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June 14, 1995



The Honorable Justice Rizzi delivered the opinion of the court. Greiman, P.j., and Tully, J., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Rizzi

JUSTICE RIZZI delivered the opinion of the court

At a violation of probation hearing, defendant, Daniel Walsh, was found guilty of violating the conditions of his probation and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. The issues before this court are (1) whether defendant's petition for substitution of judges was improperly denied; (2) whether the State failed to meet its burden of proving that defendant wilfully refused to pay his probation fee; (3) whether defendant's due process rights were violated by the trial court's failure to make a written statement of the evidence relied on in revoking defendant's probation; (4) whether it was improper to revoke defendant's probation on the basis of failure to report; and (5) whether defendant is entitled to resentencing. We affirm.

On October 26, 1990, defendant, Daniel Walsh, pleaded guilty to robbery. The trial court imposed two years' probation and ordered defendant to pay a $600 probation fee in $25 monthly installments. This case was later reassigned to Judge Moran. On May 22, 1991, defendant was arrested and charged with armed robbery, armed violence, and burglary. This case was also assigned to Judge Moran.

The State filed a Petition for Violation of Probation against defendant contending that defendant violated the terms of his probation. The petition alleged that defendant violated the conditions of his probation because (1) defendant was arrested and charged with armed robbery, armed violence and burglary while on probation, (2) defendant failed to report to his probation officer after February 11, 1991, until the date of his arrest on May 22, 1991, and (3) defendant failed to make any payments on his $600 probation fee.

On July 9, 1991, at a preliminary proceeding on the armed robbery case, Judge Moran asked defense counsel if a conference would be requested. Defense counsel replied, "Not at this time." The judge indicated he would set this matter for trial to which defense counsel pointed out a request for jury trial. Judge Moran said he was "backed up on juries," and immediately suggested "lets give this a short date, and if we can get to it, we will." After the State announced that it had "decided to elect on the violation of probation on this case," the judge asked defense counsel if based on that would there be a request for a pretrial conference. Defense counsel replied, "We will set it for a hearing."

At defendant's probation revocation hearing, it was stipulated that defendant was placed on probation on October 26, 1990, for robbery. It was further stipulated that defendant was sentenced to two years' probation with a $600 probation fee and the condition that "he appear." Angelyn Parrilli, the probation officer assigned to defendant's case, testified that based on the restitution ledger prepared by the Adult Probation Department, defendant had not paid any of the probation fee. She also testified that defendant failed to report on March, April and May of 1991. On cross-examination, she stated that defendant's history sheet indicated he was unemployed.

Roosevelt Mitchell testified that on May 21, 1991, around 11:50 p.m., he drove his Jeep to a store near 5924 S. Halsted in Chicago. He locked the Jeep and walked across the street to the store. There were many people on both sides of the street. When he saw the store was closed, he headed back toward his Jeep. Defendant rushed into the street with his hands underneath his jacket. Mitchell kept his eyes on him and asked "what's happening?" Defendant pulled a revolver from underneath his jacket and pointed it at Mitchell's head. Defendant walked toward Mitchell and yelled "Okay nigger. Okay nigger." Mitchell caught defendant's arm and struggled with defendant. While they were in the street struggling, a woman rushed from the sidewalk to assist defendant. During the struggle Mitchell's keys fell onto the street and another man picked up the keys and ran to the Jeep. When Mitchell managed to grab the gun out of defendant'shand, defendant ran toward Mitchell's Jeep. Mitchell headed to the corner to call the police but he heard footsteps so he spun around. Defendant and the second man approached Mitchell and the other man hit Mitchell in the face. Mitchell dropped the gun, ran to the public phone and dialed 911. Meanwhile, defendant and the other man ran back to Mitchell's Jeep. A squad car was driving by and Mitchell flagged the police officers. The officers approached Mitchell's Jeep. The man that hit Mitchell in the face was in the driver side and defendant was sitting in the passenger side of the vehicle. Defendant jumped out of the Jeep and ran with the police in pursuit.

Officer Collins testified that Mitchell flagged him down and told him that guys had tried to rob him and they were still in Mitchell's Jeep. There were two individuals inside the Jeep. Both of them fled after looking in the officer's direction. Officer Collins chased defendant to a vacant building located at 59th and Peoria.

Officer Dixon testified that several officers surrounded the vacant building at 5929 S. Peoria. Defendant was hanging out the second floor window. When he jumped out and attempted to flee, the officer arrested him.

Defendant testified that at the time in question he was at 59th Street, one block west of Halsted, which is "a drug spot." He was there by himself drinking beer and "tooting" heroin when he got arrested. He did not have a gun that night and he did not rob or attempt to rob anybody.

After the probation revocation hearing, Judge Moran found defendant violated his probation by failing to report, failing to pay, and being found guilty of the subsequent offense. Defendant was sentenced to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Defendant first contends that his petition for substitution of judges was erroneously denied. On July 11, 1991, defendant filed a petition for substitution of judges. The petition alleged that Judge Moran was prejudiced against defendant and he would not receive a fair trial. Judge Joyce denied the petition. Supreme Court Rule 402(d)(1), provides that a trial judge shall not initiate plea discussions. As evidence of prejudice, defendant argues that during the preliminary proceeding on the armed robbery case the judge twice attempted to coerce a pretrial ...

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