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People v. Lake

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

April 8, 2015

ANGUS D. LAKE, Defendant-Appellant

Page 1175

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois, Circuit No. 11-CF-680. Honorable Robert P. Livas, Judge, Presiding.

Mark D. Fisher, of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Ottawa, for appellant.

James Glasgow, State's Attorney, of Joliet (Dawn Duffy, of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

JUSTICE SCHMIDT delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice McDade and Justice Wright concurred in the judgment and opinion.



Page 1176

[¶1] Defendant, Angus D. Lake, pled guilty to aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(1), (d)(1)(F) (West 2010)). Defendant appeals, arguing that: (1) his sentence of nine years' imprisonment was excessive; and (2) a $5-per-day presentence incarceration credit should be applied against various fines imposed by the trial court. We affirm defendant's sentence, vacate the trial court's order for fines and fees, and remand the matter of fines and fees to the trial court with directions.

[¶2] FACTS

[¶3] Defendant pled guilty to aggravated DUI (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(1), (d)(1)(F) (West 2010)) based on having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more and being involved in a motor vehicle accident in which a vehicle driven by defendant struck a horse that Michelle Eustis, defendant's girlfriend, was riding, resulting in Michelle's death. In exchange for defendant's guilty plea, the State agreed to dismiss three additional charges against defendant. The parties made no agreement concerning defendant's sentence.

[¶4] A sentencing hearing was held. Police officer Cornelious Monroe testified that he interviewed defendant on April 11, 2011. Defendant stated that he raced horses at Balmoral Park racetrack (Balmoral) on the evening of April 10, 2011. Afterward, defendant went to a bar near the racetrack with Michelle and others at approximately 11:30 p.m. or 12 a.m. While there, defendant drank approximately four beers. The group left the bar at approximately 2 a.m. and went to a barn at the racetrack and continued drinking. Defendant drank four to five swigs from a bottle of whiskey at the barn. Michelle and Heather France left the barn to take a ride on Michelle's horse.

[¶5] When Michelle and France had been gone for approximately 20 minutes, defendant got into his truck and drove off on a gravel access road to look for them. Monroe said the road was " pretty dark" at night. Defendant told Monroe he was driving at a speed of approximately 20

Page 1177

miles per hour. Defendant felt impaired or " buzzed" when he began driving. Defendant told Monroe that he felt the same way when he drove that night as he did on previous occasions when he had been charged with DUI. As he was driving, defendant saw Michelle and France riding bareback on a horse. He drove alongside the horse, and the horse began bucking its head. The horse struck the truck and the two women fell off the horse. Defendant's truck went into a ditch. Defendant got out of his truck, checked on Michelle and France, and called 911.

[¶6] Marcus Turner testified that, on the evening in question, he went to a bar near the racetrack with defendant, Michelle, France, and others. They were all drinking beer. They all left the bar at approximately 1 or 1:30 a.m. and went to a barn at the racetrack to " party." Defendant, Michelle, and France left the barn. Michelle and France were headed to the other side of the racetrack to get Michelle's horse. After about 15 or 20 minutes, Turner went outside and saw defendant's truck on the side of the road and Michelle and France lying in the road. Defendant was sitting down and smoking a cigarette. Defendant appeared to be in shock. Turner asked defendant if he called an ambulance. Defendant did not respond. Turner asked a second time, and defendant called an ambulance. Defendant appeared to be drunk; defendant's eyes were red and he smelled of alcohol.

[¶7] Kevin Meredith and Michael Waterman, firefighter paramedics, responded in separate ambulances to Balmoral at approximately 4:46 a.m. on April 11, 2011, in response to a call of someone falling off a horse. Waterman testified that he was in the first ambulance to arrive on the scene. When Waterman arrived, he heard a lot of screaming and observed two women lying on the ground. Waterman treated Michelle, who was bleeding from a head wound. Michelle was taken to a hospital in the ambulance. Michelle subsequently died as a result of her injuries. Meredith arrived on the scene after Waterman. Meredith treated France, who had injuries to her clavicle and both legs. France admitted that she had been drinking and appeared to be intoxicated.

[¶8] David Bartucci testified that he was a security officer at Balmoral. Bartucci responded to the scene of the accident early in the morning on April 11, 2011. He saw defendant standing outside defendant's truck. Bartucci told defendant to go to his truck and not leave. Defendant initially moved his truck but stayed in the area. After about 20 minutes, defendant drove away. Bartucci followed defendant on a " brief pursuit throughout the grounds." Eventually, defendant stopped his truck, walked into one of the barns, and began feeding horses. Bartucci asked defendant to follow him. Defendant yelled at Bartucci, saying that he did not have to go anywhere, he had probably lost his girlfriend, and he was just trying to feed his horses. Bartucci replied that defendant had to go back to the scene of the accident and talk to the police when they arrived. Defendant seemed distraught. Defendant eventually followed Bartucci to the scene of the accident.

[¶9] State Trooper Joshua Lotley testified that he was dispatched to Balmoral at approximately 6:33 a.m. on April 11, 2011. Defendant had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. Defendant said he had been drinking. Lotley conducted a Breathalyzer test on defendant, and defendant had a BAC of 0.147. Defendant told Lotley that he drove ...

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