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06/17/96 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. TYRONE STOKES

June 17, 1996

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
TYRONE STOKES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. HONORABLE RONALD HIMEL, JUDGE PRESIDING.

The Honorable Justice Wolfson delivered the opinion of the court: Braden, J., concurs. Campbell, P.j., dissents.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wolfson

The Honorable Justice WOLFSON delivered the opinion of the court:

This case concerns the trial judge's obligation to ensure that a defendant's jury waiver in a criminal case comports with constitutional and statutory requirements.

After simultaneous bench trials, defendant Tyrone Stokes and co-defendant James Elmore were convicted of residential burglary and home invasion (720 ILCS 5/19-3, 5/12-11(a)(2) (West 1992)). Each was sentenced to a prison term of seven years. On appeal, Stokes contends that his jury waiver was invalid, that the trial court inadequately investigated his post-trial allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel, and that his conviction for residential burglary must be vacated pursuant to the one-act-one-crime rule. We affirm.

FACTS

The defendant, Tyrone Stokes (Stokes), and his co-defendant, James Elmore (Elmore), were tried for residential burglary and home invasion on September 7, 1993. At the beginning of trial, the only discussion about the defendants' jury waivers was:

"THE CLERK: James Elmore and Tyrone Stokes.

THE COURT: All right. Both sides answering ready. Gentleman (sic), Mr. Stokes, you understand you have a constitutional right to trial by jury. By signing this document you understand you are waiving your constitutional right by (sic) jury. How about you Mr. Elmore?

DEFENDANT ELMORE: Yes.

THE COURT: Understand by signing this document you are waiving your constitutional right by (sic) trial by jury?

DEFENDANT ELMORE: Yes[.]

THE COURT: Do you understand you've a constitutional right to trial by jury and only you can waive that right?

DEFENDANT ELMORE: Yes.

THE COURT: And you know what a jury trial is?

DEFENDANT ELMORE: Yes.

THE COURT: Understand you have a constitutional right to trial by jury?

DEFENDANT ELMORE: Yes.

THE COURT: You understand what a jury trial is?

DEFENDANT ELMORE: Yes.

THE COURT: And you want me to hear this case as opposed to a jury?

DEFENDANT ELMORE: Yes.

THE COURT: Okay. Any opening statement?"

The half-sheet entry for September 7, 1993, stated: "Bench Trial Jury waivers signed & filed ea deft (sic) ***." The record contains Stokes' signed, written jury waiver form dated September 7, 1993, in which he ...


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