Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois Circuit No. 07-CF-2471 Honorable Amy Bertani-Tomczak, Judge, Presiding.
Justices McDade and Schmidt concurred in the judgment and opinion.
¶ 1 The defendant, Richard Gabrys, pled guilty to criminal damage to property (720 ILCS 5/21-1(1)(a) (West 2006)) and was sentenced to 24 months of probation and 180 days in jail. On appeal, the defendant argues that: (1) the circuit court erred when it denied his motions to withdraw his guilty plea because defense counsel labored under a conflict of interest when representing the defendant on his motions; and (2) defense counsel failed to strictly comply with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 604(d) (eff. July 1, 2006). We vacate the circuit court's judgments on the motions to withdraw the guilty plea and remand with directions.
¶ 2 FACTS
¶ 3 On January 4, 2008, the defendant was charged by indictment with three counts of Class 4 felony criminal damage to property (720 ILCS 5/21-1(1)(a) (West 2006)) and one count of Class A misdemeanor criminal damage to property (720 ILCS 5/21-1(1)(a) (West 2006)). The indictment alleged that on four separate occasions in 2007, the defendant damaged a backyard lawn, a front door, a garage door, and a gas grill belonging to Donald Gasparic.
¶ 4 In June 2008, the defendant, through counsel, filed a motion to suppress statements the defendant made to police. The defendant made these statements at the hospital on October 28, 2007, where he was being treated for three gunshot wounds inflicted by Gasparic. The motion alleged that the defendant was on at least seven medications, including morphine, at the time he gave those statements.
¶ 5 Several public defenders appeared on behalf of the defendant during the pendency of pretrial matters. Assistant Public Defender Shenonda Tisdale first appeared on September 23, 2009. It appears from the record that from that date forward, Tisdale was the defendant's attorney.
¶ 6 After a hearing was held on the defendant's motion to suppress, the circuit court granted the motion on February 15, 2011.
¶ 7 On April 11, 2011, the case was called for trial. The State informed the circuit court that it was dropping all charges except one charge of Class 4 criminal damage to property. After a recess, defense counsel told the court that the defendant decided to plead guilty to the one count of Class 4 criminal damage to property. She stated that there was no plea agreement.
¶ 8 During guilty-plea admonishments, the court asked the defendant if he was on any medications. The defendant stated he was on medication for anxiety and depression, and that he took another medication to help him sleep. The defendant said that those medications did not affect his ability to communicate with defense counsel or understand the court.
¶ 9 When the court asked the State for a factual basis, the State said that the defendant poured gasoline on Gasparic's backyard lawn, causing more than $300 but less than $10, 000 damage. The defendant clarified that he poured a mixture of old oil and diesel fuel on the lawn.
¶ 10 Also during admonishments, the State informed the court that part of the agreement was that it would not charge the defendant with anything arising from phone calls the defendant had made to the victim. After admonishments, the court accepted the defendant's guilty plea.
¶ 11 On May 4, 2011, defense counsel filed a motion to withdraw the defendant's guilty plea, which stated only that "the Defendant wishes to withdraw his guilty plea." Also filed on May 4, 2011, was a letter from the defendant to ...