Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County. No. 98--JD--701 Honorable James W. Jerz, Judge, Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Inglis
Respondent, R.A.B., appeals from his adjudication of delinquency as a violent juvenile offender. Respondent contends that he did not knowingly waive his right to a jury trial pursuant to subsection 5--36(d) of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (Act) (705 ILCS 405/5--36(d) (West 1996) (now 705 ILCS 405/5--820 (West 1998))) and that, as the stipulated bench trial was tantamount to an admission, he did not knowingly waive his privilege against self-incrimination. We reverse and remand.
The record shows that, on June 19, 1998, the victim (a minor) was outside her home showing some friends $100 that she had received as a gift for graduation. Respondent's little brother snatched a $10 bill from the victim's hand but immediately returned it. The victim placed the bill in her pocket. Respondent, observing the occurrence, pushed the victim with one hand and grabbed the remaining $90 with his other hand. Respondent and the victim struggled, and the victim bit respondent on the arm in an attempt to retain her money. Respondent nevertheless succeeded in taking the $90 from the victim and fled the scene in a friend's car.
The victim recognized respondent and knew where he lived. She and her mother attempted to retrieve the money by going to respondent's home, but they were unsuccessful. The victim then contacted the police.
Following an interview with the victim, Detective Naydenoff approached respondent. Respondent admitted taking the victim's money, saying that the victim deserved it because she should not have been flashing the money around like that. Respondent told Naydenoff that he had spent the money on food and movies.
On June 25, 1998, the State filed a delinquency petition alleging that respondent had committed the offense of robbery. On that day, the State also filed both a notice of its intent to prosecute respondent as a violent juvenile offender pursuant to section 5--36 of the Act (705 ILCS 405/5--36 (West 1996)) and a motion to prosecute respondent as an adult. Following a transfer hearing, the trial court determined that respondent should not be prosecuted as an adult. Thereafter, respondent filed a motion to suppress statements, a motion to suppress identification, and a motion to dismiss the violent juvenile offender petition. On November 20, 1998, the trial court denied respondent's motion to dismiss and set December 4, 1998, for a hearing on respondent's motions to suppress.
On December 4, 1998, respondent withdrew the motions to suppress and the following exchange occurred:
"MS. ZAHRIEH [Respondent's counsel]: Judge, we are somewhat changing our answer. We would be stipulating that if the State put on witnesses, that [sic] the court would find the petitions proven.
MS. ORTON [Prosecutor]: Your Honor, this is essentially a stipulated bench trial.
THE COURT: Okay, what's the difference between a stipulated bench trial and actual admission to the charge?
MS. ORTON: My understanding, your Honor, is that you, that in order to pursue an appeal regarding the court's ruling on the minor's petition regarding the violent juvenile offender petition by the People, in order to pursue an appeal, that, in fact, minor need to only stipulate or go through a stipulated bench trial, rather than actually admit the petition.
THE COURT: Is that the manner in which you wish to proceed?
The State presented the stipulated evidence against respondent and the ...