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People v. Gooden

February 17, 2000


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Freeman

Agenda 12-September 1999.

Following a bench trial, the circuit court of Washington County found defendant, Steve Gooden, guilty of home invasion (720 ILCS 5/12-11 (West 1996)) and aggravated criminal sexual assault. 720 ILCS 5/12-14(a)(1) (West 1996). Defendant received concurrent prison terms of 12 years. The appellate court affirmed the convictions and sentence. 296 Ill. App. 3d 205. We subsequently granted defendant's petition for leave to appeal (177 Ill. 2d R. 315) and now affirm in part and reverse in part the judgment of the appellate court.


The State's Attorney of Washington County filed a criminal information against defendant on December 21, 1995, charging defendant with one count of home invasion. The information alleged that defendant had knowingly entered the dwelling of the victim, his ex-wife, without authority and had intentionally caused injury to the victim by striking her in the head with a gun. On that same date, an arraignment was held at which defendant pled not guilty to the charge. The circuit court set bail at $500,000 and further ordered that defendant was to have no contact with the victim. Defendant, unable to post bond, remained in the custody of the sheriff of Washington County.

The circuit court held a preliminary hearing in the matter on December 27, 1995. At that proceeding, an investigator for the Washington County State's Attorney testified that he had interviewed the victim shortly after the occurrence at issue. She related to him that, on December 20, 1995, she had been asleep at her home between 7 and 7:30 p.m., when she was awakened by the sound of breaking glass. She arose to investigate and was eventually confronted by the defendant, who was armed with a shotgun. At first, defendant merely argued with the victim because he was upset that she had been seeing another man. As the argument escalated, defendant struck the victim in the chest with the butt of the shotgun. Defendant then asked the victim to get him something to drink, and she went into the kitchen to comply. Defendant followed her, and another verbal altercation ensued. Defendant again beat the victim, this time on her head and face, with both his fists and the butt and barrel of the shotgun.

Defendant and the victim then returned to the dining room and tried to converse once more. At this time, defendant became remorseful and told the victim that he would allow her to go to the hospital, and he put the shotgun down on the floor. He later changed his mind and took the victim into a bedroom where he removed a knife that he had on his belt. He then told the victim to remove her clothing. The victim attempted to dissuade defendant and told him to put down the knife. The victim ultimately removed her clothes, and defendant performed an act of intercourse on her. Eventually, defendant brought her back out to the dining room area, where more talking and arguing ensued. Defendant left the victim's residence after she persuaded him to let her go and to leave the ammunition of his shotgun with her.

The investigator told the court that several pieces of physical evidence had been found at both the victim's home and defendant's residence, including bedsheets, clothing, and a 12-gauge pump shotgun. According to the investigator, the victim had admitted to him that she had sexual relations with another man earlier on the day in question.

The record reveals that the circuit court docketed the case for trial during the weeks of April 22 and April 29, 1996. On April 4, 1996, defendant requested a continuance in the matter for the funding of a mental health expert. Defense counsel told the court that he had explained to defendant that defendant had the right to be tried in the matter within 120 days of his arrest, that defendant's request would toll the statutory period, and that, as a result of the request, defendant might not be tried until August. Defense counsel further stated that defendant "understands" these facts and "would agree to have this case continued to the August docket." Counsel then noted that "with the attended tolling of his rights there is another matter, and this is the State expressed to me this morning their inclination to add another offense-other Class X offenses-arising out of this incident."

The court then asked the State for its position with regard to the continuance. The assistant State's Attorney replied that he had no objection to the request. The court then explained to defendant, on the record, the effect that his request would have on his right to be tried within 120 days of his arrest, noting that the trial would be held during the week of August 19, 1996. Defendant stated that he understood, and the court granted the continuance.

The cause came before the court several weeks later for a hearing on the State's motion for discovery. Specifically, the State sought to have defendant produce a saliva sample for genetic testing purposes.

The State subsequently filed an amended criminal information in the case on July 26, 1996. The amended information contained the original home invasion charge as well as five additional charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault. Defendant moved to dismiss the criminal sexual assault charges, arguing that the State did not bring him to trial on those charges within 120 days of his arrest. According to defendant, the 120-day speedy-trial period began to run on December 21, 1995, the day of his arrest, because the State knew of the sexual assault charges at that time. The State maintained that the 120-day period did not apply to the criminal sexual assault charges because those charges were based on separate acts from the original home invasion charge. The State also pointed out that a motion to sever was an option. The State further related that the DNA testing in the case had not been completed until June 1996. Prior to that time, none of the DNA samples taken from the victim's apartment matched either the victim or the defendant. The circuit court denied defendant's motion to dismiss the sexual assault charges.

On August 20, 1996, the circuit court conducted a stipulated bench trial in the matter. The parties stipulated that the victim, if called to testify, would testify that defendant broke into her home armed with a shotgun. He proceeded to argue with the victim, striking her about the head and face with the weapon. The victim would also testify that defendant committed several acts of nonconsensual intercourse on her. Based on the parties' presentation of the stipulated facts, the court found defendant guilty of home invasion and one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault. The court dismissed the remaining counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. Subsequently, the court denied defendant's post-trial motion and sentenced defendant to concurrent prison terms of 12 years. Defendant appealed.

The appellate court affirmed. In so doing, the court held that defendant's speedy-trial rights were not violated because the sexual assault and home invasion charges arose from different acts and were not required to have been joined. Alternatively, the court held that defendant's 120-day term had been extended by the continuance that defendant had obtained from the circuit court. The appellate court also rejected defendant's request that he receive day-for-day good-conduct credit because ...

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