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People v. Davis

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

December 8, 2014

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
LORONZO A. DAVIS, Defendant-Appellant

Page 1168

Appeal from Circuit Court of Macon County. No. 12CF375. Honorable Thomas E. Griffith, Jr., Judge Presiding.

SYLLABUS

Defendant's convictions for unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and driving while his license was revoked were upheld over his contentions that his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to object to the admission of the contents of a text message on his telephone and his failure to move to suppress the message and that the evidence was insufficient to prove that he intended to deliver the controlled substance, since there was an adequate foundation after the officer who discovered the message testified that he had read the message and the best evidence rule did not apply where the State only used the message to prove defendant's intent to deliver the cocaine, and under the circumstances, the evidence was sufficient to support an inference that defendant intended to deliver the cocaine that was discovered in his pocket following a traffic stop.

Michael J. Pelletier, Jacqueline L. Bullard, and Daaron V. Kimmel (argued), all of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Springfield, for appellant.

Jay Scott, State's Attorney, of Decatur (Patrick Delfino, David J. Robinson, and David E. Mannchen (argued), all of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

JUSTICE KNECHT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Holder White and Steigmann concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

KNECHT, JUSTICE.

Page 1169

[¶1] In March 2012, the State charged defendant, Loronzo A. Davis, with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (prior offense) (720 ILCS 570/401(c)(2) (West 2012)). In June 2012, the State charged defendant with driving while license revoked (prior offense) (625 ILCS 5/6-303(d-3) (West 2012)). In August 2012, a Macon County jury found defendant guilty of both offenses. In November 2012, the trial court sentenced defendant to nine years' imprisonment for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and three years' imprisonment for driving while license revoked, with the sentences to run concurrently.

[¶2] On appeal, defendant argues trial counsel was ineffective for failing to (1) object to the admission of the contents of a text message, and (2) file a motion to suppress the contents of the text message. Defendant also argues the evidence was insufficient to prove he possessed a controlled substance with the intent to deliver. We affirm.

[¶3] I. BACKGROUND

[¶4] In March 2012, the State charged defendant with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (720 ILCS 570/401(c)(2) (West 2012)). In June 2012, the State charged defendant with driving while license revoked with three prior convictions for driving with a revoked license (625 ILCS 5/6-303(d-3) (West 2012)).

[¶5] In August 2012, the trial court held a jury trial at which the following evidence was presented. Bradley Hall, a police officer with the Decatur police department, testified he conducted a traffic stop at 1:07 a.m. on January 8, 2012, of the vehicle defendant was driving. From the time Hall activated his emergency lights to the time defendant stopped the vehicle, Hall had a clear view of the vehicle and did not see anything come out of the vehicle. Hall arrested defendant for driving with a revoked driver's license and conducted a search incident to arrest of defendant's person. Hall located a clear plastic bag containing a white rock-like substance in defendant's pants pocket. This substance was later determined to be 2.1 grams of cocaine base. Hall did not locate anything in defendant's vehicle or on his person which could be used to consume cocaine. Nor did he locate a scale, other plastic bags, or any money.

[¶6] David Dailey, a detective with the Decatur police department, testified as an expert in controlled substance distribution. He testified cocaine base is the scientific term for crack cocaine. Crack cocaine is different from powder ...


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