longer." The defendant denied using any tools, screwdriver or pliers to enter the store, and he denied intending to take anything from inside.

On cross-examination, he admitted the laundromat was closed and there were no other people inside. He also explained that his house was about one block from the laundromat and the nearest alley was about one-half block away directly behind the laundromat.

In rebuttal, the State introduced into evidence the defendant's prior criminal convictions. The trial court then found the defendant guilty of the crime of burglary.

Subsequently, the court denied the defendant's motion for a new trial and proceeded to a hearing on the issue of sentencing. At the sentencing hearing, the State relied upon the defendant's criminal history and the nature and circumstances of his conduct. The presentence report and criminal history report disclosed that the defendant had been convicted of a number of felonies:

(1) On May 8, 1978, the defendant was charged with armed robbery. He was subsequently convicted on this charge.

(2) Six months later, on October 13, 1978, the defendant was charged with attempted murder and was subsequently convicted. On February 1, 1979, the defendant pleaded guilty to both armed robbery and attempted murder and was ...


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