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People v. Campbell

July 17, 2002

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
RICHARD D. CAMPBELL, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Champaign County No. 01CF441 Honorable Arnold F. Blockman, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Steigmann

Released for publication.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
RICHARD D. CAMPBELL, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Appeal from Circuit Court of Champaign County No. 01CF441 Honorable Arnold F. Blockman, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Steigmann

In March 2001, the State charged defendant, Richard D. Campbell, Jr., with residential burglary (720 ILCS 5/19-3 (West 2000)). In May 2001, a jury convicted defendant of the lesser included offense of criminal trespass to a residence (720 ILCS 5/19-4 (West 2000)), and the trial court later sentenced him to 364 days in jail.

Defendant appeals, arguing that (1) he was denied his constitutional right to confront witnesses against him when his lawyer stipulated without defendant's knowing consent to the testimony of the key prosecution witness and (2) the trial court erred at sentencing by imposing the maximum sentence based on its finding that defendant's conduct "threatened serious harm." We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

In March 2001, the State charged defendant with residential burglary, alleging that he knowingly and without authority entered the dwelling place of Blake M. Hoerr and Griff P. Powell, located at 1001 South First Street in Champaign (hereinafter the residence).

At defendant's May 2001 jury trial, Powell testified that on March 13, 2001, he was a student at the University of Illinois (University) living at the residence with Hoerr and six other men. Spring break at the University had started a few days earlier and Powell and Hoerr both planned to leave Champaign that day.

The mailbox next to the front door of the residence contained four or five names, and on March 13, 2001, there were no signs on the front of the residence indicating that there was a room for rent. Around 10:15 a.m. that day, Powell was in his room on the second floor of the residence and Hoerr was sleeping on the couch in the first-floor living room when Powell heard a loud, banging noise on the front door. Powell knew Hoerr was in the living room, so Powell did not go downstairs to answer the front door. However, the loud knocking continued for a few minutes and then Powell heard talking. Powell then started down the stairs to the first floor and saw defendant speaking to Hoerr as defendant made his way out the door.

After defendant left, Powell and Hoerr both thought it would be a good idea to call the police because they both planned to leave town that day and "these empty houses are easy to break into." Powell and Hoerr both thought that defendant's entry into the residence was strange. Powell did not authorize defendant to come into the residence and had never seen him before.

Dennis Thomas testified that he had been a Champaign police officer for 27 years and in March 2001, he was assigned to the University campus area. Spring and winter breaks are significant to police officers working that area because, due to the absence of students, the burglary rate goes up tremendously. Around 10:17 a.m. on March 13, 2001, he was dispatched to the area near the residence, and based upon the description he received, he stopped defendant a few blocks away.

Defendant first told Thomas that he had not been in the residence. When Thomas informed defendant of a report that a person fitting his description had been there, defendant said that he had been there and was looking for someone. However, when Thomas asked whom he was looking for, defendant could not provide a name. Thomas then arrested defendant.

Powell and Thomas were the only witnesses for the State on the first day of trial. After they testified, the prosecutor requested a continuance until the following day because the State's third and last witness, Hoerr, who was under subpoena, had not appeared that morning for trial as he had promised. The trial court agreed to continue the case until the following morning.

When court reconvened the next day, the prosecutor informed the trial court that the parties had reached a stipulation regarding Hoerr's testimony and that after the court accepted the stipulation, the State would rest. The attorneys then presented the court with a written stipulation signed by ...


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