Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

People v. Laster

March 21, 2002

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
BRUCE L. LASTER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County. No. 99-CF-0792 Honorable K. Craig Peterson, Michael R. Morrison, and Richard W. Vidal, Judges, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Hutchinson.

Released for publication March 27, 2002.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
BRUCE L. LASTER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County. No. 99-CF-0792 Honorable K. Craig Peterson, Michael R. Morrison, and Richard W. Vidal, Judges, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Hutchinson.

PUBLISHED

 On December 6, 2000, defendant, Bruce Laster, filed his notice of appeal, seeking review of his conviction and sentence, both in absentia. His appellate counsel moves this court to remand the cause to the trial court so that defendant may receive proper admonishments to perfect his appeal. The State argues that this court lacks jurisdiction to entertain this appeal. We agree with the State and, therefore, we must dismiss this appeal.

In April 1999 defendant, Bruce Laster, was charged by indictment with the offense of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver (720 ILCS 570/401(c) (West 1998)). Defendant and his counsel appeared in court on April 22, 1999, and the trial court advised defendant that, if he failed to appear at any time his case was set for trial, the trial could proceed without him, and if he was found guilty, he could also be sentenced without being present. Defendant acknowledged his understanding to the trial court. On December 7, 1999, defendant was tried in absentia before a jury and subsequently found guilty. On March 15, 2000, the trial court sentenced defendant in absentia to a term of six years' imprisonment. Next, the trial court read the admonishments concerning defendant's right to appeal. The record reflects that no notice of appeal was filed at this time.

The record on appeal next reflects that defendant was present in court, but before a different judge, on July 10, 2000. The trial court informed defendant that he had been tried and sentenced in his absence and, because he had failed to appear, a warrant for his arrest had been issued. On October 5, 2000, defendant appeared with counsel before the judge who had previously presided over defendant's trial in absentia and his sentencing in absentia. Defendant informed the trial court that he was in Louisville, Kentucky, because his aunt had passed away. He added that he had the papers but his counsel advised him that it was too late for him to file an appeal. Defendant asked the trial court whether it was too late for him to file an appeal, and the trial court responded:

"THE COURT: I don't know. *** I can't advise you. An attorney could.

The issue is are you entitled to an attorney. I suppose. You might be able to file *** a post-conviction petition. You have a right to confer with [your] attorney about that.

As far as your appeal rights on the charge itself, I stated to you earlier that you have a right to appeal. Any notice of appeal must be in writing and must be filed within 30 days. You may request the clerk of the circuit court to file the notice of appeal. You would be entitled to a free lawyer and a free transcript.

The problem is more than 30 days has gone by since March 15.

DEFENDANT: Right. I thought that you said if I was ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.