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12/12/96 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. LINCOLN JOHNS

December 12, 1996

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
LINCOLN JOHNS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. HONORABLE FRED SURIA, JUDGE PRESIDING.

Released for Publication January 29, 1997.

The Honorable Justice McNAMARA delivered the opinion of the court: Zwick and Leavitt, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mcnamara

JUSTICE McNAMARA delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a jury trial, defendant, Lincoln Johns, was convicted of first degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. The trial court sentenced defendant to consecutive terms of 50 years and 10 years' imprisonment. On appeal, defendant seeks a limited remand to determine whether he was receiving psychotropic medication at any critical stages of the criminal proceedings where the presentence investigative report states that he was prescribed both Thorazine and Haldol while incarcerated awaiting trial. Defendant also contends that the trial court abused its discretion in imposing sentence and that the judgment order should be corrected to reflect that defendant was convicted of one count of first degree murder rather than two. The relevant facts are as follows.

At trial, the State established that defendant, while riding in a car with four other men on July 29, 1992, shot into a crowd of people near the intersection of 75th and Phillips in Chicago. Three-year-old Dominique Wright was killed, and Dominique's mother, Deidre Wright, was injured. William Condon, an occurrence witness, identified defendant in a lineup as the shooter. Condon also identified defendant in court.

Defendant presented a theory of self-defense. Defendant testified that he and the four other men in the car were Gangster Disciples. On July 29, 1992, they went to 7512 S. Colfax, in Vice Lords' territory, to help one of the men move. While on Colfax, a Vice Lord approached and shot at them. The five Disciples then jumped in their car and drove down 75th Street. At the intersection of 75th and Phillips, they saw a man pointing a gun at the car. Defendant closed his eyes and fired three or four shots out the window in the man's direction.

On December 9, 1994, the jury returned its verdict finding defendant guilty of first degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. The trial court ordered a presentence investigative report to be completed by January 4, 1995. The report gave the following psychological summary:

"The defendant maintained that when he was first processed into the Cook County Department of Corrections for his present incarceration, he was housed in the psychiatric division of the Division VIII Residential Treatment Unit. Also after being transferred to Division I *** he saw a mental health professional weekly for about a month.

The defendant stated during his time in Division VIII and part of his time in Division I *** he was prescribed both Haldol and Thorazine. He stated he is no longer taking either drug."

The report also stated that defendant spent a week at Hartgrove Hospital in 1988. While there, he was treated by mental health professionals. Defendant stated, according to the report, that his mother admitted him into the hospital "'to find out if there was anything wrong with [him].'"

Defendant's sentencing hearing took place on January 20, 1995. The State argued in aggravation that defendant was found delinquent for committing robbery in 1989 and placed on probation. In 1990, defendant pleaded guilty to robbery and was sentenced to four years' imprisonment. In mitigation, defendant's mother, Patricia Green, testified that defendant had received in-patient and out-patient psychiatric counseling when he was eight or nine years old. She stated that he was diagnosed as hyperactive and received medication for his problem. Green testified that defendant would never intentionally hurt a child and that two months before the shooting, he saved two children from a fire. Defendant's relative, Gloria Johns Howard, testified that defendant is good with children and watched her children on several occasions. Howard never saw defendant act violently. Defendant stated at the hearing that he was sorry for the harm he had caused the victims, their families, and his own family. In argument, defense counsel requested leniency based on defendant's psychiatric history that was mentioned by his mother and encompassed in the presentence investigation. Defense counsel argued:

"Even to this day he is receiving prescription drugs over at the jail, which have to be prescribed by a doctor. It says he is receiving Thorazine and another drug. It is on page 6 of the presentence investigation."

The trial court sentenced defendant to 50 years for first degree murder and 10 years for aggravated battery with a ...


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