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People v. King

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fifth Division

May 12, 2017

LAVONA KING, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 12 CR 5344 Honorable Gregory Robert Ginex, Judge, presiding.

          PRESIDING JUSTICE GORDON delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Lampkin and Reyes concurred in the judgment and opinion.



         ¶ 1 Following a bench trial, defendant Lavona King was found guilty of home invasion, residential burglary, aggravated battery, and aggravated unlawful restraint. She was sentenced to eight years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for home invasion, five years for residential burglary, three years for aggravated battery, and two years for aggravated unlawful restraint. All sentences were to be served concurrently. On appeal, defendant contends that the trial court failed to conduct an inquiry pursuant to People v. Krankel, 102 Ill.2d 181 (1984), into her claims that trial counsel "ignored" one witness and failed to impeach another. Defendant further contends that certain convictions must be vacated pursuant to the one-act, one-crime rule. We affirm in part and vacate in part.

         ¶ 2 Following a February 19, 2012, incident, defendant was charged with, inter alia, home invasion and residential burglary. Specifically, defendant was charged with home invasion in that she:

"not being a police officer acting in the line of duty, without authority, knowingly entered the dwelling place of another, to wit: Sage O'Harrow, and she remained in such dwelling place until she knew or had reason to know that one or more persons were present, and while armed with a dangerous weapon, to wit: a bludgeon, she used force or threatened the imminent use of force upon Sage O'Harrow, within such dwelling place, whether or not injury occurred."

         Defendant was also charged with residential burglary in that she "knowingly and without authority, entered the dwelling place of Sage O'Harrow, located at 421 North Oak Park Avenue *** with the intent to commit a therein a felony, to wit: kidnapping."

         ¶ 3 At trial, Oak Park police officer Michael Kelly testified that on the morning of January 23, 2012, he responded to a "custody dispute call" at 421 North Oak Park Avenue. When he arrived, defendant was "nervous and upset" about her children who were "staying" at that address. He then spoke to defendant's sister, Sage O'Harrow, and mother, Robin O'Harrow, and learned that defendant had a visitation scheduled with her children at 5 p.m. Kelly further learned that the visit could still take place if defendant left. Although defendant left, Kelly was called back to the location less than an hour later. Defendant was then removed from the location.

         ¶ 4 Maya King, defendant's daughter, testified that in February 2012, she was 13 years old and lived with her grandmother Robin O'Harrow, her aunt Sage O'Harrow, and her 5-year-old brother Solomon. Maya lived with Robin because defendant "was not able to take care of [her] at the time." They lived on the first floor of a two-flat, and Sage had an apartment in the basement.

         ¶ 5 On the morning of February 18, 2012, Maya heard "like a glass breaking noise." She thought it was construction noise and went back to sleep. A few minutes later defendant walked in and said, "I am taking you and we have to go look for Solomon." Maya first said no but then left the bed and followed defendant. She observed defendant proceed toward Sage's basement "apartment area." Maya then heard "a lot of yelling and ruckus." Specifically, she heard defendant say that defendant was going to murder Sage. Maya grabbed an iron skillet. She then "thought better of it, " put the skillet down, and called her grandmother and the police. She waited in her room until the police arrived and then let officers inside. At this point, she observed defendant and Sage on the stairs and heard Sage calling for help. Sage was sitting on top of defendant. Defendant was face-down and was holding a wrench. Defendant was taken into custody by police officers. Maya was scared because defendant was not scheduled to be at the house.

         ¶ 6 Sage O'Harrow, defendant's sister, testified that when she woke up defendant was standing over her with a "black and silver wrench." Sage told defendant that she should not "be here." When defendant asked where Solomon was, Sage replied that he was not there. Defendant then "started swinging the wrench" at Sage and hit her in the head, hand, elbow, and arm. Defendant also pulled Sage's hair. As they struggled, defendant said she was going to kill Sage. At one point, Sage pulled defendant onto the stairs and defendant fell. Sage got on top of defendant and "started screaming" to Maya to call the police.

         ¶ 7 Robin O'Harrow, defendant's mother, testified that the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) placed Maya and Solomon with her in January 2012. Defendant was to have supervised visitation at a DCFS office. Defendant did not have a key to Robin's home and was told that she was not allowed inside. In January 2012, defendant came to the home. The police were called, and defendant was told to leave. Defendant did not have permission to enter the home on February 18, 2012. When Robin left that morning, the doors to the house were locked. When she later returned, she noticed that the glass in her bedroom door was broken.

         ¶ 8 Oak Park police officer Holly Smith testified that she arrived at 421 North Oak Park Avenue and proceeded to the basement stairs. There, she observed Sage on top of defendant. Defendant was holding a wrench. Smith told defendant 10-12 times to let go of the wrench. Ultimately, defendant was taken into custody.

         ¶ 9 Defendant testified that she went to visit her children at her mother's house. She had a key to the house. She became worried when no one answered the door. Defendant then walked to her mother's restaurant to ask about her mother. Defendant thought her mother was missing because her mother was not answering the phone. She went back to her mother's house and walked inside through the unlocked back door. Defendant found Maya, who was asleep, and awakened her to get dressed. Defendant asked Maya where everyone was, and after learning that Sage was downstairs sleeping, defendant went to talk to Sage. Defendant opened the door to the basement and called out to Sage. Defendant denied holding a wrench. Sage "like shot up" and asked what defendant was "doing here." Sage then left the bed and began screaming at and pushing defendant. As they approached the stairs, Sage picked up a wrench. Defendant tripped on the stairs and Sage "fell on top" of her. Defendant never had control of the wrench and did not bring it with her. She went to the house because she was supposed to have a visit with her children. Although the wrench belonged to her, she had left it at her mother's house.

         ¶ 10 The trial court found defendant guilty of home invasion, residential burglary, aggravated domestic battery, and aggravated unlawful restraint. At sentencing, the following exchange took place:

"THE DEFENDANT: There was no evidence to support my end of this deal. I don't understand why this happened at all. My sister took my dog, broke into ...

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