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People v. Davis

March 08, 2002

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
WALKER DAVIS, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit Will County, Illinois No. 99-CF-486 Honorable Herman Haase, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Homer

Released for publication March 12, 2002.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
WALKER DAVIS, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit Will County, Illinois No. 99-CF-486 Honorable Herman Haase, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Homer

PUBLISHED

 The defendant, Walker Davis, Jr., was convicted by a jury of one count of aggravated battery with a firearm (720 ILCS 5/12--4.2(a)(1) (West 2000)) and two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm (720 ILCS 5/24--1.2(a)(2) (West 2000)). The trial court sentenced the defendant to ten years' imprisonment for the aggravated battery with a firearm conviction to be served consecutively to two four-year concurrent terms for the aggravated discharge of a firearm convictions. On appeal, the defendant argues that (1) his aggravated discharge of a firearm convictions should be reversed on mandatory joinder grounds and as violative of the speedy trial act; (2) the mandatory consecutive sentencing statute is unconstitutional; and (3) the public act creating the offense of aggravated battery with a firearm violates the single subject rule. We affirm the defendant's conviction and sentence for aggravated battery with a firearm and reverse his convictions and sentences for aggravated discharge of a firearm.

BACKGROUND

On the evening of April 2, 1999, the defendant was participating in a dice game at a housing project in Lockport, Illinois. During the game, Michael Crowder criticized the way the defendant threw the dice. The defendant took exception to Crowder's criticism, which resulted in a brief physical altercation after the dice game had ended.

The next evening, Crowder was in a car with his brother, Andre Bradley, when they saw the defendant driving a car on the same street. Crowder challenged the defendant to a fight to settle their dispute. The defendant retorted that there would be no fight but only a murder. Crowder and his brother left without further argument, drove to their house, and parked the vehicle in the driveway. As they sat in front of the open garage, they noticed the defendant's car cruising up and down the street. Just after their father, Louis Bradley, returned home, the defendant's car stopped in front of the driveway. At this instance, Crowder and Andre were standing in the middle of the driveway and their father was behind them. The defendant and another individual exited from the vehicle and started firing bullets in the direction of the three men. Crowder, Andre, and Louis ran for cover, but Crowder was shot in the leg.

The State charged the defendant with aggravated battery with a firearm as to Crowder. After a trial, the defendant was found guilty, but the conviction was vacated by the trial court on a basis unrelated to this appeal. Before the commencement of the defendant's second trial, the State filed a second superceding bill of indictment, which added two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm to the charging instrument as to Andre and Louis Bradley. The jury found the defendant guilty on all three counts. Subsequently, the defendant was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment for aggravated battery with a firearm to be served consecutively to two concurrent four-year imprisonment terms for the aggravated discharge of a firearm.

ANALYSIS

Mandatory Joinder

The defendant argues that the addition of the two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm violated the mandatory joinder provisions of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Criminal Code) (720 ILCS 5/1--1 et seq. (West 2000)). The defendant's argument would ordinarily be waived for failure to raise the issue before the trial court. However, we will review the defendant's allegation in accord with the doctrine of plain error since the alleged error is of such magnitude that, if substantiated, the error ...


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