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People v. Edwards

June 30, 1999

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
v.
DONALD EDWARDS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Champaign County No. 97CF843

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Cook

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS

Honorable Jeffrey B. Ford, Judge Presiding.

In July 1997, the State charged defendant Donald Edwards with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/402(a)(2)(A) (West 1996)). In October 1997, the State charged defendant with a second count, unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/401(c)(2) (West 1996)). While a jury was present and ready to give defendant a jury trial, defendant announced he wanted to plead guilty. In exchange for pleading guilty to count II, the State dropped count I and recommended no more than six years in the Department of Corrections (DOC). Defendant was admonished of all his rights and gave up the right to a presentence report. The following exchange took place:

THE COURT: "Then you understand if you go today you're giving up you[r] right to a presentence report, and the sentence will, if I support the agreement, be six years in the penitentiary and a fine of $500.00 plus court costs. You understand that?"

DEFENDANT: [Nods head up and down].

THE COURT: "Now is that what you want to do?"

DEFENDANT: "Yeah."

THE COURT: "Are you sure?"

DEFENDANT: [Nods head up and down].

THE COURT: "All right. And is this consistent with your advice to and your understanding of Mr. Edwards' wishes, Ms. Lenik?"

MS. LENIK [(defense counsel)]: "It is."

Accordingly, defendant was sentenced to six years' imprisonment.

In February 1998, defendant filed a pro se petition for post-conviction relief. Defendant alleged numerous constitutional violations, including that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Defendant claimed his attorney refused to file a motion to withdraw his ...


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