The appellate court upheld defendant’s conviction for disorderly conduct based on his alleged encounter with two young girls, notwithstanding his contentions that plain error occurred when the trial court proceeded with a 6-person jury without obtaining defendant’s waiver of a 12-person jury and that the girls’ identification testimony was vague and uncertain, since defense counsel’s statement that he had spoken to defendant about whether he wanted a jury of 6 or 12 implied that defendant participated in the decision to have a jury of 6 and did not merely acquiesce in his counsel’s decision, most of the inconsistencies in the girls’ testimony were unrelated to their identification of defendant, and, under the circumstances, there was no basis to disturb the jury’s assessment of their credibility.
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County, No. 10-CM-2367; the Hon. Karen M. Wilson, Judge, presiding.
Thomas A. Lilien and Paul J. Glaser, both of State Appellate Defender's Appeal Office, of Elgin, for appellant.
Robert B. Berlin, State's Attorney, of Wheaton (Lisa Anne Hoffman and Edward R. Psenicka, Assistant State's Attorneys, of counsel), for the People.
Panel Presiding Justice Burke and Justice Hutchinson concurred in the judgment and opinion.
¶ 1 Defendant, Robert P. Dereadt, was convicted by a six-person jury of disorderly conduct (720 ILCS 5/26-1(a)(1) (West 2010)). He appeals, contending that (1) the trial court committed plain error by proceeding with a 6-person jury without securing defendant's personal waiver of a 12-person jury; and (2) he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt where the eyewitnesses' identification of defendant and his truck was vague and uncertain. We affirm.
¶ 2 On the date set for trial, defendant's attorney told the court:
"Your Honor, we had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Dereadt about the scheduling and about whether he would want a jury of six and twelve, and at this time, he's asking for a jury of six."
¶ 3 The trial court did not discuss the matter directly with defendant, who was present. The following day, the case proceeded with the selection of a six-person jury.
¶ 4 Alycia C. testified that, on April 24, 2010, she and Keileen D., both aged 13, became bored, so they made a sign saying "Honk for God" and waved it at passing cars. Ten to fifteen minutes later, a black pickup truck drove by them twice, then pulled up to the curb and stopped within seven to eight feet of the girls. Alycia noticed that the truck's black paint was dull, looking as if it had been spray-painted on the truck.
¶ 5 The man inside the truck asked if the girls had seen his dog. He said that if they licked "this" he would give them $50. Alycia thought that the man was referring to his "privates." He had something pink and blue in his "upper lap area." The man asked them several more times. They said "no" each time and, after the fourth time, told him to go away. The man drove away and the girls ran into Keileen's house and told her mother, who called the police.
¶ 6 While waiting for detectives to arrive, Keileen drew a picture of the man and his truck. Alycia described the man as white and bald, wearing a navy blue baseball cap with yellow lettering, with hair under his lip and above his chin. She could "kind of see" under his cap. At the police station, the girls put together composite drawings of the man and viewed a six-photo lineup. Alycia chose defendant's photo as looking "closest" to the man. However, she could not identify the man in the ...