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The People of the State of Illinois v. Dewayne Hunter

April 4, 2013

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,
APPELLANT,
v.
DEWAYNE HUNTER,
APPELLEE.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Freeman

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

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

OPINION

¶ 1 The circuit court of Cook County granted the motion of defendant, Dewayne Hunter, to dismiss several counts of his indictment for violating the compulsory joinder statute (720 ILCS 5/3-3(b) (West 2008)) and the speedy-trial statute (725 ILCS 5/103-5(b) (West 2008)). The appellate court affirmed the dismissal. 2012 IL App (1st) 092681. This court allowed the State's petition for leave to appeal. Ill. S. Ct. R. 315 (eff. Feb. 26, 2010). We now affirm the judgment of the appellate court, and remand the cause to the circuit court for further proceedings.

¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

¶ 3 For purposes of defendant's motion to dismiss, the parties do not dispute the underlying factual allegations. On October 5, 2008, Chicago police officers conducted a surveillance for narcotics activity around a building located at 4019 West Van Buren Street. The officers observed as follows. Defendant stood in the doorway of the building, while a co-defendant stood on the sidewalk in front of the building. On two occasions, the co-defendant accepted money from an unknown person and then nodded to defendant. In response, defendant retrieved an item from the vestibule behind him and handed it to the unknown person, who immediately walked away. The officers broke their surveillance and arrested defendant as he attempted to re-enter the building's vestibule. An officer recovered 10.6 grams of cannabis and a handgun from the vestibule near defendant. Another officer recovered a second handgun from a staircase in the vestibule approximately five feet away from defendant.

¶ 4 The record contains the following procedural background. On October 6, 2008, defendant appeared before the circuit court on a charge of possession of cannabis. The State did not bring any charges relating to the handguns that had been recovered at the same time as the cannabis. The court found probable cause to detain and set bail. Defendant filed a written demand for trial.

¶ 5 On November 13, 2008, the State charged defendant by information with a single offense of possession of cannabis with intent to deliver. The State still did not bring any charges relating to the guns. The court found probable cause. Defendant again demanded trial. The matter was placed on the trial call, and several continuances were granted with defendant's agreement.

¶ 6 On March 23, 2009, the State informed the court and defendant that the State would seek to indict defendant on additional charges. On March 30, 2009, 175 days following defendant's October 6, 2008, demand for trial, the grand jury returned a six-count indictment against defendant: one count of being an armed habitual criminal (720 ILCS 5/24-1 (West 2008)), four counts of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon (720 ILCS 5/24-1.1(a) (West 2008)), and the original charge of possession of cannabis with intent to deliver (720 ILCS 550/5(c) (West 2008)).*fn1

¶ 7 Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the five new gun-related counts of the indictment. He contended that the compulsory joinder statute (720 ILCS 5/3-3(b) (West 2008)) required the State to charge the gun-related offenses with the original cannabis charge. Defendant, who was released on bail, observed that the speedy-trial statute required that he be tried within 160 days from the date he demanded trial (725 ILCS 5/103-5(b) (West 2008)). Therefore, according to defendant, the State's failure to comply with the compulsory joinder statute regarding the additional gun charges resulted in a violation of the speedy-trial statute. The circuit court granted defendant's motion to dismiss the five gun-related charges, and denied the State's motion to reconsider. The State appealed pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 604(a)(1) (Ill. S. Ct. R. 604(a)(1) (eff. July 1, 2006)). The appellate court affirmed the dismissal. 2012 IL App (1st) 092681. The State appeals to this court.

¶ 8 II. ANALYSIS

¶ 9 The State contends that the later-filed gun charges did not violate the speedy-trial statute. Criminal defendants possess both constitutional (U.S. Const., amends. VI, XIV; Ill. Const. 1970, art. I, § 8) and statutory (725 ILCS 5/103-5 (West 2008)) rights to a speedy trial. While these provisions address similar concerns, the statutory right and the constitutional right are not coextensive. People v. Woodrum, 223 Ill. 2d 286, 298 (2006); People v. Gooden, 189 Ill. 2d 209, 216-17 (2000). In the case at bar, defendant asserted solely a violation of his statutory right to a speedy trial and did not raise a constitutional issue.

¶ 10 The speedy-trial statute provides, in pertinent part, that every defendant who was in custody for an alleged offense, and is subsequently released on bail, shall be tried within 160 days from the date the defendant files a written demand for trial. 725 ILCS 5/103-5(b) (West 2008). A defendant not tried within the statutory period must be released from his trial obligations and have the charges dismissed. 725 ILCS 5/103-5(d), 114-1(a)(1) (West 2008); Woodrum, 223 Ill. 2d at 299. The compulsory joinder statute requires the State to prosecute all known offenses within the jurisdiction of a single court in a single criminal case "if they are based on the same act." 720 ILCS 5/3-3(b) (West 2008). This court has described the interplay between the speedy-trial and compulsory joinder statutes:

"Compulsory joinder requires the State to bring multiple charges in a single prosecution. The charges are tried together unless the circuit court determines that a separate trial is required in the interest of justice. [Citation.] Once a speedy-trial demand is filed, the multiple charges are subject to the same speedy-trial period. If the charges are required to be brought in a single prosecution, the speedy-trial period begins to run when the speedy-trial demand is filed, even if the State brings some of the charges at a later date. 'Where new and additional charges arise from the same facts as did the original charges and the State had knowledge of these facts at the commencement of the prosecution, the time within which trial is to begin on the new and additional ...


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