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The People of the State of Illinois v. Christian Lopez-Bonilla

December 14, 2011

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
CHRISTIAN LOPEZ-BONILLA,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County. No. 08-CF-2469 Honorable Allen M. Anderson, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Zenoff

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

Presiding Justice Jorgensen and Justice Bowman concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

¶ 1 Defendant, Christian Lopez-Bonilla, appeals the trial court's order applying truth-in-sentencing provisions to his sentence for home invasion (720 ILCS 5/12-11(a)(2) (West 2008)), resulting in a denial of day-for-day good-conduct credit. He contends that the trial court misconstrued the statutory term "great bodily harm" under section 3-6-3(a)(2)(iii) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Code) (730 ILCS 5/3-6-3(a)(2)(iii) (West 2008)) when it determined that truth-in-sentencing provisions applied such that he was required to serve no less than 85% of his sentence. We affirm.

¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

¶ 3 On November 5, 2008, defendant was charged with multiple counts, including home invasion. On February 22, 2010, a jury trial was held.

¶ 4 Evidence at trial showed that, in August 2008, at about 11:30 p.m., several people wearing masks broke into the home of Steven Layne after he and his family had gone to bed. After hearing noises and being unable to get a dial tone on the phone, Layne retrieved a baseball bat from a closet and went to investigate. He swung the bat at one of the intruders and then was jumped by at least two people.

¶ 5 Layne testified that the men started kicking and hitting him. Layne said that he saw a gun and that one of the men hit him over the head with it. He said that he started bleeding and could feel the blood coming out. Layne stated that someone then grabbed his hair and started throwing his head back and forth into the drawer of a desk. Layne did not know how many times his head hit the desk but he said that it was enough to take huge chunks of wood out of the drawer. The intruders then threw Layne down, placing him facedown in blood. They bound Layne's hands and legs with tape and put tape over his mouth and eyes. Layne felt like he was losing consciousness and then heard yelling and the sounds of people running out of the house. Layne reached into the desk drawer for scissors and cut himself free.

¶ 6 After freeing himself, Layne saw that his mother and children were in the room with him, also bound with tape. Layne freed his mother and gave her the scissors to free the children. Layne then went to look for his wife and discovered that she had broken a window screen and fled. As Layne was getting his family into a van to flee, the police arrived.

¶ 7 Layne was placed in an ambulance and cleaned up. The ambulance crew wanted to take him to the hospital for stitches, but he refused hospital treatment, stating that he did not want to leave his children. Layne described the cut on his head as "sizeable" and said that there was "a lot" of blood on the floor in the house from it. He also had a neck injury. Layne said that he felt pain that lingered for some time afterward, although he did not state specifically how long the pain lasted. Photographs of Layne's injuries taken after he was cleaned up were described by a witness as depicting various lacerations to the top of Layne's head and to the left eye, lacerations on the left arm, lacerations in the area above the left eye, and a laceration behind the jaw bone.*fn1 Layne's mother testified that, during the incident, she saw Layne with blood coming from his face.

¶ 8 Defendant was later questioned about the incident. Defendant admitted that he was one of six people who broke into the house. He denied that he took part in Layne's beating. Daniel Feliciano, another of the six men, testified against defendant under a plea agreement. He described how members of the group planned the crime and cut the phone line. Feliciano indicated that defendant was in the room with Layne during the beating while others in the group were in other parts of the house.

ΒΆ 9 Defendant was found guilty and sentenced to 23 years' incarceration. The court found that the conduct leading to the conviction resulted in great bodily harm to Layne. As a result, the court found that truth-in-sentencing provisions applied such that defendant would be required to serve no less than 85% of his sentence. Defendant moved to reconsider, arguing that Layne did not suffer great bodily harm and that the sentence was disproportionate to the sentences imposed on his co-defendants. The court reduced the ...


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