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07/24/97 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. JAMES C. ECONOMY

July 24, 1997

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JAMES C. ECONOMY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Macon County. Nos. 96CF14, 92CF833. Honorable Frank W. Lincoln, Judge Presiding.

Honorable James A. Knecht, J. Honorable Rita B. Garman, J. - Concur, Honorable Frederick S. Green, J. - Concur. Justice Knecht delivered the opinion of the court. Garman and Green, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Knecht

The Honorable Justice KNECHT delivered the opinion of the court:

In September 1996, defendant James C. Economy entered a negotiated guilty plea in Macon County case No. 96-CF-14 to charges of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/402(c) (West Supp. 1995)), battery (720 ILCS 5/12-3 (West 1994)), criminal property damage under $300 (720 ILCS 5/21-1 (1)(a) (West Supp. 1995)), and violation of a condition of probation imposed in Macon County case No. 92-CF-833 after an earlier conviction of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/402(c) (West 1992)). After a sentencing hearing in both cases in October 1996, the trial court denied defendant's request for probation conditioned on treatment through the Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities (TASC) program. Defendant was sentenced to concurrent two-year prison terms for the unlawful possession charges in case Nos. 92-CF-833 and 96-CF-14. Defendant appeals his sentences, docketed here as Nos. 4-97-0027 and 4-97-0003, respectively, and the appeals have been consolidated. He argues the trial court acted in an arbitrary manner or abused its discretion in denying probation under the supervision of a designated program for treatment pursuant to section 40-10 of the Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act (20 ILCS 301/40-10 (West 1994)) in the following findings: (1) he was unlikely to be rehabilitated through treatment; (2) there was no significant relationship between his addiction and the crime committed; and (3) his imprisonment is necessary for the protection of the public. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

On Friday, October 9, 1992, defendant was arrested carrying about 1.5 grams of crack cocaine. Defendant admitted using cocaine for about a year. On January 19, 1993, he was convicted in case No. 92-CF-833 of unlawful possession of a controlled substance. 720 ILCS 570/402(c) (West 1992). On June 7, 1993, defendant was sentenced to 24 months of probation with conditions including submission of a drug evaluation and completion of any recommended drug treatment program.

In December 1993, defendant entered an outpatient drug treatment program at St. Mary's Hospital (St. Mary's) in Decatur, Illinois. Treatment specialists there recommended he be admitted to a more intensive program at the Rush Behavioral Center (Rush Center) in Chicago, but defendant refused because he wanted to stay in the Decatur area in order to continue his law practice. Defendant was discharged from the program in August 1994. Defendant submitted to random drug testing from August 1994 to March 1995 and passed a total of 23 drug screens without any indication of drug use.

On June 22, 1995, defendant pleaded guilty to a charge of domestic battery in case No. 95-CM-1124. This conduct also violated defendant's probation conditions in No. 92-CF-833. He admitted the allegations of a petition to revoke based thereon and was fined $288, plus costs, and his probation was extended for 12 months under the same conditions as before.

The facts underlying case No. 96-CF-14 are as follows. On December 27, 1995, police were called to a Decatur residence rented by defendant. One of the windows to the house was broken, and the officers could hear someone inside calling for help. Police entered and found defendant sitting on the stairs. He had cuts over several parts of his body and blood was dripping from the area near his crotch. There were blood splatters on the wall and the premises were in disarray.

The officers attempted to speak with defendant, but he was incoherent. When they attempted to get defendant to sit in a chair, he attacked one of the officers. Defendant was thrown to the couch but got up again and jumped on top of the two officers. He was subdued and handcuffed. Defendant was taken to St. Mary's, and then to the Rush Center, where he remained in continuous treatment until his sentencing hearing on October 16, 1996.

As a result of the December 1995 incident, defendant was charged with aggravated battery (720 ILCS 5/12-4(b)(6) (West 1994)), a Class 3 felony carrying a nonextended prison term of 2 to 5 years (730 ILCS 5/5-8-1(a)(6) (West Supp. 1995)) and an extended term of 5 to 10 years (730 ILCS 5/5-8-2 (West 1994)); unlawful possession of a controlled substance and criminal property damage in excess of $300, Class 4 felonies (720 ILCS 570/402(c), 720 ILCS 5/21-1(1)(a) (West Supp. 1995)), carrying a nonextended prison term of one to three years (730 ILCS 5/5-8-1(a)(7) (West Supp. 1995)) and an extended term of three to six years (730 ILCS 5/5-8-2(a)(6) (West 1994)); and battery and criminal property damage under $300, Class A misdemeanors (720 ILCS 5/12-3(b) (West 1994); 720 ILCS 5/21-1(2) (West Supp. 1995)), permitting a term of up to one year's incarceration (730 ILCS 5/5-8-3(a)(1) (West 1994)).

Defendant entered a partially negotiated plea agreement. The State agreed to dismiss the charge of aggravated battery and the felony criminal property damage charge. The State also agreed to recommend any prison terms be served concurrently and no extended terms be imposed. In exchange, defendant agreed to plead guilty to the remaining charges and forego any defense of intoxication.

At the joint sentencing hearing in the cases, defendant requested to be sentenced to probation with treatment under the TASC program. Several witnesses testified on his behalf. The State presented no witnesses. Defendant filed a written report by a TASC drug evaluator indicating he was eligible and acceptable for the TASC program. The State requested defendant be sentenced to a prison term.

The trial court sentenced defendant to prison. In case No. 92-CF-833, on revocation of his probation, defendant received two years in prison on the 1992 unlawful possession conviction, with credit for time served, and one year of mandatory supervised release. In case No. 96-CF-14, defendant received a concurrent two-year term for the December 1995 unlawful possession ...


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