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People v. Bradford

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

November 24, 2014

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JESSE TRAVIS BRADFORD, Defendant-Appellant

Page 754

As Corrected.

Appeal from Circuit Court of McLean County. No. 12CF672. Honorable John C. Costigan, Judge Presiding.

Affirmed.

SYLLABUS

Defendant's burglary conviction was affirmed, notwithstanding his contentions that he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and that the circuit clerk lacked authority to enter monetary assessments against him, since the evidence established that he entered a store and remained there " without authority" by moving through the store stealing merchandise, especially when his purpose for being there was inconsistent with the purpose for which the store was open to the public and any authority defendant had to remain in the store was implicitly withdrawn when he formed the intent to steal, and with respect to the circuit clerk's assessments for probation and court services operations and the State's Attorney's records automation, those assessments were fees that were properly assessed by the circuit clerk to pay for the presentence investigation and report prepared by the probation office for the trial court's use at defendant's sentencing and the State's Attorney's expenses arising from the automated record-keeping systems.

Michael J. Pelletier, Jacqueline L. Bullard, and Nancy L. Vincent, all of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Springfield, for appellant.

Jason Chambers, State's Attorney, of Bloomington (Patrick Delfino, David J. Robinson, and James C. Majors, all of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

JUSTICE HARRIS delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Pope and Turner concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 755

HARRIS, JUSTICE

[¶1] Following a January 2013 bench trial, the trial court found defendant guilty of burglary (720 ILCS 5/19-1(a) (West 2010)) and sentenced defendant to three years in prison. Defendant appeals, asserting (1) the State failed to prove him guilty of burglary beyond a reasonable doubt and (2) the monetary assessments imposed by the circuit clerk must be vacated as the clerk lacked authority to enter them. We affirm.

[¶2] I. BACKGROUND

[¶3] On July 25, 2012, defendant was charged by indictment with burglary, a Class 2 felony (720 ILCS 5/19-1(a), (b) (West 2010)). The indictment alleged that on July 19, 2012, defendant " knowingly and without authority remain[ed] within the building of Walmart, with the intent to commit therein a felony or a theft."

[¶4] On January 18, 2013, defendant's bench trial commenced. Stephen Norton, an asset-protection associate for Walmart, testified first for the State. Norton testified he was working at Walmart on July 19, 2012, when he saw defendant enter the store. Norton was familiar with defendant and " knew he had to be watched." According to Norton, he observed defendant, upon entering the store, walk directly to a display of newly released digital video discs (DVDs) located near the store's entrance. Norton then watched as defendant took two DVDs from the display and proceeded to the customer-service desk, where he conducted a " no receipt return." In exchange for the DVDs, Norton testified defendant received a Walmart gift card reflecting a credit for the price of the DVDs he " returned." Norton testified that after obtaining the gift card, defendant went into the men's apparel department, where he selected a hat, and then to the shoe department, where defendant selected some shoes. While he was in the shoe department, Norton stated defendant removed the tag from the hat and put the hat on his head. Defendant then produced a Walmart bag from his person and placed the shoes in the bag.

[¶5] Norton testified defendant next met up with an unknown male and the two of them went to a cash register, where defendant paid for the unknown male's items using the gift card he received from customer service. According to Norton, defendant did not attempt to pay for the merchandise he had concealed in the Walmart bag or the hat he was wearing. Norton testified after defendant and the unknown male passed the last point of purchase, Norton and his partner approached them. They identified themselves as loss-prevention employees and told defendant and his companion they needed to talk to them about unpaid merchandise. Defendant refused to talk, handed the bag containing the " paid-for" merchandise to the other male, and walked out of the store. Norton called the Bloomington police department.

[¶6] Norton testified that throughout the incident, he personally watched defendant as he moved through the store from a distance of no more than 20 feet. Norton testified he had either an unobstructed view of defendant, or he watched defendant through holes in the Peg-Boards of the shelves. In a photograph introduced by the State, Norton identified the two DVDs from the fraudulent return, the hat defendant wore out of the store, the pair of shoes, and a bottle of Dr. Pepper, all of which were contained in the Walmart bag.

[¶7] Ryne Donovan, a Bloomington police officer, testified next for the State. Donovan responded to a retail-theft call from

Page 756

Walmart on July 19, 2012. Upon arriving at Walmart, Donovan stated he met with two loss-prevention employees who pointed out defendant in a neighboring parking lot as the suspect in the theft. After being read his Miranda rights ( Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966)), defendant elected to speak to Donovan. According to Donovan, defendant told him the following.

" [Defendant] went into [Walmart], selected two DVDs from a display, *** returned them to customer service without paying for them, [and] got a gift card for them. He then went back into the store to shop around. He selected a blue cookie monster hat, a 20-ounce Dr. Pepper and a pair of shoes and concealed them in a [Walmart] bag. He then continued to shop and he selected a package of socks and tank tops which he did not conceal. He brought them up to the register, paid for the socks and tank tops with the gift card that he got from the DVDs and then he went to the front of the store without paying for the three items that he concealed ...

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