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People v. Cook

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Second District

December 23, 2014

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
PATRICK COOK, Defendant-Appellant

Page 718

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County. No. 10-CF-1212. Honorable Susan Clancy Boles, Judge, Presiding.

Order vacated; cause remanded.

SYLLABUS

Where the trial court found defendant fit to stand trial based on its acceptance of a report of an evaluation that resulted in a stipulation that defendant was fit, but there was no showing that the trial court exercised its discretion by reviewing the report, stating any details as to the basis for the finding or questioning defendant or counsel about defendant's fitness, the finding of fitness was vacated and the cause was remanded for a retrospective determination of defendant's fitness, and if defendant is found fit, his guilty plea to predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and sentence to 10 years' incarceration will stand, but if he is not found fit, the trial court's judgment will be vacated and defendant will be allowed to plead anew.

Michael J. Pelletier, Thomas A. Lilien, Fletcher P. Hamill, State Appellate Defender's Office, of Elgin, for Appellant.

Joseph H. McMahon, State's Attorney, of St. Charles (Lawrence M. Bauer, Scott Jacobson, State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

JUSTICE JORGENSEN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Schostok and Justice Hutchinson concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 719

JORGENSEN, JUSTICE

[¶1] Defendant, Patrick Cook, appeals his conviction of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child (720 ILCS 5/12-14.1(a)(1) (West 2010)). He contends that the trial court failed to hold a proper fitness hearing when it accepted the parties' stipulation that he was fit to stand trial. We determine that defendant's due process rights were violated when the trial court failed to make a record showing that it exercised its discretion in finding defendant fit. Accordingly, we vacate and remand.

[¶2] I. BACKGROUND

[¶3] Defendant was charged on May 13, 2010. In August 2010, defendant's counsel informed the court that defendant took special education classes when he was in school and that, after graduating, he received assistance from a program for adults with developmental disabilities. His maturity level had been assessed as that of six- or seven-year-old. The trial court found a bona fide doubt as to defendant's fitness to stand trial and ordered a fitness evaluation.

[¶4] Dr. Timothy Brown completed the evaluation on September 22, 2010, and the evaluation was filed on October 29, 2010. Brown reported that defendant's IQ was previously reported to be in the bottom percentile of adults. Previous evaluators also determined that he suffered from a major depressive disorder. Brown agreed with those determinations. Previous evaluators found that defendant was a poor historian and was not able to manage his own affairs. Brown found, however, that defendant was lucid and responsive. Defendant described the courtroom to Brown as a " 'big room with two double doors that you walk in.'" He said that people " 'have court cases [and] go to court for different reasons, they put people behind bars.'" He described the judge as a person who " made 'rulings on severe cases.'" Brown said that defendant was initially equivocal about the role of the State's Attorney but was able to give an accurate description after Brown explained it ...


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