Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fourth Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 07 CR 18677
Honorable Luciano Panici, Judge Presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE ELLIS delivered the judgment of the court,
with opinion. Justices McBride and Burke concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 A jury found defendant Rodney Chaney Jackson guilty of two
counts of aggravated vehicular hijacking, two counts of
attempted armed robbery, one count of unlawful use of a
weapon by a felon, and one count of aggravated assault. The
trial court sentenced him to 25 years in prison for each of
the aggravated vehicular hijackings, 19 years in prison for
one attempted armed robbery, 7 years in prison for the other
attempted armed robbery, and 7 years in prison for unlawful
use of a weapon by a felon, all to be served concurrently.
2 On appeal, defendant contends: (1) the trial court erred in
declining his proposed jury instruction defining the defense
of compulsion where the evidence at trial entitled him to the
instruction and the court's decision was based on a
mistake of fact, (2) this court should vacate one of his
aggravated vehicular hijacking convictions based on the
one-act, one-crime doctrine, (3) this court must vacate his
sentences for aggravated vehicular hijacking and attempted
armed robbery because they included firearm-sentencing
enhancements that were not in effect at the time his offenses
occurred, (4) the 15-year firearm sentencing enhancement does
not apply to attempted armed robbery, and (5) his mittimus
must be corrected to reflect the jury's verdicts.
3 We affirm defendant's convictions in part and vacate in
part. Defendant was not entitled to an instruction on the
defense of compulsion, where there was no evidence that the
individual with whom defendant hijacked the car made an
impending threat of violence toward defendant. Although
defendant's co-offender testified that, while carrying a
gun, he ordered defendant to get into the hijacked car, that
evidence, even if believed by the jury, was insufficient to
4 But we agree with defendant that one of his convictions for
aggravated vehicular hijacking must be vacated under the
one-act, one-crime doctrine. Although more than one
individual was present during the hijacking, the presence of
multiple victims does not change the fact that defendant
committed only one criminal act-the taking of a single
car-which cannot support multiple convictions.
5 We also agree, as does the State, with defendant's
argument that he must be resentenced because the trial court
applied an unconstitutional sentence enhancement to his
aggravated vehicular hijacking sentence and his 19-year
attempted armed robbery sentence. We remand for resentencing
and for the issuance of a corrected mittimus.
6 I. BACKGROUND
7 The State charged defendant with two counts of aggravated
vehicular hijacking (counts 4 and 5), two counts of attempted
armed robbery (counts 10 and 11), one count of unlawful use
of a weapon by a felon (count 12), and one count of
aggravated assault (count 16).
8 Prior to trial, defendant's original defense counsel
filed multiple answers to discovery. In one, dated July 27,
2010, counsel attached a statement from codefendant Leonard
Moore, who had pled guilty to the same aggravated vehicular
hijacking and is not a party to this appeal. The statement
said that, on the morning in question, defendant did not rob
anyone, did not encourage Moore to rob anyone, did not take
the vehicle by force or threat of force, and did not possess
9 Another answer to discovery, dated November 1, 2010,
indicated that defendant might assert the affirmative
defenses of necessity and compulsion. Counsel named Moore as
a possible witness and cited Moore's previous statement.
The State subsequently filed a motion to disqualify counsel
for violating the witness-advocate rule because he was the
only witness present for Moore's statement. The court
granted the motion, finding it foreseeable that counsel could
be called as a witness to Moore's statement.
