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People v. Lloyd

April 14, 2003

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
RONNIE LLOYD, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 01 CR 12337 Honorable Colleen McSweeney-Moore, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Smith

UNPUBLISHED

Defendant Ronnie Lloyd entered a negotiated guilty plea to burglary and was sentenced, based on his criminal history, to a Class X term of six years in prison. Defendant failed to file a written motion to withdraw his guilty plea as required by Supreme Court Rule 604(d) (188 Ill. 2d R. 604(d)), but he subsequently filed a motion in this court, pro se, seeking leave to file a motion for late notice of appeal and appointment of counsel. This court allowed defendant to file a late notice of appeal and appointed counsel to represent him. On appeal, defendant contends he was not admonished pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 605 (188 Ill. 2d R. 605) as to the availability of appointed counsel for postplea proceedings or the consequences of withdrawing his guilty plea and seeks remand for proper admonishment. For the reasons that follow, we reverse and remand.

In April 2001, defendant was arrested and charged with two counts of burglary for entering a garage and a motor vehicle wherein he committed theft. In the proceedings before the trial court, defendant was represented by private counsel who filed a motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence.

On October 9, 2001, the trial court heard defendant's motion. The evidence presented at the hearing established that two Chicago police officers saw defendant exit a garage in the early morning, carrying a shopping bag which contained tools and a coach light. The tools and the light were taken from a car that was parked inside the garage. The court denied defendant's motion to quash his arrest and suppress the evidence.

Following the ruling, defense counsel sought a plea conference pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 402. 177 Ill. 2d R. 402. After the conference, in response to defendant's expressed desire for a sentence of probation, the court informed defendant he was a Class X offender and no longer eligible for probation. The court further informed defendant that he was charged with burglary, a Class 2 felony (720 ILCS 5/19-1(b) (West 2000)), but he was subject to a Class X sentence of 6 to 30 years in prison (730 ILCS 5/5-5-3(c)(8) (West 2000)). Based on defendant's demeanor and his failure to sign the jury waiver, the court initially refused to accept defendant's plea. After further discussion, the court ascertained that defendant understood the possible penalties resulting from a guilty plea. Defendant then pleaded guilty to burglary.

Before accepting defendant's plea, the court admonished defendant pursuant to Rule 402. 177 Ill. 2d R. 402. Among other things, the court specifically advised defendant that he would give up his "right to make the State prove [him] guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, to confront the witnesses against [him], and to present a defense." After ascertaining that defendant relinquished his rights voluntarily, the court found there was a factual basis for defendant's guilty plea. The court indicated it would concur with the agreement to sentence defendant on one count of burglary, imposed the minimum Class X sentence of six years in prison (730 ILCS 5/5-8-1(a)(3) (West 2000)), and entered judgment on the finding.

Finally, the court admonished defendant of his appellate rights pursuant to Rule 605 (188 Ill. 2d R. 605) in the following manner:

"Mr. Lloyd, you have the right to appeal. But before you can appeal, you must first file in this court within 30 days a written motion asking to withdraw your plea of guilty. You would have to set forth in that motion valid legal reasons why you're asking to withdraw your plea of guilty. Any reason you fail to set forth in your motion, you would give up for purposes of appealing that issue.

Do you understand your appeal rights?"

Defendant answered that he understood.

The court entered an order sentencing defendant to six years in prison which defendant now appeals.

Defendant did not timely file any motion challenging his sentence or seeking to withdraw his plea and vacate his sentence. In his pro se late notice of appeal, defendant stated he was indigent and sought appointed counsel, and he believed his appeal had merit because the "State failed to meet its burden of proof in finding him guilty and his counsel was ineffective." Defendant also asserted the failure to timely file the notice of appeal was not due to his culpable ...


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