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People v. Henry

March 14, 2001

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JASON HENRY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Madison County. No. 97-CF-152 Honorable David R. Herndon, Judge, presiding.

Justices: Honorable Thomas M. Welch, J. Honorable Gordon E. Maag, J., and Honorable Clyde L. Kuehn, J., Concur

 The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Welch

Not Released For Publication

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JASON HENRY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Madison County. No. 97-CF-152 Honorable David R. Herndon, Judge, presiding.

Attorneys for Appellant Daniel M. Kirwan, Deputy Defender, Robert S. Burke, Assistant Defender, Office of the State Appellate Defender, Fifth Judicial District, Route 15 East, P. O. Box 2430, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864-0047 Attorneys for Appellee Honorable William Haine, State's Attorney, Administration Building, 157 North Main Street, Edwardsville, IL 62025; Norbert J. Goetten, Director, Stephen E. Norris, Deputy Director, James R. Benson, Contract Attorney, State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor, Route 15 East, P. O. Box 2249, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864

Justices: Honorable Thomas M. Welch, J. Honorable Gordon E. Maag, J., and Honorable Clyde L. Kuehn, J., Concur

 The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Welch

The case against Jason Henry (defendant) began in juvenile court in Madison County, where defendant was charged, on September 3, 1996, with involuntary manslaughter for having struck the victim, Curtis Hurlbut, in the face, causing him to fall and strike his head on a concrete sidewalk, thereby causing his death. Defendant, represented by the public defender, pleaded guilty to the charge, and on October 30, 1996, he was committed to the juvenile division of the Department of Corrections for an indeterminate period. Such a period normally ends on the defendant's 19th birthday. As part of the plea agreement, the State agreed not to file any proceedings to transfer the case to the adult criminal system. At the time defendant was charged, he was 16 years of age, having been born December 14, 1979.

On November 13, 1996, then represented by retained counsel, Thomas Hildebrand, defendant filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The motion was granted by order of court dated December 31, 1996.

On January 8, 1997, the State filed a motion to certify defendant as an adult pursuant to section 5-4 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (705 ILCS 405/5-4 (West 1996)), which would permit his prosecution as an adult under the criminal laws of the state. The motion was granted by order filed January 22, 1997. Defendant's motion to reconsider and vacate the order transferring the cause to criminal court was apparently denied.

On January 24, 1997, defendant was charged by information filed in the circuit court of Madison County with the offense of involuntary manslaughter. Defendant continued to be represented by attorney Thomas Hildebrand. On February 6, 1997, defendant was indicted for the involuntary manslaughter of Curtis Hurlbut. On March 9, 1998, one day before defendant's criminal trial was to commence, the State sought and obtained leave to file an amended information adding a second count, aggravated battery, to the charge. Defendant did not object. Count II alleged that defendant committed aggravated battery in that he committed a battery on a public way, being the public sidewalk, by striking Curtis Hurlbut in the face, in violation of section 12-4(b)(8) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/12-4(b)(8) (West 1996)).

Defendant's jury trial began on March 10, 1998. At the request of defendant, the jury was instructed not only on aggravated battery and involuntary manslaughter but also on the lesser-included offense of misdemeanor battery. After deliberating for five hours, the jury informed the trial court that it was "hung." The jury was instructed to continue deliberations. Thereafter, the jury indicated that it had signed verdicts on two of the counts but that it remained deadlocked on the other count. The jury was instructed to continue deliberations. The jury thereafter sent a note to the court indicating that it was still having problems, and further instructions were then given. Finally, the jury returned to the courtroom and submitted signed verdict forms of guilty of aggravated battery and guilty of misdemeanor battery. It submitted no signed verdict form on the offense of involuntary manslaughter. The foreman indicated that the jury simply could not reach a unanimous verdict on that count. The trial court accepted the verdicts and discharged the jury.

On March 20, 1998, the trial court filed a docketing statement in which it declared a mistrial on the charge of involuntary manslaughter, due to the jury's inability to reach a verdict. The court ...


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