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People v. Priest

July 31, 1998

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
KENNETH O. PRIEST, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Cook delivered the opinion of the court:

IN THE APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS FOURTH DISTRICT

Appeal from Circuit Court of McLean County No. 96CF182

Honorable William T. Caisley, Judge Presiding.

After a jury trial, defendant Kenneth Priest was convicted of home invasion, domestic battery, criminal trespass to a residence, and violation of an order of protection. 720 ILCS 5/12-11(a)(2), 12-3.2(a)(1), 19-4(a), 12-30(a)(1) (West 1996). The trial court vacated the judgment of conviction for criminal trespass to a residence and entered judgment on the remaining three counts. The court sentenced defendant to concurrent terms of eight years' imprisonment on the home invasion conviction, and 364 days' incarceration on both the domestic battery conviction and the conviction for violation of an order of protection. Defendant's appeal follows denial of his posttrial motions. We affirm.

Peggy Priest is defendant's ex-wife, having been divorced from him since July 1995. On February 21, 1995, Peggy obtained an emergency order of protection against defendant for herself and her two children, also defendant's children. The emergency order expired on March 9, 1995, and the court issued a plenary order of protection effective March 9, 1995, until March 9, 1997. Defendant had notice of the protective order.

On February 9, 1996, Peggy rented a residence at 514 East Market Street in Bloomington. Her name was the only one on the lease. Peggy and the children were asleep when, around 2 a.m., she was awakened by a loud knocking at the front door. Peggy opened the door to find defendant, whom she believed was drunk. Peggy told defendant to go home, she shut the door, and went back to bed.

As Peggy drifted back to sleep, she saw defendant in her room. She told him to go home. Defendant asked Peggy if they could get back together, a proposition she refused. Defendant became angry, climbed onto her bed, straddled her, and put his hands around her throat. Defendant called her names and stated he wanted to have sex with her. Defendant choked Peggy a couple of times. He had his hands tight around her throat, hurting her, and cutting off her air. Defendant slapped her across her head and punched her in the jaw. Defendant told Peggy that he could kill her if he wanted to and that, if she continued to see her friend, he would kill him and beat her. Peggy called the police, but defendant left her residence before they arrived.

Officer Fazio of the Bloomington police department arrived at Peggy's home sometime after 2 a.m. that night. Peggy, crying hysterically, told Fazio defendant broke into her house and beat her. Fazio observed "big, long, red streak marks *** finger marks" on both sides of Peggy's neck. He also noticed welts on her neck, redness on her left cheekbone, and swelling around her eyes. Fazio found no signs of forced entry into the home, but discovered the back door unlocked.

Defendant first argues he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of violating the order of protection. The order provided:

"1. With respect to [Peggy and the two children], [defendant] is prohibited from committing the following: physical abuse ***.

2. [Peggy] is granted exclusive possession of the residence and [defendant] shall not enter or remain in the household or premises located at: 404 N. West Street, LeRoy, Illinois.

3. a. [Defendant] is ordered to stay away from [Peggy] and other protected persons ***.

17. [Defendant] is further ordered and/or enjoined as follows: no contact by phone, mail or otherwise."

Defendant contends he did not violate the order of protection because the address where Peggy resided on February 9, 1996, was different from the address identified in the order. Defendant asserts he was ...


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