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People v. Hicks

March 26, 1998

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,
v.
JOEY HICKS, APPELLANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Chief Justice Freeman

Defendant, Joey Hicks, was charged by indictment with two counts of home invasion. 720 ILCS 5/12-11 (West 1992 defendant was found guilty on both counts and sentenced to a single six-year term of imprisonment. The appellate court affirmed defendant's conviction and remanded the cause to the trial court for the entry of an additional sentence because the trial court failed to sentence defendant on the second conviction. 286 Ill. App. 3d 588. We granted defendant's petition for leave to appeal (166 Ill. 2d R. 315 decision of the appellate court.

BACKGROUND

The details which led to defendant's arrest and conviction are fully set forth in the appellate court's opinion. See 286 Ill. App. 3d 588. However, we will summarize the relevant facts necessary to dispose of the issue presented. According to trial testimony, defendant and a friend, John Davis, pursued Michael Stewart, who had allegedly just stolen a necklace from defendant's girlfriend, Donna Hedge. Stewart rode his bike to the home of a friend, David Edmonds, entered the house, and locked the door. Defendant, Davis, and Hedge, having followed Stewart, demanded that Stewart come out of the house. When Stewart refused to come out, defendant and Davis began kicking and pushing on the door, eventually forcing their way inside. Once inside, Edmonds asked defendant and Davis to leave. Defendant then threw Stewart into a bedroom and battered him while Davis battered Edmonds in the next room.

Subsequent to his arrest, defendant was charged with two counts of home invasion. Both counts were based on his unauthorized entry into Edmonds' home. Count I of the indictment was based on Davis' infliction of injuries on Edmonds, and count II was based on defendant's infliction of injuries on Stewart.

The jury found defendant guilty of both counts of home invasion and the trial Judge entered judgments on the convictions. The trial Judge sentenced defendant to a single six-year term of imprisonment. However, the trial court did not specify for which count the sentence was being imposed. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed both convictions and remanded the cause for the imposition of an additional sentence because there were two convictions but only one sentence. 286 Ill. App. 3d at 596. One Justice Dissented, however, stating that only one conviction for home invasion should stand because defendant's and Davis' conduct constituted only one entry for the purpose of the home invasion statute. 286 Ill. App. 3d at 596-97 (Geiger, P.J., Concurring in part and dissenting in part

ANALYSIS

The sole question presented for review in this case is whether defendant can be convicted of two counts of home invasion where one count was based on his own entry and the other count was based on his accomplice's simultaneous entry into the home. For the reasons expressed below, we hold that defendant can be convicted of only one entry and, therefore, one count of his home invasion conviction must be vacated.

We note that, initially, the State argues that defendant has waived this issue for review because he failed to object at trial and to include this issue in his post-trial motion. Issues not raised at trial and not presented in a written post-trial motion are ordinarily deemed waived on review. People v. Enoch, 122 Ill. 2d 176 (1988 issues concerning substantial rights may be considered by a reviewing court even if not properly preserved in the trial court. 134 Ill. 2d R. 615(a); People v. Brandon, 162 Ill. 2d 450, 457-58 (1994 imposition of an unauthorized sentence affects substantial rights. See People v. Brown, 197 Ill. App. 3d 907 (1990 the waiver rule is a rule of administrative convenience rather than jurisdiction, and the goals of obtaining a just result and maintaining a sound body of precedent may sometimes override considerations of waiver. People v. Farmer, 165 Ill. 2d 194, 200 (1995 address the merits of defendant's claim.

Simply put, the defendant asks that we answer the following question: When two or more individuals simultaneously enter a residence, how many unlawful entries are there within the meaning of the home invasion statute? The elements of home invasion include: (1 entry into the dwelling of another where the defendant knows or has reason to know that one or more persons is present; and (2 intentionally causes injury or while armed with a dangerous weapon, defendant uses or threatens force upon any persons within the dwelling. See 720 ILCS 5/5-2 (West 1992

The appellate court in this case held that defendant's convictions for home invasion must stand because "efendant and Davis each committed a home invasion; each of them entered a dwelling and caused injury to a person within the dwelling. Defendant was convicted of one count of home invasion based on his attack on Stewart and another count based on his accountability for Davis' attack on Edmonds." 286 Ill. App. 3d at 595. The court concluded that both of defendant's convictions were based on two different entries, and thus the one act, one crime rule was not implicated. 286 Ill. App. 3d at 596.

We note that the First District of the appellate court in People v. Brown, 197 Ill. App. 3d 907 (1990 presented in the case sub judice. In Brown, the defendant was a guest in the victim's home when defendant allowed two men to enter into the victim's apartment in order to rob the victim. Defendant was charged and convicted of two counts of home invasion based on her accomplices' unauthorized entries into the victim's home. The State argued that the incident involved separate actions performed by two different offenders, and that defendant must be held accountable for the actions of both men. The appellate court disagreed, noting that the home invasion statute had been interpreted to reflect the legislative intent to impose only one count of home invasion for one unlawful entry of one dwelling. Specifically, the court stated:

"Accordingly, had each of the men involved in the incident in the present case been charged, tried and convicted, each man would only have been convicted of one count of home invasion since each man made only one unlawful entry into the apartment. The State argues that defendant can be convicted on a separate count for each man. We disagree. Accountability is a legal theory whereby a defendant is held responsible for a crime which he personally did not commit, but which was committed by his accomplice. (People v. Skiles (1983), 115 Ill. App. 3d 816, 825, 450 N.E.2d 1212. law places upon the accountable defendant all the liabilities arising from the acts of the accomplice, the law should also afford the accountable defendant the protections which would be afforded the accomplice, since the accountable defendant stands in the shoes of the accomplice. (People v. Skiles, 115 Ill. App. 3d at 826.) In People v. King (1977 the supreme court prohibited multiple convictions where more than one offense was carved from the same physical act. Because each of defendant's accomplices in the instant case made only one unlawful entry into complainant's apartment, each could have been convicted of only one count of home invasion. Recognizing that defendant has the same protections provided under People v. King, (66 Ill. 2d 551, 363 N.E.2d 838 convicted of two counts of home invasion." Brown, 197 Ill. App. 3d at 919.

The appellate court in this case expressly declined to follow Brown because it was based on "flawed reasoning and incorrect assumptions." 286 Ill. App. 3d at 596. The court stated that in Brown, as in the case sub judice, each entrant could have been convicted of one count of home invasion based on his own entry and an ...


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