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People v. Rathbone

December 29, 2003

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
BRANDON L. RATHBONE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County No. 00CF1049 Honorable Patrick W. Kelley, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Steigmann

UNPUBLISHED

Following a June 2001 bench trial, the trial court found defendant, Brandon L. Rathbone, guilty of residential burglary (720 ILCS 5/19-3(a) (West 2000)). The court later sentenced him to five years' probation, subject to various conditions, including that he participate in the Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) drug-treatment program.

In January 2002, the State filed a petition to revoke defendant's probation. Following hearings in March and May 2002, the trial court revoked defendant's probation and sentenced him to nine years in prison.

Defendant appeals, arguing that the trial court abused its discretion by (1) sentencing him for violating his probation rather than for the crime of residential burglary and (2) sentencing him to nine years in prison. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

After convicting defendant in a bench trial, the trial court sentenced him in August 2001 to five years' TASC probation. The court admonished defendant that if he did not comply with the terms of his probation, he would be resentenced to a prison term.

In January 2002, the State filed a petition to revoke defendant's probation. In February 2002, defendant failed to appear at the first scheduled hearing on the State's petition to revoke his probation, and the trial court issued a warrant for his arrest. Defendant was present at the March 2002 hearing on the State's petition, and the court found him in violation of the terms of his probation. Specifically, the court found that he (1) failed to report to the probation department in September 2001 and January 2002, and (2) failed to attend, successfully complete, and obey all rules and regulations of the TASC treatment program.

At the May 2002 resentencing hearing, no evidence was presented in aggravation or mitigation. The trial court considered the presentence investigation report (PSI), which had been amended and updated since it was originally prepared in August 2001. According to the PSI, defendant reported that he drank alcohol seven days a week, always drank to get drunk, and had been drinking right before the burglary. A TASC evaluation completed in July 2001 diagnosed defendant as alcohol dependent and recommended residential substance-abuse treatment.

The PSI further showed that on October 19, 2001, defendant was placed on "jeopardy" status by TASC because he failed to attend an appointment and tested positive for cocaine. He was referred to the Gateway Foundation for residential treatment, but was unsuccessfully discharged in late November 2001 after he left Gateway against the advice of the staff on November 16, 2001. He also failed to attend TASC appointments on November 21 and 26, 2001. According to defendant, he left Gateway because he had a problem with his counselor. He did not have an explanation for missing his TASC appointments.

In announcing defendant's sentence from the bench, the trial court explained, in pertinent part, as follows:

"[I]n meting out the sentence I'm going to impose today, I have considered all the things required by statute, including the statutory factors in aggravation and mitigation, the arguments of counsel, the [d]efendant's statement on his own behalf, in allocution, the evidence adduced at the trial of this case, the cost of incarceration of this [d]efendant upon the State of Illinois should I impose a prison sentence upon him, and all the other factors required by statute.

***[Defendant], you knew exactly what would happen if you failed to comply with the terms of probation, and you chose for whatever reason you have to violate the probation terms in a number of ways. The most significant of which to you is you failed to complete your TASC requirements.

Now you seem to have a habit of not getting along with people. Certainly when you go to prison, that's a habit you better break or you are going to be in some trouble, but you know you can't blame everybody else for all of your problems. You chose not to complete TASC, nobody else did, and in the same vein I think you have chosen prison here over probation, because those were the options given to you, and it was totally within your ...


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