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People v. Carr

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

June 24, 2013

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
KENT CARR, Defendant-Appellant.

Rehearing denied July 26, 2013.

Held[*]

Defendant’s conviction for criminal damage to government-supported property in the course of an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol was upheld on appeal, regardless of the fact that the fleet maintenance officer for the State Police stated during his testimony that he “assumed” the State Police vehicle defendant damaged was purchased and maintained with State funds, since his assumption about the funds used for the squad car did not negate the substance of his testimony.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of La Salle County, No. 10-CF-216; the Hon. Cynthia J. Raccuglia, Judge, presiding.

Michael J. Greco (argued), of Chicago, for appellant.

Brian Towne, State's Attorney, of Ottawa (Terry A. Mertel and Nadia L. Chaudhry (argued), both of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

Panel PRESIDING JUSTICE WRIGHT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justice Carter concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

WRIGHT, Presiding Justice.

¶ 1 After a bench trial, the court found defendant, Kent Carr, guilty of one count of criminal damage to government-supported property (720 ILCS 5/21-4(1)(a) (West 2010)), one count of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) (West 2010)), driving with a suspended license (625 ILCS 5/6-303(a) (West 2010)), and speeding 40 miles per hour over the speed limit (625 ILCS 5/11-601(b) (West 2010)). On appeal, defendant argues the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions for criminal damage to government-supported property and DUI. We affirm.

¶ 2 FACTS

¶ 3 On May 25, 2010, the State charged defendant by way of indictment with criminal damage to government-supported property by alleging defendant knowingly damaged an Illinois State Police squad car. The charging documents for defendant's other offenses do not appear in the record.

¶ 4 Defendant's bench trial took place on September 13, 2011. The State called Trooper Zachary McNelly as its first witness. McNelly testified that, on May 8, 2010, while on patrol, he was traveling eastbound on Interstate 80 and, at approximately 6:30 p.m., he was near mile marker 82. At that location, he observed a silver minivan, driven by defendant, traveling at a high rate of speed. McNelly activated his front radar and determined that the speed of the vehicle was 105 miles per hour. As a result of the radar reading, McNelly activated his oscillating lights, crossed over the center median to turn west, and stopped defendant's van.

¶ 5 McNelly approached the passenger side of the minivan and noticed a child, approximately two years old, sitting on defendant's lap. McNelly requested defendant to produce a driver's license. Defendant responded to this request by stating that his license was suspended. After McNelly noticed a strong odor of alcohol emitting from defendant's vehicle, defendant admitted he had consumed two alcoholic beverages. McNelly then asked defendant to perform three field sobriety tests, all of which defendant failed.

¶ 6 McNelly arrested defendant and placed him in the back of his squad car. Since defendant was very tall, he sat in the squad car with his feet on the backseat and his back against the window of the rear driver's side. Once seated in the vehicle, defendant became extremely agitated and began yelling and screaming. As McNelly recited defendant's Miranda rights, McNelly heard a loud sound and saw ...


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