from the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit, La Salle
County, Illinois, Circuit No. 12-CF-86 Honorable Cynthia M.
Raccuglia, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Justice McDade concurred in the judgment and opinion. Justice
Schmidt dissented, with opinion.
1 Defendant, Myron T. Lesley, raises two issues for our
review. First, he argues that the trial court erred in
forcing him to represent himself at his evidentiary hearing
due to disagreements he had with his appointed counsel
without first warning defendant that his conduct could result
in the waiver of his right to counsel, and second, the trial
court applied a misconduct standard of proof at the
evidentiary hearing. Because we reverse and remand on the
first issue, we need not reach the second.
3 On June 13, 2013, defendant pled guilty to the offenses of
unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to
deliver (720 ILCS 570/401(c)(2) (West 2012)) and unlawful
delivery of a controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/401(c)(2)
(West 2012)) in exchange for consecutive sentences of five
years' imprisonment and six years' imprisonment,
respectively. The State also agreed to dismiss four
4 On September 30, 2013, defendant filed a postconviction
petition arguing that he received ineffective assistance of
plea counsel in that counsel failed to adequately investigate
the case and gave him erroneous advice. The petition also
claimed that defendant's sentences "could have been
ran concurrently *** when nothing was stated in sentencing on
the reason for consecutively."
5 On October 30, 2013, the State filed a motion to dismiss
the postconviction petition. At a hearing the next day, the
trial court appointed the public defender to represent
defendant. On November 21, 2013, defendant appeared with
Timothy Cappellini, the La Salle County public defender, for
a "first appearance" hearing on the postconviction
petition. Defendant informed the court that he and Cappellini
had a disagreement. Defendant stated that Cappellini told
defendant to "go pro se and do it
[himself]" when defendant told Cappellini he needed to
see transcripts of prior proceedings. Cappellini responded:
"I said if he doesn't want me to represent him, he
can go pro se. Otherwise, I will acquire the
transcripts, I will review 'em and I will be the
attorney." The trial court continued the matter.
6 On February 20, 2014, Douglas Kramarsic, an assistant
public defender, appeared on behalf of defendant at a status
hearing. Kramarsic stated that he had previously met with
defendant to attempt to explain changes he wanted to make to
the postconviction petition. Defendant became "very
belligerent" and told Kramarsic "numerous times to
go fuck [him]self." Defendant said that Kramarsic was
"fired" and he wanted to hire his own attorney.
Defendant grabbed the papers out of Kramarsic's hands
"in a physical and aggressive manner." Kramarsic
then left the room as defendant continued to yell obscenities
7 Kramarsic then stated: "Your Honor, I believe at this
point it's clear that [defendant] does not wish to
continue with me as his attorney, and I'll leave it to
the Court's discretion as to what should take place
next." The trial court told defendant he could respond,
and defendant stated:
"First of all, Your Honor, he came back there and told
me something totally different. It wasn't all this and
that. It got out of hand-not out of hand, he tried to treat
me like I'm stupid or something. *** [A]nd then I'm
trying to show him something and he's ignoring it and
I'm yelling at him, I don't think he's trying to
help me, he's trying to hurt me."
8 The trial court said that defendant had been appointed
several public defenders and there was no one left to
appoint. The trial court also told defendant that he did not
have a choice as to which attorney he was assigned from the
public defender's office. Defendant indicated that he
wished to hire his own attorney, and the trial court granted
him a 60-day continuance to do so. The trial court stated,
"I can't give you another Public Defender but I can
certainly let you hire somebody." The following exchange
then occurred between the trial court and Kramarsic:
"MR. KRAMARSIC: Your Honor, I guess at this point it may
leave me in limbo. I guess if you're still leaving me as
the attorney of record, there are issues that I would want to
correct with this but [defendant] certainly does not wish to
hear anything that I have to say.
* * *
THE COURT: Is there anything that you want to put on the
MR. KRAMARSIC: I mean, I would just like to say that I have
reviewed the records, I have reviewed everything involved in
this case. I haven't filed my certification regarding
that, which I was going to file with my amended petition, but
I can't even get to the point of being able to do that.
THE COURT: And I won't have you do that.
MR. KRAMARSIC: Okay.
THE COURT: Right now, nothing you will do, because he's
requested time to-
MR. KRAMARSIC: Sure.
THE COURT:-get a private lawyer.
I'm reserving my ruling on you filing anything, nor are
you under any obligation to do that until I see what
[defendant] can find in 60 days, so let's do that for
9 Another status hearing was held on April 24, 2014.
Kramarsic advised the court that he attempted to discuss with
defendant whether defendant had been able to hire private
counsel and "it [was] one hundred percent absolutely
clear from our conversations that [defendant] want[ed]
nothing to do with [Kramarsic] in this case." Defendant
stated that he was trying to find an attorney but had not
hired one yet. The trial court scheduled a hearing on the
State's motion to dismiss for June 12, 2014. The trial
court told Kramarsic: "I'm aware he won't talk
to you. And so you won't be representing him at any
hearing at this point." The trial court then stated:
"THE COURT: All right. *** And if [defendant]
doesn't have a lawyer [at the hearing on the motion to
dismiss], I'll have to ...