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People v. Washington

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division

June 30, 2015

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
KENNETH WASHINGTON, Defendant-Appellant

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 12 CR 2902. Honorable Kevin M. Sheehan, Judge Presiding.

Remanded, with directions.

FOR PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE: Alan Spellberg, Carol L. Gaines, Timothy A. Martin, Assistant State's Attorneys, Chicago, Illinois.

FOR DEFENDANT-APPELLANT: Benjamin A. Wolowski, Assistant Appellate Defender, Office of the State Appellate Defender, Chicago, Illinois.

PIERCE, JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Neville and Liu concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

PIERCE, JUSTICE

[¶1] Following a bench trial, defendant Kenneth Washington was found guilty of possession of a controlled substance, then sentenced to 2 1/2 years' imprisonment. On appeal, defendant contends that his cause should be remanded for consideration of his oral pro se posttrial claim of ineffective assistance of trial counsel under People v. Krankel, 102 Ill.2d 181, 187-89, 464 N.E.2d 1045, 80 Ill.Dec. 62 (1984).

[¶2] The record shows that defendant was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver on February 3, 2012. At a status hearing held prior to trial on July 2, 2012, defendant expressed his desire to obtain new counsel to replace the assistant public defender who had been appointed to represent him. The trial court gave defendant 10 days to find a new attorney and determined that the public defender would remain on the case unless and until a private attorney came in. The record indicates that on August 16, 2012, the next recorded status date, the same public defender was representing defendant, and defendant made no mention of his previously stated desire to obtain new counsel then or throughout the ensuing trial.

[¶3] Chicago police officer Turner Goodwin testified at trial that he and his partner, Officer Clifton Turner, were on patrol in the area of 111th Street and King Drive in the morning hours of January 12, 2012, when they observed the driver of a red Saturn turn without signaling. The officers conducted a traffic stop, and defendant stepped out of the car and started walking toward the officers, who had also exited their vehicle. When Officer Goodwin asked defendant for his driver's license and proof of insurance, defendant responded that he did not have a license and that his insurance was in the glove box in his car. Officer Goodwin then handcuffed defendant and started to advise him his Miranda rights, but could not remember all of them, so he handed defendant over to Officer Turner and retrieved his " FOP" calendar book containing a printed version of the Miranda warnings so he could complete the admonitions.

[¶4] Officer Goodwin asked defendant why he got out of his car and approached the officers, and defendant responded that he was " dirty" and had " about 12 bags of work in [his] center console," which Officer Goodwin understood to mean some type of narcotics. Officer Goodwin then approached defendant's car and observed a box of Mike and Ike candy on the center console with plastic objects sticking out of it. As he entered the car to get the insurance information out of the glove box, Officer Goodwin saw a " white rock-like substance" inside the plastic in the candy box, which, upon further examination, was shown to be 12 plastic bags containing suspected crack cocaine. Officer Goodwin recovered and inventoried the bags under inventory No. 12512306.

[¶5] The parties then stipulated that, if called, Cathy Regan would testify that she was a forensic chemist at the Illinois State Police crime lab and received inventory No. 12512306, which contained 15 plastic bags of a rock-like substance. She would further testify that 8 of the 15 bags tested positive for cocaine and had an actual weight of 1.2 grams, and that the total estimated weight of all the items was 2.3 grams.

[¶6] Officer Turner was then called by the defense. He testified that he was on patrol with Officer Goodwin in the morning hours of January 12, 2012, when they stopped defendant, who was driving a red Saturn in the area of 435 East 111th Street. He stayed by the side of the patrol car while defendant and Officer Goodwin had a brief conversation, but he could not hear what they were saying. After the conversation, Officer Turner watched as Officer Goodwin handcuffed defendant, then walked to the red Saturn and recovered the narcotics.

[¶7] The trial court concluded that both of the officers had testified credibly, and it believed that defendant had made the statement that he was " dirty" and had " 12 bags of work." Accordingly, the court found defendant guilty of possession of a controlled substance.

[¶8] Defendant, through counsel, subsequently filed a motion for a new trial and an amended motion contending that the testimony of the two officers was contradictory. The court denied the motions and proceeded to sentencing, where ...


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