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The People of the State of Illinois v. Ricky King

January 21, 2011

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,
APPELLANT,
v.
RICKY KING,
APPELLEE.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Karmeier

JUSTICE KARMEIER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

Chief Justice Kilbride and Justices Freeman, Thomas, Garman, Burke, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

I. BACKGROUND

In 2002, defendant, Ricky King, was charged with five counts of first degree murder (720 ILCS 5/9--1(a)(1), (a)(2) (West 2000)), in connection with the August 8, 2002, beating death of Robert Nash. Defendant was 15 years of age at the time of the incident. On June 19, 2003, the State filed an additional count of attempted first degree murder (720 ILCS 5/8--4(a), 9--1(a) (West 2000)) arising out of the same incident. That same day, defendant entered a negotiated plea to the attempted murder charge in exchange for dismissal of the murder charges and a 15-year sentence in the Department of Corrections. The circuit court of Champaign County immediately entered judgment pursuant to the plea agreement, sentenced defendant to the agreed-upon 15-year prison term, and dismissed the murder charges.

On October 10, 2008, defendant filed a pro se post-conviction petition pursuant to the Post-Conviction Hearing Act (725 ILCS 5/122--1 et seq. (West 2006)), arguing that he was not properly admonished about mandatory supervised release. The circuit court dismissed the petition as frivolous and patently without merit.

On appeal, defendant argued for the first time that his sentence was void because the State failed to request a hearing under section 5--130(1)(c)(ii) of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (the Act) (705 ILCS 405/5--130(1)(c)(ii) (West 2000)) to determine whether he should be sentenced as an adult. The appellate court agreed. 395 Ill. App. 3d 985, 992. Accordingly, the appellate court reversed the judgment of the circuit court and remanded with directions to vacate defendant's criminal conviction, enter an adjudication of delinquency, and enter an order sentencing him under the Act to time served as of his twenty-first birthday. Id. at 994-95.

The State sought review in this court, arguing that (1) defendant should be estopped from arguing that the sentencing provision of the fully negotiated plea agreement is void because he enjoyed the benefits of the plea agreement, including the dismissal of first degree murder charges; and (2) if the sentencing provision of the fully negotiated plea agreement is void, the plea should be vacated in its entirety, the murder charges reinstated, and the parties returned to the status quo ante for further plea proceedings or trial.

On this court's own motion, the parties were given leave to file supplemental briefs addressing the following two issues of statutory interpretation involving sections 5--130(1)(a) through (1)(c) of the Act (705 ILCS 405/5--130(1)(a) through (1)(c) (West 2000)): (1) whether an offense "covered by" section 5--130(1)(a) includes only those charges "specified in" that section or both charges "specified in" that section and "all other charges arising out of the same incident"; and (2) if an offense "covered by" section 5--130(1)(a) includes both charges "specified in" that section and "all other charges arising out of the same incident," whether section 5--130(1)(c)(ii) required the State to request a hearing to determine whether defendant should be sentenced as an adult or whether he was properly sentenced as an adult without a hearing pursuant to section 5--130(1)(c)(i). Both parties have filed supplemental briefs.

For the following reasons, we conclude that an offense "covered by" section 5--130(1)(a) includes both charges "specified in" that section and "all other charges arising out of the same incident," that section 5--130(1)(c)(ii) did not require the State to request a hearing to determine whether defendant should be sentenced as an adult, and that he was properly sentenced as an adult without a hearing pursuant to section 5--130(1)(c)(i). Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the appellate court and affirm the judgment of the circuit court.

II. ANALYSIS

The dispositive issues on appeal are issues of statutory construction, which are questions of law subject to de novo review. Solon v. Midwest Medical Records Ass'n, Inc., 236 Ill. 2d 433, 439 (2010).

Our primary objective in interpreting a statute is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the legislature. Id. at 440. The best indicator of such intent is the language of the statute, which is to be given its plain and ordinary meaning. Id. In determining the plain meaning of the statute, we consider the statute in its entirety, the subject it addresses, and the apparent intent of the legislature in enacting it. Id.

With these principles in mind, we turn to the applicable statutory provision, section 5--130 of the Act, which ...


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