10 Defendant retained new counsel, who filed an answer to
discovery on November 28, 2012, asserting that defendant
would "rely on the State's inability to prove guilt
beyond a reasonable doubt, lack of intent, and lack of
knowledge" as his defense. The answer listed Moore as a
possible witness. On October 15, 2013, the first day of
trial, counsel filed another answer to discovery, again
asserting that defendant would "rely on the State's
inability to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, lack of
intent, and lack of knowledge" and listing Moore as a
possible witness. Counsel also filed a motion for a
continuance based on Moore's absence, with Moore's
statement appended to the motion, as well as a motion to
"Adopt and Incorporate All Prior Pleadings Filed by
Former Counsel." The court denied the motion for a
continuance and did not rule on the motion to adopt prior
11 At trial, the evidence showed that at approximately 4:30
a.m. on July 28, 2007, Jamie Fair and Aleah Cooper were with
James Brown, Brandon Lewis, and Reginald Burrell in a White
Castle parking lot in Dolton, Illinois. They all were either
inside or standing outside Fair's vehicle, a black Toyota
Solera, with the vehicle's front doors open. Fair stood
outside the driver's side door, Brown sat in the
driver's seat, Lewis sat in the passenger's seat with
Cooper on his lap, and Burrell stood outside on the
passenger's side. Brown's green Pontiac Bonneville
was parked directly to the right of Fair's vehicle and
12 Fair observed two men, defendant and Moore, approach.
Moore asked for a cigarette lighter, and Brown responded they
did not have one. Moore then approached Fair, pulled out a
firearm and said, "You are not going nowhere. Give us
what you got." Cooper, whose back was to the
driver's seat, only heard someone say, "Give up your
s***." She thought it was a joke until she turned around
and saw Moore holding a firearm. Fair testified that Brown
gave Moore his "dog tags" and $65.
13 Fair testified that defendant approached the
passenger's side of the car. Cooper heard someone say,
"Get out the car, " and slowly began to get out.
After Cooper got out, she saw defendant next to Burrell,
"digging" his hands inside Burrell's pockets.
Subsequently, both Cooper and Fair witnessed Burrell and
defendant fight, though Fair did not recall if she told this
to the police. Burrell managed to get away from defendant and
ran out of Cooper's sight. As Burrell fled, Cooper slowly
walked backward and eventually escaped. Cooper said that, at
some point during the incident, defendant told her to empty
her pockets and give him her "s***."
14 Fair also tried to escape, but defendant came around the
vehicle and said, "No, Shorty, you ain't going
nowhere." Defendant motioned toward his waist, which
Fair understood as a gesture that he had a firearm. But Fair
acknowledged that she never saw defendant with a gun.
15 Fair testified that defendant got into the driver's
seat of the running Bonneville and Moore got into the
passenger's seat. No one had given defendant or Moore
permission to get into the car. As the men drove away into an
adjacent parking lot, both Cooper and Fair said that they saw
gunshots being fired into the air from the vehicle, though
neither saw defendant fire any shots. Cooper and Fair ran
into the White Castle and alerted a security guard to what
happened. Shortly thereafter, the police arrived on the
16 That morning, Dolton police Detective Major Coleman and
his partner, Officer Joe McNeal, were in their unmarked car
near the intersection of 148th Street and Dorchester Avenue
when a green Pontiac Bonneville traveling at a "high
rate of speed" nearly hit them. They activated their
lights and sirens and pursued the Bonneville. After Coleman
and McNeal chased the car for about five minutes, the
Bonneville crashed into a parked car.
17 Coleman stopped just behind the Bonneville and got out.
Coleman testified that defendant got out of the Bonneville
from the driver's side and pointed a black handgun at
him. Both Coleman and McNeal drew their guns and fired at
defendant multiple times. Defendant fled, but Coleman
eventually found him bleeding in a yard. Coleman did not find
a gun on defendant. McNeal arrested Moore at the scene of the
18 Later that day, both Fair and Cooper separately viewed
photo arrays and identified defendant as one of the men they
saw that morning.
19 At the conclusion of the State's case, the parties
stipulated that defendant had previously been convicted of a
felony in case No. 05 CR 14459.
20 Leonard Moore testified for defendant. Moore said that he
was in prison for armed robbery and "vehicular
carjacking." Moore said he went to the White Castle on
July 28, 2007, with defendant and a man named
"Do-Do." Moore admitted to robbing the group of
people because he was high on "[a]lcohol, weed,
marijuana, [and] ecstasy" and "pressed for
money." Moore "took it upon [himself] to rob"
the group of people using an unloaded gun. Moore identified
the gun that Detective Coleman said defendant had as the gun
he brought to the White Castle.
21 When Moore robbed the group, defendant stood 15 feet away,
outside Do-Do's car. Moore testified that defendant did
not know that Moore planned to rob anyone. He testified that
defendant did not take anything from anyone, did not have a
gun, did not encourage Moore to rob anyone, and did not have
a fight with anyone.
22 After Moore robbed the group, he decided to get into the
green Bonneville because DoDo had left. Moore told defendant
to "get in the car, " but defendant was reluctant.
Moore then told defendant to "get the f*** in the
23 Moore testified that defendant got into the driver's
seat while Moore sat on the passenger side. Moore denied that