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People v. Burnley

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fifth District

February 19, 2014

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
TERRELL BURNLEY, Defendant-Appellant

Appeal fro the Circuit Court of St. Clair County. No. 11-CF-1404. Honorable John Baricevic, Judge, presiding.

SYLLABUS

The appellate court rejected defendant's contention that his residential burglary conviction should be reduced to simple burglary because no one resided in the house he burglarized or intended to reside there within a reasonable period of time and, therefore, it was not a dwelling for purposes of the residential burglary statute, since the house was not abandoned, vacant, or unoccupied, and although the victim owned another house where she primarily resided, the utilities at the burglarized house were on, it contained the victim's personal property, including a bed, a washer and dryer, and business documents, she visited the house frequently, she kept it neat and secure, and she was outraged when defendant violated the " privacy and sanctity" the residential burglary statute was designed to protect, and a rational jury could have found that the burglarized house was a dwelling within the meaning of the residential burglary statute.

For Appellant: Michael J. Pelletier, State Appellate Defender, Alan D. Goldberg, Deputy Defender, Robert N. Markfield, Assistant Appellate Defender, Office of the State Appellate Defender, First Judicial District, Chicago, IL.

For Appellee: Hon. Brendan F. Kelly, State's Attorney, St. Clair County Courthouse, Belleville, IL; Patrick Delfino, Director, Stephen E. Norris, Deputy Director, Jennifer Camden, Staff Attorney, Office of the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor, Mt. Vernon, IL.

PRESIDING JUSTICE WELCH delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Goldenhersh and Cates concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

WELCH, PRESIDING JUSTICE.

[¶1] At the conclusion of a jury trial held in the circuit court of St. Clair County, the defendant, Terrell Burnley, was convicted of residential burglary. On May 15, 2012, the defendant was sentenced to prison for

Page 325

a term of eight years. The defendant appeals, arguing that he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt because the evidence is insufficient to show that the home which he was found guilty of burglarizing was a " dwelling place" as defined in the Criminal Code of 1961 (the Code) (720 ILCS 5/19-3(a), 2-6(b) (West 2010)). He asks that we reduce his conviction to one for simple burglary and remand the cause for resentencing.

[¶2] Section 19-3(a) of the Code defines the offense of residential burglary, of which the defendant was convicted, as follows: " A person commits residential burglary who knowingly and without authority enters or knowingly and without authority remains within the dwelling place of another, or any part thereof, with the intent to commit therein a felony or theft." (Emphasis added.) 720 ILCS 5/19-3(a) (West 2010). Section 2-6(b) of the Code defines the term dwelling for purposes of section 19-3(a) as " a house, apartment, mobile home, trailer, or other living quarters in which at the time of the alleged offense the owners or occupants actually reside or in their absence intend within a reasonable period of time to reside." 720 ILCS 5/2-6(b) (West 2010). The defendant argues on appeal that the house which he was found guilty of burglarizing was not a dwelling within the meaning of the residential burglary statute because no one actually resided in it or had any intention within a reasonable period of time to reside in it.

[¶3] We note that the defendant did not attack the charge prior to or at trial as being insufficient as a matter of law to charge him with residential burglary. On appeal he argues only that the evidence is insufficient to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. When a defendant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence, it is not the function of the reviewing court to retry the defendant. People v. Evans, 209 Ill.2d 194, 209, 808 N.E.2d 939, 283 Ill.Dec. 651 (2004). A reviewing court must determine whether, after viewing all the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, any rational trier of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Id. We will not reverse a conviction unless the evidence is so unreasonable, improbable, or unsatisfactory that it raises a reasonable doubt of the defendant's guilt. Id. Accordingly, the question presented to us on review is whether, viewing all the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, a rational jury could have found that the house which the defendant burglarized is a " dwelling" within the meaning of the residential burglary statute. We answer that question in the affirmative.

[¶4] At the defendant's jury trial the following pertinent evidence was adduced. The victim, Lorena Riley, testified that she owned the house in Cahokia which the defendant burglarized. She also owned a house in Shiloh in which she primarily lived. She had purchased the Shiloh house for her parents. She stated that she had lived at the Shiloh house " [m]aybe about on and off for a year."

[¶5] Although she lived primarily at the Shiloh house, the victim kept a lot of personal property in the Cahokia house including clothing, a bed, a television, a table and chairs, a brand-new stackable washer and dryer which she was planning to install in the house, and a lot of business paperwork. The victim owned rental properties as well as a Blimpie restaurant franchise. Much of this personal property she was planning to move to the Shiloh house. Although the victim agreed that the Cahokia house was ...


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