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People v. Beaty

July 16, 2004


[6] Appeal from the Circuit Court of Christian County. No. 03-CF-20 Honorable John P. Coady, Honorable David W. Slater, and Honorable Alan Buck, Kyle W. Beaty, Movant Judges, presiding.

[9] The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Kuehn

[10]   As a general rule, people are supposed to enjoy total freedom, released from jail and/or conditions of bail, on those occasions where the State launches interlocutory appeals from suppression orders or adverse evidentiary rulings. People v. Wells, 279 Ill. App. 3d 564, 567-68, 664 N.E.2d 660, 663 (1996). Supreme Court Rule 604(a)(3) dictates the following:

[11]   "A defendant shall not be held in jail or to bail during the pendency of an appeal by the State, or of a petition or appeal by the State under Rule 315(a), unless there are compelling reasons for his continued detention or being held to bail." 188 Ill. 2d R. 604(a)(3).

[12]   This rule is based on two simple truths. First, appeals can take a long time to run their course. An interlocutory appeal by the State embraces an indefinite and lengthy delay of an accused's trial, while speedy trial guarantees stand suspended. See 188 Ill. 2d R. 604(a)(4) (the filing of an interlocutory appeal by the State tolls the statutory speedy trial time constraints). Second, a trial judge or an appellate court has entered a ruling favorable to the accused. In the case of interlocutory appeals from suppression orders or adverse evidentiary rulings, the State's ability to successfully proceed has been "substantially impaired." In many cases, the charges would never have been leveled absent the anticipated use of the suppressed evidence.

[13]   The weakened posture of the State's case, while the State delays a trial to overturn a presumptively valid ruling, warrants the immediate restoration of complete freedom, absent reasons more compelling than those that support the imposition of bail conditions following the filing of criminal charges.

[14]   Kyle W. Beaty (the defendant) is presently confined to the Christian County jail, in lieu of a $2 million bail that he is financially unable to post. He has been there for well over a year, awaiting his trial on multiple charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault. The defendant's right to a speedy trial under Illinois law was indefinitely suspended in early January 2004, when the State filed its notice of appeal and certificate of substantial impairment and commenced this interlocutory appeal. The State seeks to overturn an evidentiary ruling that barred the use of a graphic 1994 videotape that records the defendant and his then wife engaged in violent sexual intercourse and sodomy. The woman depicted in the videotape, the defendant's now ex-wife, is the alleged victim of the pending sexual assault charges.

[15]   We are presented with several issues of first impression. There are certain procedural and jurisdictional questions that we must address before we reach the overriding question that this appeal poses: Should the defendant be held in jail, or have his freedom bound to conditions of bail, during the pendency of this interlocutory appeal by the State?

[16]   The State filed this appeal on January 9, 2004. When it did so, it did not take steps to secure the defendant's concurrent release in compliance with Supreme Court Rule 604(a)(3). The Christian County State's Attorney felt that certain reasons compelled the defendant's continued pretrial detention. Before the State's Attorney could seek judicial approval of his position, the defendant's attorney filed a motion for the defendant's immediate release based upon the call for freedom set forth in Supreme Court Rule 604(a)(3). On the very same day that the State perfected its appeal, Judge David Slater heard the parties' respective positions on the motion. At that hearing, the State's Attorney articulated his reasons for the defendant's continued detention during the appellate review process.

[17]   On January 13, 2004, Judge Slater, following the standard set forth in Supreme Court Rule 604(a)(3), denied the defendant's request for release. He found that reasons compelled the defendant's continued detention while the State prosecuted its appeal. The ruling visited further pretrial incarceration upon the defendant. The defendant will remain in jail indefinitely, without the benefit of speedy trial protections, unless we review his jailed status and disagree with Judge Slater. The length of his stay will be measured in part by how long it takes us to process this interlocutory appeal.

[18]   The defendant did not immediately pursue a review of Judge Slater's order. Instead, he asked Judge Slater to reconsider bail. On January 30, 2004, his attorney filed an amended motion that set forth all the criteria necessary for the review of bail orders pending a trial. See 188 Ill. 2d R. 604(c) (addressing appeals from bail orders by a defendant before conviction). The motion to reconsider was denied.

[19]   The defendant chose not to appeal from that order under Supreme Court Rule 604(c) (188 Ill. 2d R. 604(c)). Instead, he returned to the circuit court with another bail motion. On February 11, 2004, the defendant's attorney appeared before Judge Alan Buck. He argued that the lengthy delay of the trial proceedings, made necessary by the State's appeal, warranted the reconsideration of the bail amount. The defendant also invited as a condition of reasonable bail an order confining him to his mother's house rather than the Christian County jail. Judge Buck denied the motion.

[20]   While the defendant pursued his release before two circuit judges, we began processing the State's interlocutory appeal. We created a case file, bearing the docket number of this appeal, No. 5-04-0022, and we appointed the Office of the State Appellate Defender to champion the defendant's interests in this matter.

[21]   On February 17, 2004, the defendant filed a notice of appeal, which notice was filed in appeal No. 5-04-0022, the State's interlocutory appeal from the adverse evidentiary ruling made prior to trial.

[22]   Seemingly, the defendant wanted a review of the trial court orders that left him imprisoned in the Christian County jail. However, his notice of appeal failed to identify the order ...

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