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People v. Moman

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fourth Division

August 14, 2014

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JAQUAN MOMAN, Defendant-Appellant

Page 710

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 12 CR 04027. Honorable James B. Linn, Judge Presiding.

FOR APPELLANT: Michael J. Pelletier, State Appellate Defender, Alan D. Goldberg, Deputy Defender, Office of the State Appellate Defender, Lauren A. Bauser, Assistant Appellate Defender, Office of the State Appellate Defender.

FOR APPELLEE: Anita Alvarez, State's Attorney, County of Cook, Alan, Spellberg, Assistant State's Attorney, Eve Reilly, Assistant State's Attorney.

JUSTICE EPSTEIN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Howse and Justice Lavin concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 711

EPSTEIN, J.

[¶1] The State charged defendant Jaquan Moman with aggravated battery for kicking a correctional officer while defendant was in custody. Following a bench trial, the trial court acquitted defendant of aggravated battery, but found him guilty of the uncharged offense of obstructing a peace officer. Defendant appeals, contending that the trial court violated his right to due process of law in convicting him of that uncharged offense. We disagree, as obstructing a peace officer was a lesser-included offense of the charged offense of aggravated battery and the evidence at trial rationally supported a conviction for obstructing a peace officer. We affirm defendant's conviction.

[¶2] I. BACKGROUND

[¶3] Defendant was charged with two counts of aggravated battery, which alleged that defendant kicked Jesus Barajas, a correctional officer at Cook County jail, " while Jesus Barajas was performing his official duties." At defendant's bench trial, Barajas testified that, on February 7, 2012, he was assigned to the in-house hospital in the jail. He was dressed in his sheriff's department uniform that day.

[¶4] Defendant, an inmate at the jail, was scheduled for an appointment at the jail's hospital. After bringing defendant to the hospital and registering defendant in the emergency room, Barajas told defendant to sit in the emergency room waiting area. Defendant complied.

[¶5] While defendant was waiting to be seen, he stood and looked through a window on the door to the emergency room. Barajas told defendant to sit down and defendant complied. Later, defendant stood and tried to open the door to the emergency room. Barajas again instructed defendant to sit down and defendant complied. Barajas then went into the emergency room and asked if defendant could be seen soon. When Barajas returned to the waiting room, defendant was again trying to open the door. Barajas told defendant that he was going to use leg irons to shackle defendant because he continued to try to open the door.

[¶6] Barajas and another officer escorted defendant to a bench in the waiting room. As Barajas crouched to shackle defendant's legs, defendant kicked Barajas in the back three times. Barajas managed to shackle defendant's legs so that he stopped kicking. Barajas testified that, after the incident, a doctor examined his back and gave him over-the-counter pain medication. He testified that he periodically had back pain following the incident, but denied having any bruises or requiring physical therapy.

[¶7] The trial court found that Barajas was " a credible and compelling witness." The court found defendant not guilty of aggravated battery, however, stating, " I find that what the case is about is not that [defendant] was necessarily looking to attack [Barajas], but he was arguing and getting physical about the fact that he was being restrained and ordered around the jail." The trial court found defendant guilty of " ...


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