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People v. Hardin

September 15, 1998

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
TRACY HARDIN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Cousins

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY

No. 95-31085

THE HONORABLE OLIVER M. SPURLOCK, JUDGE PRESIDING.

Defendant Tracy Hardin was charged by indictment with delivery of a controlled substance. Following a bench trial, he was found guilty as charged and sentenced to a term of six years' imprisonment in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Defendant now appeals, contending that: (1) he was denied his constitutional right to the assistance of counsel of his choice; (2) his waiver of jury was involuntary; and (3) the evidence was insufficient to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

BACKGROUND

This case had been set for a bench trial for June 26, 1996. No trial proceedings were had on that date. Rather, the report of proceedings reflects that the following Discussion occurred on that date:

"THE CLERK: Tracy Hardin.

MR. KUSATZKY: For the record Mark Kusatzky on behalf of Tracy Hardin before the Court.

This matter was set for a bench trial today; however, Mr. Hardin has retained other counsel with regards to this matter who, I believe, will be seeking leave to file his Appearance in regards to this matter, and I believe that their position will not be one of a bench trial, Your Honor.

This matter has been on this call since November, 1995. You have been the attorney of record since then?

MR. KUSATZKY: That is correct, Your Honor.

MR. ABUDALLAUH: Aski Abudallauh.

You can co-counsel this case with Mr. Kusatzky. Is the state ready?

MS. ROMITO [Assistant State's Attorney]: Actually the buy officer called to tell me he broke a crown last night and had emergency dental work done. His face is swollen.

I could force him to come in. They let him go home. He said he would come back tomorrow. He is on pain killers, but if we want a jury trial, the [S]tate can be ready tomorrow.

Is that what you are asking for?

MR. ABUDALLAUH: We would be asking for a jury trial, but while the case is not complicated --

You don't have to explain why. You want a jury?

MR. ABUDALLAUH: Yes.

THE COURT: Tomorrow morning. Be in the chief Judge['s] office tomorrow morning. Go to the chief Judge. We will bring down a venire, and we will select a jury tomorrow afternoon and begin evidence Friday morning, understood?

MR. ABUDALLAUH: That is understood, but I have outstanding discovery that I don't have custody of and counsel doesn't have.

What is left?

MR. ABUDALLAUH: There is an activity report.

State, do yo have anything else?

MS. ROMITO: Judge --

MR. ABUDALLAUH: I have only just reviewed the file ...


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