Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit, Tazewell County, Illinois. No. 94--CF--115. Honorable Robert Cashen, Judge Presiding.
Released for Publication July 30, 1997.
Present - Honorable Tom M. Lytton, Presiding Justice, Honorable William E. Holdridge, Justice, Honorable Kent Slater, Justice. Presiding Justice Lytton delivered the opinion of the court. Holdridge and Slater, JJ., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lytton
PRESIDING JUSTICE LYTTON delivered the opinion of the court:
Defendant David M. Hale was convicted of armed violence, a Class X felony (720 ILCS 5/33A--2 (West 1994)). He was sentenced to a six-year prison term and a consecutive three-year period of probation. The sole issue on review is whether the court was authorized to impose probation. We reverse and remand for a new sentencing hearing.
Evidence at trial established that on March 27, 1994, defendant and his wife, Angie, engaged in a heated quarrel, during which defendant loaded a rifle and threatened to shoot anyone who came to remove their baby daughter. After a jury found defendant guilty of armed violence based on intimidation, the cause proceeded to sentencing. At the hearing, Angie testified that she still loved defendant and intended to stay with him and support him upon his release from prison. Testifying on his own behalf, the 27-year-old defendant stated that he regretted all of the events of March 27, 1994. He admitted that he had a juvenile record of criminality and said that he intended to pursue counseling to learn to control his temper.
Based on the testimony and the presentence investigation report, the court imposed a six-year term of imprisonment and a consecutive, three-year term of probation. The State joined in defendant's post-sentencing motion to vacate probation. However, the court noted its disagreement with the parties' interpretation of the sentencing statute and denied the motion. Defendant appeals from his sentence only.
Defendant contends that subsection 5--5--3(c)(2) of the Unified Code of Corrections (the Code) (730 ILCS 5/5--5--3(c)(2) (West 1994)), which applies to Class X sentences, precludes a sentence of probation. The State agrees that 5--5--3(c)(2) prohibits sentencing a Class X offender to probation alone, but argues that the statute does not restrict the court's authority to impose a period of probation consecutive to imprisonment. See People v. Williams, 284 Ill. App. 3d 681, 672 N.E.2d 907, 220 Ill. Dec. 90 (1996), pet. for leave to appeal allowed No. 82333.
We begin our analysis with an overview of the statutory sentencing scheme. Section 5--5--3 of the Code provides:
"(a) Every person convicted of an offense shall be sentenced as provided in this Section.
(b) The following options shall be appropriate dispositions, alone or in combination, for all felonies and misdemeanors other than those ...