The Honorable Justice Miller delivered the opinion of the court.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Miller
The Honorable Justice MILLER delivered the opinion of the court:
The defendant, Ernest Jamison, pleaded guilty in the circuit court of McLean County to first degree murder (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(1) (West 1994)) and armed robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-2 (West 1994)). Defendant waived his right to a trial by jury for the sentencing phase of his proceedings. The trial judge found defendant eligible for the death penalty based on the statutory aggravating factor that the murder occurred in the course of a felony. 720 ILCS 5/9-1(b)(6) (West 1994). After considering the factors in aggravation and mitigation presented during the sentencing hearing, the trial judge found that there were no mitigating factors sufficient to preclude imposition of the death penalty. The trial judge subsequently sentenced defendant to death for the murder. The trial judge additionally sentenced defendant to a consecutive term of 30 years' imprisonment for the armed robbery. The trial judge denied defendant's motion to reconsider his sentences. Defendant's death sentence has been stayed pending his direct appeal to this court. Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, § 4(b); 134 Ill. 2d Rs. 603, 609(a).
Defendant raises several issues on appeal. Defendant first contends that this cause must be remanded to the trial court for proceedings consistent with Supreme Court Rule 605(b) (145 Ill. 2d R. 605(b)) because he did not receive the admonitions required by that rule following his sentencing. Because we find that this cause must be remanded to the trial court for these proceedings, we address only those facts pertinent to our decision here.
Defendant was charged by indictment on July 13, 1995, with three counts of first degree murder and one count of aggravated vehicular hijacking. The charges stemmed from the June 19, 1995, murder of Susan Gilmore at the Quick Pic convenience store and gasoline station in McLean, Illinois. Defendant initially entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. On September 1, 1995, the State charged defendant with armed robbery during the same incident.
Also on that day, defendant withdrew his plea of not guilty to all of the charges and entered a plea of guilty to the first degree murder charge in count I and to the armed robbery charge in count V. The State indicated that it would not prosecute the remaining counts if the court accepted the defendant's plea to counts I and V. The trial court proceeded to admonish defendant in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 402 and found that his guilty plea was entered knowingly and voluntarily. After the prosecutor recited the factual basis for defendant's guilty pleas as to counts I and V, the court accepted the plea.
On October 3, 1995, defendant waived his right to a jury sentencing hearing. On December 4, 1995, the case proceeded to the eligibility phase of defendant's death penalty hearing. Based on the testimony presented at that hearing, the trial judge found that defendant was eligible for the death penalty under the felony murder aggravating factor (720 ILCS 5/9-1(b)(6)(c) (West 1994)).
The court then proceeded with an aggravation and mitigation hearing and, after the presentation of evidence by the parties, took the question of sentence under advisement. On February 21, 1996, the court sentenced defendant to death on the murder conviction and 30 years' imprisonment on the armed robbery conviction. In the sentencing order, the trial judge stated: "defendant is ordered to file any post-trial motions within thirty days of this date and a hearing on post trial motions is set March 29, 1996 at 2:00 p.m."
On March 14, 1996, defendant filed a motion for reconsideration of the sentences. Defendant did not file a motion to withdraw his plea of guilty. On April 1, 1996, the trial judge denied defendant's sentencing motion. This direct appeal followed.
Supreme Court Rule 604(d) provides the requirements a defendant must meet when appealing from a judgment entered on a plea of guilty. Rule 604(d) states in relevant part:
"No appeal from a judgment entered upon a plea of guilty shall be taken unless the defendant, within 30 days of the date on which sentence is imposed, files in the trial court a motion to reconsider the sentence, if only the sentence is being challenged, or, if the plea is being challenged, a motion to withdraw his plea of guilty and vacate the judgment. *** Upon appeal any issue not raised by the defendant in the motion to reconsider the sentence or withdraw the plea of guilty and vacate the judgment shall be deemed waived." 145 Ill. 2d R. 604(d).
Rule 605(b) provides the admonitions the trial judge must give a defendant when imposing sentence on a defendant who pleaded guilty. Rule 605(b) complements Rule 604(d) and serves as a corollary to the requirements of Rule 604(d). People v. Tufte, 165 Ill. 2d 66, 71, 208 ...