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. Chamberlain

January 21, 2005

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
VICTOR CHAMBERLAIN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 14th Judicial Circuit, Henry County, Illinois, No. 03-CF-223. Honorable Ted J. Hamer, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Lytton

The defendant, Victor Chamberlain, pled guilty to two counts of aggravated battery. 720 ILCS 5/12--4(b)(6) (West 2002). The trial court sentenced him to two concurrent four-year terms of imprisonment, with 29 days of credit for time spent in presentence custody. The defendant was also ordered to submit to genetic marker testing pursuant to section 5--4--3 of the Unified Code of Corrections (Code). 730 ILCS 5/5--4--3 (West 2002). The defendant subsequently filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea, which was denied by the trial court.

[9]     The defendant appeals, contending that (1) the trial court erred in failing to conduct a fitness hearing, (2) the defendant is entitled to additional presentence custody credit and (3) section 5--4--3 of the Code is unconstitutional. We grant the defendant additional presentence custody credit, but otherwise affirm.

BACKGROUND

On July 10, 2003, the defendant was charged with six counts of aggravated battery (720 ILCS 5/12--4 (West 2002)) and two counts of attempted aggravated battery (720 ILCS 5/8--4, 12--4 (West 2002)). Those charges arose out of incidents occurring on February 25, 2003, and May 9, 2003, while the defendant was in custody at the Department of Corrections' Illinois Youth Center-Kewanee.

Defendant entered a negotiated plea of guilty to two counts of aggravated battery on August 22, 2003. In response to questioning by the court, the defendant indicated that he was 19 years old, was able to read and write, and was not addicted to drugs or alcohol. However, the defendant also stated he was taking "a lot" of psychotropic medication for bipolar disorder, mood swings, and an anxiety disorder. A "Health Statute Summary Report" filed on the date of the plea indicated that the defendant was bipolar, for which he was taking several types of medication. The defendant indicated that these medications made him feel "a little" better.

At one point during the hearing, the trial court asked the defendant if he knew what charges he was pleading guilty to and whether he had received enough time to speak with his attorney about his plea. The defendant gave equivocal answers to both questions. The trial court continued to question the defendant as to these points, ultimately receiving affirmative answers to both questions. Thereafter, the court admonished the defendant in accordance with Supreme Court Rule 402. 177 Ill. 2d R. 402.

After a factual basis was presented, the trial court found the plea was knowing and voluntary. The court determined that defendant understood his rights, the nature of the charges and the consequences of his guilty plea. The trial court then sentenced defendant to two concurrent four-year terms of imprisonment, with 29 days of credit for time spent in presentence custody. In addition, the defendant was ordered to submit to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) testing.

On September 17, 2003, the trial court received a letter from the defendant indicating that he wanted to withdraw his plea because he was suffering from mental illness on the date of the plea. The defendant subsequently filed a pro se motion to withdraw his guilty plea containing similar contentions. Soon thereafter, defense counsel filed an amended motion to withdraw the defendant's guilty plea.

A hearing on the motion was held on December 15, 2003. At the hearing, defense counsel argued that the defendant's plea was not voluntary, largely because of the effects of the psychotropic medication he was taking at the time. The defendant testified similarly, indicating that he did not understand the plea proceedings because of his medication and his lack of education.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the trial court denied the defendant's motion. The court found that it had determined that defendant was fit at the time he entered his plea and was sentenced. Furthermore, the trial court indicated that nothing in the current proceedings had changed its opinion on that issue.

DISCUSSION

A. Fitness Hearing

On appeal, the defendant first argues that, despite the fact that no relevant motion was made below, the trial court should have sua sponte ordered a fitness hearing to determine if he was fit to plead guilty. The defendant argues that his demeanor at the plea ...


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.