from the Circuit Court of the 9th Judicial Circuit, Knox
County, Illinois, Appeal No. 3-15-0586 Circuit No. 14-CF-226
Honorable Scott Shipplett, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Justice Schmidt concurred in the judgment and opinion.
Justice Wright dissented, with opinion.
1 Defendant, Kenwaun A. Murray, pled guilty to residential
burglary and two counts of aggravated battery. Defendant
subsequently moved to withdraw his guilty plea, arguing that
counsel had incorrectly advised him regarding the legal
standards for residential burglary. After inquiring into
defendant's claim of ineffectiveness, the circuit court
found no possible neglect of the case and declined to appoint
new counsel. The court denied the motion to withdraw the
plea. On appeal, defendant argues that new counsel should
have been appointed to represent him in a full hearing on his
ineffectiveness claim. He also argues that the matter should
be remanded for new postplea proceedings because defense
counsel did not strictly comply with the certification
requirements of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 604(d) (eff. Mar.
8, 2016). We reverse the circuit court's decision to not
appoint new counsel, vacate the circuit court's denial of
defendant's motion to withdraw his plea, and remand for
proceedings consistent with this order.
3 In a series of informations, the State charged defendant
with numerous counts of various felony charges, including
armed robbery, aggravated battery, home invasion, residential
burglary, and burglary. Defendant would eventually plead
guilty to one count of residential burglary (720 ILCS
5/19-3(a) (West 2014)) and two counts of aggravated battery
(720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(a)(1) (West 2014)).
4 At defendant's guilty plea hearing, held on February
13, 2015, the State provided a lengthy recitation of the
factual basis for the plea. The State summarized that
Galesburg police were called to the Broadview Inn in the
early morning hours of June 22, 2014, on reports that two men
were bleeding from the head. The victims, Charles Roach and
Merlin Evans, were residing at the hotel that night. The
hotel manager told the officers that two women had entered a
room on the first floor of the hotel. One of the women
returned to the lobby to request a key to room 111. The
manager denied her request, and she returned to the room.
Later, a third woman, described as a short Hispanic female
with dark hair, entered the lobby and proceeded to the same
first floor room.
5 The manager told the officers that shortly after the third
woman approached the room, a tall black male entered the
lobby and went to the vicinity of room 111. The manager then
saw the first two women leave that room. After hearing a loud
noise from the room, the manager went to investigate. He
knocked on the door, after which the Hispanic woman and the
tall black male exited the room and left the hotel.
6 Officer Gregory Huwe reviewed the hotel's surveillance
footage, which corroborated the manager's story. In the
video recording, the tall black male could be seen carrying a
metallic object in his right hand before entering room 111.
Huwe recognized the subject as defendant, based on previous
contacts with him. Huwe also recognized the Hispanic woman as
Kayla Snider. The videotape showed defendant and Kayla
leaving room 111 shortly after the manager knocked on the
door. Defendant was no longer carrying the metallic object.
Later, the video showed a white male stagger out of the room
holding his head. In room 111, the officers retrieved a metal
car jack, and observed multiple trails of blood. The officers
learned at the hospital that the victims, Roach and Evans,
had both suffered skull fractures.
7 Two days later, defendant placed a telephone call to Huwe,
after learning there was a warrant for his arrest. Defendant
told Huwe "that he would take the charge for beating
someone up but claimed at that time he did not commit a
8 Kayla, defendant's paramour, told detectives that
defendant had struck Roach and Evans in the head with the car
jack. In giving detectives this information, Kayla retracted
prior written statements she had made in the case. Evans
recalled seeing a black man standing over him before he
became unconscious. He was "pretty positive" that
it was that black male that had struck him.
9 Defense counsel noted that he was uncertain as to what
Kayla "would ultimately testify to, " but otherwise
agreed with the State's factual basis. The court accepted
the factual basis and found defendant's plea was knowing
10 On February 25, 2015-12 days after pleading
guilty-defendant filed a motion to withdraw the plea. In the
motion, which was filed through counsel, defendant alleged
that the State's evidence would be insufficient to
convict him of residential burglary. On May 4, 2015, defense
counsel filed a Rule 604(d) certificate, in which he
certified that he consulted with defendant regarding
contentions of error in the plea proceedings and had reviewed
the court file and the report of proceedings of the plea
11 At a hearing on May 13, 2015, the circuit court elected to
proceed with sentencing before addressing the motion to
withdraw the guilty plea. The court sentenced defendant to a
term of 15 years' imprisonment for residential burglary,
plus two concurrent terms of 5 years' imprisonment for
the aggravated battery convictions. After admonishing
defendant of his appeal rights, the court stated that a
hearing on the motion to withdraw would be held ...