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People v. Baldwin

February 07, 2002

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE
v.
WILLIE BALDWIN, APPELLANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Kilbride

Released for publication March 20, 2002.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE
v.
WILLIE BALDWIN, APPELLANT

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Kilbride

PUBLISHED

Docket No. 90433-Agenda 9-November 2001

 In March 1999, the State charged defendant with four counts of home invasion. 720 ILCS 5/12-11(a) (West 1998). Following a bench trial, the trial court rendered a general finding acquitting defendant on all four counts but found him guilty of aggravated unlawful restraint (720 ILCS 5/10-3.1 (West 1998)) and aggravated assault (720 ILCS 5/12-2(a)(1) (West 1998)). Defendant filed a motion for a new trial, arguing that the trial court erroneously convicted him of the uncharged crimes. The trial court denied defendant's motion and sentenced defendant to five years' imprisonment on the aggravated unlawful restraint finding. The trial court imposed no sentence for the aggravated assault finding.

Defendant appealed and the appellate court affirmed. No. 1-99-2312 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23). We granted defendant's petition for leave to appeal. On appeal to this court, defendant argues that his conviction must be vacated because the charging instrument did not sufficiently identify aggravated unlawful restraint as a lesser-included offense of home invasion. We agree and reverse.

BACKGROUND

The alleged victim, Donna Roberts, testified that she and defendant lived together intermittently from 1991 through 1999. In January 1999, defendant and Roberts became involved in an altercation that led to defendant's arrest and imprisonment. An order of protection was also issued against defendant.

Roberts claimed sole ownership of the home she formerly shared with defendant. According to Roberts, in March 1999, she and a friend, Willie Jackson, returned to her home after shopping. Upon arriving, Roberts noticed that her burglar alarm had been triggered. She and Jackson entered the house and searched for intruders. Jackson remained in the living room while Roberts checked the basement.

Roberts claimed that she discovered defendant in the basement. According to Roberts, defendant grabbed her while wielding a butcher knife and dragged her up the stairs. He ordered Jackson out of the house and away from "his woman." Jackson left immediately and went to call the police.

Roberts claimed that defendant spent several minutes talking to her and dragging her through the house. During this conversation, defendant repeatedly threatened Roberts and asked her why she called the police on him during the January 1999 altercation that led to defendant's incarceration until that day.

Chicago police officers arrived and rang the doorbell. Defendant answered the door and, standing beside Roberts, told the officers that she was all right and that he had not done anything to her.

Officer Victoria Barber testified that defendant tried to close the door while holding Roberts by the arm. Barber put her foot in the way. Barber then separated them by insisting on speaking to defendant outside. After speaking with defendant outside, Barber walked back into the house to interview Roberts. According to Barber, Roberts look scared. Roberts hunched over, kept her head down, and barely spoke. Mindful that the police dispatch indicated that defendant was armed with a knife, Barber searched the vicinity of the front door. She discovered a butcher knife beneath the seat cushion of a chair placed approximately two feet from the front door. She placed defendant in custody.

Defendant also testified. He claimed that he went to the house after his release from jail for the sole purpose of retrieving some clothes to wear. Defendant testified, and Roberts admitted, that Roberts served time in jail for a felony drug conviction. According to defendant, Roberts had quitclaimed the house to him and he resided there while Roberts was incarcerated. He testified that he entered the home with his own key.

He denied pulling a knife on Roberts or threatening her. He indicated he was arrested while seated on the couch. He admitted knowing of the order of protection, but stated that ...


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