Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County No. 98CF1080 Honorable Steven H. Nardulli, Judge Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Steigmann
In August 1999, a jury convicted defendant, Kenneth R. Beler, of (1) possession of a controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/402(a)(2)(B) (West 1998) (effective July 30, 1998)); (2) possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (720 ILCS 570/401(a)(2)(B) (West 1998) (effective June 19, 1998)); (3) possession of drug paraphernalia (720 ILCS 600/3.5(a) (West 1998)); and (4) possession of cannabis (720 ILCS 550/4(a) (West 1998)). The trial court later sentenced him to 12 years in prison with 181 days' credit for time served prior to sentencing. The court also ordered defendant to pay (1) a $50 crime lab fee, (2) a $2,000 mandatory drug assessment, (3) a $6,380 street-value fine, (4) a $25 "Crime Stoppers" fee, and (5) court costs.
Defendant appeals, arguing that (1) he was denied a fair trial when (a) a State's witness testified regarding plea-related negotiations, and (b) the prosecutor made improper remarks in opening statements and closing arguments; (2) he is entitled to two additional days' sentencing credit; (3) he is entitled to a $915 credit against his fines, pursuant to section 110-14 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (Code) (725 ILCS 5/110-14 (West 1998)); and (4) the trial court lacked authority to order him to pay $25 to Crime Stoppers. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand with directions.
Because the parties are familiar with the evidence presented at defendant's trial and defendant does not challenge the sufficiency of the evidence, we review it only to the extent necessary to put his arguments in context.
Around 7 p.m. on November 23, 1998, Illinois State Police Officer Timothy Hansen was patrolling the "Mechanicsburg blacktop," a two-lane paved road, when he saw defendant standing on the shoulder of the road. As Hansen pulled over to see if defendant needed assistance, he observed a Chevy Blazer in the ditch along the side of the road. Defendant told Hansen that he had driven off the road and someone else had gone to get help. Hansen had defendant accompany him to the Blazer and stand at the hood of the car. Hansen asked defendant for his identification.
Defendant pulled his wallet out of his jacket pocket and "slammed" it on the hood. At the same time, what looked to Hansen like a rock of crack cocaine bounced and came to rest on the hood. After a second, defendant swept the "rock" off the hood into the grass.
When Hansen later searched defendant, he found the following: (1) in defendant's right front jacket pocket (the same pocket where defendant's wallet had been), three large rocks of crack cocaine; (2) in his inside-left breast pocket, a compressed brick of powder cocaine; (3) in his left jacket pocket, a crack pipe and a poker; (4) in his pants pocket, a small bag of cannabis; and (5) in his wallet, $540 in cash.
George T. Bonnett, a Springfield police detective assigned to the Illinois State Police Drug Task Force, testified that he interviewed defendant on November 23, 1998, at "District 9 Headquarters." The main objective of the interview was to determine whether defendant would reveal his supplier or participate in a controlled drug buy. Bonnett testified regarding that objective as follows:
"Q: [PROSECUTOR:] Inspector, you were asked questions about *** your role at this point to see if the defendant wanted to cooperate. Could you give us an idea of what you mean by that?
A: A lot of times somebody who gets caught with a large amount of narcotics--
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Well, your Honor, I'm going to object to this. It goes beyond the scope of cross. I didn't elicit this information.
THE COURT: All right. Sustained.
Q: [PROSECUTOR:] [Defense counsel] asked you the question that the defendant didn't cooperate in this case and nothing ever came of this and that's what you wanted to do, but that's not what happened, do you remember that question?
Q: Now, did the [d]efendant ever make any attempts to cooperate with you?
Q: Please describe those for the [c]court?
A: He agreed to page Larry Neal to see if he couldn't get him to deliver some ...