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The People of the State v. Adrian D. Martin

March 11, 2011

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
ADRIAN D. MARTIN,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court OF ILLINOIS, of Kane County. Honorable James C. Hallock, Judge, Presiding. No. 06-CF-405

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Jorgensen

PRESIDING JUSTICE JORGENSEN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices McLaren and Burke concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Adrian D. Martin appeals his convictions of aggravated battery (720 ILCS 5/12-4(b)(8) (West 2006)) and domestic battery (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(a)(1) (West 2006)). He contends that the evidence was insufficient because the State relied on the victim's prior written statement, which violated his right to confrontation. Because the victim was subject to cross-examination and the statement was properly admitted, there was sufficient evidence to support the convictions. Accordingly, we affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

On February 23, 2006, Martin was indicted on two counts of domestic battery and one count of aggravated battery in connection with events that occurred on January 1, 2006, during which Martin had a physical altercation with his girlfriend, Shannon Hosey. At issue is a written statement that Hosey provided to police, stating that Martin began hitting her while she was driving. She also wrote that she told Martin she was on the way to the police station and that he then began hitting her face. Hosey wrote that she drove until she saw a police car. On May 24, 2007, a bench trial was held.

At trial, Hosey testified that she was Martin's girlfriend and that they had a child together. She testified that she was driving in Aurora on January 1, 2006. However, she stated that she did not remember any of the events of the incident. Hosey said that she had been drinking and did not remember having an argument with Martin, did not remember any physical altercation or injuries, and did not remember talking to the police. Hosey also said that she did not remember making a written statement. However, when Hosey was shown her written statement and asked if she wrote it, she replied "[i]t's my handwriting."

An Aurora police officer, Officer Ely, testified that, at around 2:50 a.m. on January 1, 2006, he and his partner were walking to their parked squad car when they observed Hosey drive past their location. Hosey then did a fast U-turn, squealing the tires of the car, and rapidly pulled up behind the squad car, coming up onto the curb and sidewalk. Ely testified that Hosey then jumped out of the car, screaming and crying hysterically. Ely observed that Hosey had a cut lip and an injury around her eye. He did not recall detecting any odor of alcohol from her, her speech was not slurred, and he could understand what she said.

Ely testified that Hosey told him that Martin had been grabbing her arm while she was driving and that he began hitting her about the face when she told him to get out of the car. She said that she was driving to the police station while Martin was hitting her. When she saw the officers' car, she turned around and pulled up to it. Ely asked Hosey to provide the written statement. He did not tell her what to write and said that she did not indicate any inability to write. Hosey refused medical treatment, and Martin was arrested. Hosey's statement was allowed into evidence, over Martin's objection, for purposes of impeachment. Martin testified, denying that any physical altercation occurred.

The trial court found that Ely's testimony was credible and that Hosey's testimony was not credible. The court stated that it did not believe that Hosey was telling the truth when she said she could not remember anything. The court then found that the written statement was allowed not just for impeachment, but also as substantive evidence of Martin's guilt. The court found Martin guilty and sentenced him to four years' incarceration. Martin filed a motion to reconsider sentence, but did not file any posttrial motion alleging that the court erred in considering the written statement. Martin appeals.

II. ANALYSIS

Martin contends that there was insufficient evidence to convict him, because Hosey's statement was wrongly allowed into evidence in violation of his right to confrontation. The State argues that Martin forfeited his arguments concerning the trial court's evidentiary rulings because, although he objected to the evidence, he did not raise the issue in a posttrial motion.

In order to preserve an issue for review, a defendant must both offer a specific objection at trial and raise the matter in a posttrial motion. People v. Enoch, 122 Ill. 2d 176, 186 (1988); People v. Mendoza, 354 Ill. App. 3d 621, 627 (2004). Martin does not acknowledge his forfeiture of the issue and does not ask that we review the matter for plain error. Accordingly, any argument concerning plain error has also been forfeited. See People v. Nieves, 192 Ill. 2d 487, 503 (2000) (finding that the failure to argue "that the evidence was closely balanced [or that] the error is so severe that it must be remedied to preserve the integrity of the judicial process" forfeited plain error on appeal); see also Ill. S. Ct. R. 341(h)(7) (eff. Sept. 1, 2006).

We note that Martin raises the matter under the rubric of sufficiency of the evidence. A defendant need not file a posttrial motion attacking the sufficiency of the evidence in order to preserve that issue for review on appeal. See Enoch, 122 Ill. 2d at 190; People v. Chirchirillo, 393 Ill. App. 3d 916, 922 (2009). But here, Martin's actual challenge is to the admissibility of the statement, which he contends should not have been allowed. To the extent the issue is actually one of the admissibility of the evidence instead of the sufficiency of it, Martin forfeited it. See People v. Rigsby, 383 Ill. ...


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