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The People of the State of Illinois v. Brandon M. Somers

June 13, 2012

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
BRANDON M. SOMERS,
DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from Circuit Court of Livingston County Nos. 09CF63 10CF231 Honorable Jennifer H. Bauknecht, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Turner

PRESIDING JUSTICE TURNER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

Justices Appleton and Pope concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

¶ 1 In December 2009, defendant, Brandon M. Somers, pleaded guilty to single counts of unlawful possession with intent to deliver cannabis and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia in case No. 09-CF-63. In March 2010, the trial court sentenced him to probation. In October 2010, defendant pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a controlled substance in case No. 10-CF-231. In November 2010, the State filed a petition to revoke defendant's probation in case No. 09-CF-63. In December 2010, the court revoked defendant's probation and sentenced him to concurrent terms of two years and six months in prison on the drug-possession charges in both cases. The court also ordered him to pay $200 to reimburse the public defender in each case.

¶ 2 On appeal, defendant argues (1) his prison sentences were excessive and (2) the trial court's orders requiring him to reimburse the public defender must be vacated. We affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand with directions.

¶ 3 I. BACKGROUND

¶ 4 A. Case No. 09-CF-63

¶ 5 In March 2009, the State charged defendant with one count of unlawful possession with intent to deliver cannabis (10 to 30 grams) (720 ILCS 550/5(c) (West 2008)) and one count of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia (720 ILCS 600/3.5(a) (West 2008)). In April 2009, the trial court appointed the public defender to represent defendant.

¶ 6 In December 2009, defendant pleaded guilty. The State's factual basis indicated members of the Livingston County proactive unit went to a residence to speak with defendant regarding information that he had been selling cannabis. Defendant admitted having cannabis in the residence and consented to a search of a bedroom, which revealed a digital scale, a metal grinder with cannabis residue, two burnt cannabis cigarettes, a pill bottle with cannabis seeds, and a can with three bags of cannabis. Defendant also admitted selling cannabis. The trial court found defendant knowingly and voluntarily pleaded guilty to the two charges.

¶ 7 In March 2010, the trial court sentenced defendant to a term of two years' Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) probation. Along with imposing various fines and fees, the court also ordered him to pay $200 for the services of the public defender.

¶ 8 B. Case No. 10-CF-231

¶ 9 In September 2010, the State charged defendant with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/402(c) (West 2010)), alleging he knowingly possessed less than five grams of a substance containing alprazolam, a controlled substance. The trial court appointed the public defender to represent defendant.

¶ 10 In October 2010, defendant pleaded guilty. The State's factual basis indicated police officers went to a residence to locate a subject who had been involved in an earlier traffic stop. Upon entering the second-floor residence, the officers detected a strong odor of burnt cannabis. A search warrant was obtained, and the ensuing search of a bedroom revealed a wooden box containing two blue pills identified as alprazolam. Later, defendant, who was present during the search, stated the bedroom and the box were his. The trial court found defendant knowingly and voluntarily pleaded guilty to the charge.

¶ 11 C. Petition To Revoke in Case No. 09-CF-63

ΒΆ 12 In November 2010, the State filed a petition to revoke defendant's probation in case No. 09-CF-63 based on the new charge and guilty plea in case No. 10-CF-231. In December 2010, defendant ...


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