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. Hensley

December 10, 2004

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
RICHARD R. HENSLEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Livingston County, No. 01CF227, Honorable Harold J. Frobish, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Steigmann

PUBLISHED

In January 2002, the State charged defendant, Richard R. Hensley, with (1) delivery of a controlled substance (5 grams or more but less than 15 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine) (720 ILCS 570/401(c)(6.5) (West 2000)) (count I), (2) delivery of a controlled substance (less than 5 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine) (720 ILCS 570/401(d)(iii) (West 2000)) (count II), and (3) calculated criminal drug conspiracy (delivery of 5 grams or more but less than 15 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine as part of a conspiracy undertaken with two other persons) (720 ILCS 570/405(a) (West 2000)) (count III).

In April 2002, defendant pleaded guilty to count II. Following a trial that same month, a jury convicted him of counts I and III. In May 2002, the trial court sentenced defendant to seven years in prison on count II and eight years in prison on count III, with those sentences to be served concurrently. (The court found that count I was a lesser-included offense of count III and imposed no sentence upon count I.)

Defendant appeals, arguing that (1) the State failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of calculated criminal drug conspiracy and (2) the trial court (a) erred by admitting other-crimes evidence and (b) abused its discretion by sentencing him to seven years in prison on count II. We disagree and affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

In January 2002, the State charged defendant with (1) delivery of a controlled substance on October 31, 2001 (5 grams or more but less than 15 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine) (720 ILCS 570/401(c)(6.5) (West 2000)) (count I); (2) delivery of a controlled substance on November 2, 2001 (less than 5 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine) (720 ILCS 570/401(d)(iii) (West 2000)) (count II); and (3) calculated criminal drug conspiracy on October 30, 2001, through November 2, 2001 (delivery of 5 grams or more but less than 15 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine as part of a conspiracy undertaken with two other persons) (720 ILCS 570/405(a) (West 2000)) (count III).

In April 2002, defendant pleaded guilty to count II, and the case proceeded to a jury trial on the remaining counts. Connie Best, defendant's sister, and Sarah Hensley, Connie's daughter and defendant's niece, testified, in pertinent part, as follows. In March 2001, defendant began supplying methamphetamine to Connie, who lived with Sarah. In the summer of 2001, Sarah began using and selling the methamphetamine that defendant was supplying to Connie. In August 2001, after Connie learned that Sarah had been using and selling the methamphetamine, Connie and Sarah, together, began selling methamphetamine that defendant delivered to them. Connie and Sarah both testified that defendant (1) was the only person that supplied them with methamphetamine and (2) knew that they were selling the methamphetamine he delivered to them.

In August and September 2001, Connie and Sarah engaged in a series of methamphetamine deliveries to Bloomington undercover police officer Troy Doza. Sara testified that her last direct involvement with a methamphetamine delivery was a September 26, 2001, delivery of methamphetamine to Doza. On October 30, 2001, Doza telephoned Connie and ordered 10 grams of methamphetamine from her, to be delivered to him on October 31, 2001. On October 31, 2001, Officer Doza arrived at Connie's residence and saw Connie standing outside. Connie entered her residence "briefly" and then walked outside again and delivered methamphetamine to Doza, who was sitting in his car. Shortly after Con-nie's October 31, 2001, delivery, police arrested Connie and Sarah (who testified that she was inside Connie's residence when Connie delivered the methamphetamine to Doza).

Following their arrest, Connie and Sarah agreed to cooperate with the police to obtain leniency. As part of the agreement, Connie allowed the police to install video surveillance equipment in her kitchen. On November 2, 2001, police videotaped defendant's delivery of methamphetamine to Connie in her kitchen in exchange for $700 that had been provided to her by officers. Sarah was present at the November 2, 2001, delivery and placed the methamphetamine that defendant delivered in a basket. She also told defendant that she had gotten the $700 for the methamphetamine from a bank.

Based on this evidence, the jury found defendant guilty of count I (delivery of a controlled substance on October 31, 2001) and count III (calculated criminal drug conspiracy on October 31, 2001, through November 2, 2001). The trial court sentenced defendant as earlier stated.

This appeal followed.

II. ANALYSIS

A. Sufficiency of the Evidence

Defendant first argues that the State failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of calculated criminal drug conspiracy on October 30, 2001, through November 2, 2001, because the State failed to prove that at least two other individuals were involved in the conspiracy with him from October 30, 2001, through November 2, 2001, as required under the calculated-criminal-drug-conspiracy statute (720 ILCS 570/405(b)(2) (West 2000)). Specifically, he contends that the State failed to prove that Sarah was involved in the conspiracy during (1) the October 31, 2001, transaction because (a) the State presented no evidence that Sarah knew that a delivery occurred on October 31, 2001, and (b) she had stopped selling methamphetamine as of September 26, 2001; and (2) the November 2, 2001, transaction because her involvement was orchestrated by the police. We disagree with defendant's contention as to the October 31, 2001, transaction but agree with his contention as to the November 2, 2001, transaction.

The relevant question when considering a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence is "'whether, after viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the [S]tate, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.'" People v. Milka, 211 Ill. 2d 150, 178, 810 N.E.2d 33, 49 (2004), quoting People v. Perez, 189 Ill. 2d 254, 265-66, 725 N.E.2d 1258, 1264 (2000). The weight to be given witnesses' testimony, the witnesses' credibility, and the reasonable inferences to be drawn from the evidence are all the responsibility of the fact finder. People v. Steidl, 142 Ill. 2d 204, 226, 568 N.E.2d 837, 845 (1991).

The Supreme Court of Illinois has adopted the bilateral theory of conspiracy, which requires the actual agreement between at least two participants of the conspiracy to the commission of an offense, as opposed to the unilateral theory of conspiracy, which requires that only one of the participants actually agreed to the commission of an offense. People v. Foster, 99 Ill. 2d 48, 51-55, 457 N.E.2d 405, 406-409 (1983). Our supreme court has applied the bilateral theory of conspiracy to the calculated-criminal-drug-conspiracy statute. That statute provides, in pertinent part, as follows, "a person engages in a calculated criminal drug conspiracy when *** [the delivery of a controlled substance] is a part of a conspiracy undertaken or carried on with two or more other persons." 720 ILCS 570/405(b)(2) (West 2000)). "A principal distinguishing feature of a calculated criminal drug conspiracy is that it requires a minimum of three conspirators while a simple conspiracy requires only two." People v. Caballero, 237 Ill. App. 3d 797, 804, 604 N.E.2d 1028, 1034 (1992). Thus, to prove that a defendant committed the offense of calculated criminal drug conspiracy, the State must prove that an actual agreement existed between the defendant and two or more other persons. People v. Harmison, 108 Ill. 2d 197, 203-04, 483 N.E.2d 508, 511 (1985). Accordingly, in this case, the State had to prove that defendant, Connie, and Sarah agreed to deliver methamphetamine between October 30, 2001, through November 2, 2001.

1. The October 31, 2001, Transaction

Defendant first contends that the State failed to prove that Sarah was involved in a conspiracy to sell methamphetamine when the October 31, 2001, transaction took place because (1) the State presented no evidence that Sarah knew that a delivery occurred that day and (2) she had stopped selling methamphetamine as of September 26, 2001. We disagree. a. Sarah's Knowledge of Connie's Delivery of Methamphetamine to Doza on October 31, 2001

Defendant first contends that Sarah was not involved in the conspiracy on October 31, 2001, because she was not actively involved in Connie's delivery of ...


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.