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People v. Wrencher

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

April 30, 2015

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
RAYMOND WRENCHER, Defendant-Appellant

Page 816

Appeal from Circuit Court of Champaign County. No. 07CF954. Honorable Heidi N. Ladd, Judge Presiding.

Michael J. Pelletier, of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Springfield, and Thomas A. Lilien and Rikin Shah, both of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Elgin, for appellant.

Julia Rietz, State's Attorney, of Urbana (Patrick Delfino, David J. Robinson, and Linda Susan McClain, all of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

JUSTICE APPLETON delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Turner and Harris concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 817

APPLETON, JUSTICE.

[¶1] A jury found defendant, Raymond Wrencher, guilty of two counts of aggravated battery (720 ILCS 5/12-4(b)(18) (West 2006)), for which the trial court sentenced him to a total of 14 years' imprisonment (7 years for each count). On direct appeal, we affirmed the trial court's judgment. People v. Wrencher, 2011 IL App. (4th) 080619, 959 N.E.2d 693, 355 Ill.Dec. 279.

[¶2] Later, in October 2011, defendant filed a petition for postconviction relief, and in April 2012, appointed counsel filed an amended petition. The amended petition claimed that trial counsel, Anthony Ortega, had rendered ineffective assistance by failing to advise defendant he had the option of tendering a jury instruction on a lesser included offense, resisting a peace officer (720 ILCS 5/31-1(a), (a-7) (West 2006)). The postconviction proceeding advanced to the third stage, in which, after hearing evidence, the trial court denied the amended petition. Defendant appeals.

[¶3] We affirm the trial court's judgment because, in our de novo review, we find the trial record devoid of any evidence that could have justified a conviction of resisting a peace officer and a simultaneous acquittal of aggravated battery.

[¶4] I. BACKGROUND

[¶5] A. The Information

[¶6] The information, filed on June 5, 2007, had two counts, both charging defendant with aggravated battery (720 ILCS 5/12-4(b)(18) (West 2006)). Count I alleged:

" [O]n June 5, 2007, *** [defendant] committed the offense of aggravated battery--Class 2 felony, in that the said defendant, in committing a battery, in violation of [section 12-3 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/12-3 (West 2006))], knowingly caused bodily harm to Officer Gregory Manzana, Champaign Police Department, in that the defendant dug his fingernails into Officer Gregory Manzana's hand, knowing Officer Gregory Manzana to be a peace officer, engaged in the execution of his official duties ***."

[¶7] Count II alleged:

" [O]n June 5, 2007, *** [defendant] committed the offense of aggravated battery--Class 2 felony, in that the said defendant, in committing a battery, in violation of [section 12-3 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/12-3 (West 2006))], knowingly made physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with Officer Mark Briggs, Champaign Police Department, in that the defendant sp[a]t blood on Officer Mark

Page 818

Briggs['s] hand, knowing Officer Mark Briggs to be a peace officer, engaged in the execution of his official duties ***."

[¶8] B. The Evidence in the Jury Trial (June 2008)

[¶9] A Champaign police officer, Gregory Manzana, testified that on June 5, 2007, he went to 408 West Maple Street in response to a report of a domestic dispute. He arrived in a marked squad car and in full uniform. He saw a car, in the driveway, with its engine running, and he pulled in behind the car so it could not back out. He shone his spotlight on the car, and the car appeared to be occupied by four to six individuals. These individuals began exiting the car, and Manzana ordered everyone to get back in.

[¶10] Defendant ignored the order and continued to walk away. Manzana approached him and ordered him to put his hands behind his back. Defendant kept walking, showing no inclination to comply. Manzana grabbed him by the arm, and defendant tried to pull away. Another officer, Ferguson, grabbed defendant's other arm. Defendant struggled with them. Over and over again, Manzana yelled at defendant to get down onto the ground, but defendant spread his legs and braced himself, resisting their efforts to take him down. Finally, Manzana brought defendant to the ground by tripping him. The officers then succeeded in forcing defendant's arms behind his back and putting handcuffs on him.

[¶11] Several other police officers arrived and kept defendant pinned to the ground while Manzana went to check on the woman who had called in. After speaking with ...


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