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People v. Young

March 23, 2000

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
GEORGE YOUNG, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County. No. 98--CF--81 Honorable Michael R. Morrison, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Geiger

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS

Following a bench trial, defendant, George Young, was found guilty of intimidation (720 ILCS 5/12--6(a)(1) (West 1998)) and was sentenced to 10 years' incarceration. Defendant appeals and contends that (1) his conviction must be reversed because the State failed to prove that the offense was committed in Illinois and the trial court therefore was without jurisdiction, or (2) the cause must be remanded for resentencing because the statute that allowed a sentence of 10 years for the offense of intimidation has been declared unconstitutional. We affirm defendant's conviction, vacate his sentence, and remand for resentencing.

At trial, defendant's ex-spouse, Patricia Young, testified that in June 1997, after an incident in which defendant threatened to hit her, she separated from defendant and moved to Ohio with her two children, Katee and Skylar. Defendant is Skylar's father. Patricia subsequently petitioned to have her marriage with defendant dissolved. The dissolution was finalized on October 10, 1997. Patricia testified that on October 31, 1997, defendant began making threatening phone calls to her in Ohio. On November 8, 1997, Patricia was at her residence in Ohio when defendant telephoned her. Patricia tape-recorded the call. The tape recording and a transcript of the tape recording were admitted into evidence. The tape recording and the transcript established that during the telephone call defendant demanded that Patricia either reconcile with him or give him custody of Skylar by a certain date or else defendant would kill Patricia, Skylar, and others.

Based primarily on the tape-recorded telephone call, the trial court found defendant guilty of intimidation. The court sentenced defendant to 10 years' incarceration. Defendant's timely notice of appeal followed.

On appeal, defendant first contends that his conviction must be reversed because the State failed to prove that he committed the offense in Illinois and the trial court therefore was without jurisdiction. The Illinois criminal jurisdiction statute provides:

"(a) A person is subject to prosecution in this State for an offense which he commits, while either within or outside the State,

*** if:

(1) The offense is committed either wholly or partly within the State[.]

***

(b) An offense is committed partly within this State, if either the conduct which is an element of the offense, or the result which is such an element, occurs within the State." 720 ILCS 5/1--5(a)(1),

(b) (West 1998).

Here, defendant does not dispute that the trial court would have had jurisdiction if the State proved that he was in Illinois when he made the tape-recorded telephone call to Patricia. Rather, defendant contends that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was in Illinois when he made the call.

The test applied in an appeal challenging a criminal conviction based upon the sufficiency of the evidence is whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could find the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. People v. Collins, 106 Ill. 2d 237, 261 (1985). Jurisdiction in a criminal case is an essential element that must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt along with the other elements of the offense. People v. Holt, 91 Ill. 2d 480, 492 (1982). As with other elements, the State may satisfy its burden of proving jurisdiction by either ...


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