Appeal from Circuit Court of Champaign County No. 09CF356 Honorable Thomas J. Difanis, Judge Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Pope
JUSTICE POPE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Presiding Justice Knecht and Justice Appleton concurred in the judgment and opinion.
¶ 1 In July 2009, a jury convicted defendant, Maurice D. Jake, of aggravated domestic battery (720 ILCS 5/12--3.3(a) (West 2008)) and aggravated battery (720 ILCS 5/12--4(b)(8) (West 2008)). In August 2009, the trial court sentenced defendant as a Class X offender pursuant to section 5--5--3(c)(8) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Unified Code) (730 ILCS 5/5--5--3(c)(8) (West 2008)) to 25 years' imprisonment for aggravated domestic battery with 168 days' sentence credit.
¶ 2 Defendant appeals, arguing (1) the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing defendant to 25 years' imprisonment, (2) the circuit clerk is without authority to assess a $38.25 late fee and an $87.98 collection fee, (3) the trial court erred in failing to apply defendant's presentence credit toward his $5 drug-court fee, and (4) the $25 Violent Crime Victims Assistance Fund (VCVA) assessment should be reduced to $4. We dismiss in part, affirm in part as modified, and remand with directions.
¶ 4 In February 2009, the State charged defendant by information with aggravated domestic battery (720 ILCS 5/12--3.3(a) (West 2008)) and aggravated battery (720 ILCS 5/12--4
(b)(8) (West 2008)). At defendant's July 2009 jury trial, the State presented the following evidence. Chasity Barefield testified in February 2009, she lived in Paris, Illinois, with her boyfriend, defendant. On February 23, 2009, defendant drove Barefield to her place of employment, a Wal-Mart in Champaign, Illinois. Barefield testified she finished her shift at 10 p.m. and hurried outside to the parking lot, where defendant was waiting. Defendant had driven to Wal-Mart in Barefield's vehicle and was waiting in the passenger seat of the vehicle. Barefield entered the driver's seat of the vehicle. Barefield testified that upon entering the vehicle, she and defendant began to discuss a number that appeared on her cell phone bill. Barefield told defendant she had not been unfaithful. Defendant then struck Barefield's arm. Barefield pulled out of the Wal-Mart parking lot and began to drive to the residence she shared with defendant in Paris. Barefield testified defendant repeatedly struck her during the drive home. If Barefield slowed down, defendant hit her "harder." The entire trip took 70 minutes. Barefield estimated defendant "beat" her for 45 minutes of the trip. Defendant had beaten her on prior occasions.
¶ 5 On February 26, 2009, Barefield went to a hospital in Champaign, Illinois, and spoke with a Champaign police officer. She testified the officer took photographs of the injuries he observed.The State introduced into evidence the photographs the officer took of Barefield's injuries. The photographs showed bruises on various parts of her body, including her eye, right arm, chest, legs, and hands.
¶ 6 Barefield experiences numbness in her little finger and the finger next to it as a result of the beating. Barefield did not report her injuries until February 26, 2009, because she was developing a plan and needed "help from work."
¶ 7 Barefield testified defendant was identified in her cellular phone as "Reese." The State entered a photograph into evidence of a text message sent from "Rees" to Barefield at 7:16 p.m., on February 23, 2009. The message from "Rees" stated "Im beatin u." At 7:17 p.m., a message reading, "every fuckin 10 minut[ ]es like I told u," was also sent from "Rees." The State entered into evidence a photograph of this text message as well. Barefield testified she was afraid of defendant and he had threatened to kill or hurt her if she ever left him.
¶ 8 Barefield testified based on previous experiences, she knew if she had fought back during the drive home on February 23, 2009, defendant would have punched her "harder." She felt if she had drawn attention to her vehicle during the drive home, the incident "would have been worse than what it was."
¶ 9 The jury found defendant guilty of aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery. The trial court determined the offense of aggravated battery merged with the conviction for aggravated domestic ...