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People v. Hardman

Supreme Court of Illinois

November 30, 2017

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Appellee,
v.
ANTOINE HARDMAN, Appellant.

          JUSTICE GARMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Chief Justice Karmeier and Justices Freeman, Thomas, Kilbride, Burke, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          GARMAN JUSTICE.

         ¶ 1 Following a bench trial, defendant, Antoine Hardman, was convicted of one count of possessing between 1 and 15 grams of heroin with intent to deliver within 1000 feet of a school. See 720 ILCS 570/401(c)(1), 407(b)(1) (West 2012). At a sentencing hearing, the trial court imposed a public defender fee of $500. See 725 ILCS 5/113-3.1(a) (West 2012). Hardman appealed, arguing that the State failed to prove that he committed the offense within 1000 feet of a school, that the public defender fee was imposed without a proper hearing, and that the mittimus should be amended to reflect the correct name of the offense. The appellate court affirmed Hardman's conviction and sentence, vacated the public defender fee, remanded for a new hearing on whether the public defender fee was appropriate, and amended the mittimus. 2016 IL App (1st) 140913-U. We allowed Hardman's petition for leave to appeal. Ill. S.Ct. R. 315 (eff. Mar. 15, 2016).

         ¶ 2 BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 With respect to Hardman's conviction, Hardman only challenges whether the evidence established that the building at issue was a school. See 720 ILCS 570/407(b)(1) (West 2012). For that reason, we confine the factual background to the evidence presented about the building purported to be a school, 646 North Lawndale Avenue.

         ¶ 4 The State charged Hardman with one count of possessing between 1 and 15 grams of heroin with intent to deliver within 1000 feet of "any school *** to wit: Ryerson Elementary School, " a Class X offense. See 720 ILCS 570/401(c)(1), 407(b)(1) (West 2012). At Hardman's arraignment, the court appointed a public defender, and the State filed a motion for reimbursement for the cost of the public defender. See 725 ILCS 5/113-3.1(a) (West 2012).

         ¶ 5 Before trial, the State sought leave to amend the information. The information referred to "Ryerson Elementary School, " but in pictures taken in the winter of 2014, a sign in front of the school listed the name as "Laura Ward." The State indicated that, on July 22, 2013, at the time of the offense, it believed that the building was called Ryerson Elementary School. However, when the court asked for the date of the school name change, the State responded that it believed that it was "this school year" that the name changed to Laura Ward. The State asserted that the school year "should have started in September." The court denied the State's motion to amend the information, finding that the State could explain the school name discrepancy at trial.

         ¶ 6 At trial, three witnesses testified about the location of the drug transactions. Officer Harmon of the Chicago police department testified that, on the date of the offense, he was on duty from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. as an enforcement officer. Officer Harmon assisted in detaining Hardman. The State questioned Officer Harmon as to his familiarity with the area:

"Q. Now, how long had you worked in the 11th District on the date of this incident?
A. Well, I'd been in the 11th District nine years.
Q. In your nine years in the 11th District were you familiar with this area where the arrest occurred?
A. Yes.
Q. Are you familiar with the schools near this address?
A. I am.
Q. What school is there?
A. Laura Ward School.
Q. Is that what it is currently called?
A. Yes. It changed.
Q. What was the name of the school back on July 22, 2013?
A. Ryerson."

         ¶ 7 Officer Ruggiero, a Chicago police officer, testified that at about 10 a.m. on July 22, 2013, he was conducting surveillance of the alley at 634 North Ridgeway Avenue. Officer Ruggiero assisted in detaining Hardman. Officer Ruggiero testified that, in July 2013, he was part of the "Area North Saturation Team, " assigned to the eleventh district. Officer Ruggiero testified that he had been an officer in the eleventh district for seven years by that time. The State questioned Officer Ruggiero as to his familiarity with the area:

"Q. And were you in the vicinity of 634 Ridgeway in Chicago?
A. Yes.
Q. Is that area within the 11th District?
A. Yes.
Q. Can you please describe the six hundred block of North Ridgeway for the jurors?
A. Yes. The area is residential, with buildings and also right next to a school called Ryerson Elementary School at that time.
Q. You say at that time. Does that school have a different name?
A. Yes.
Q. What is that?
A. Laura Ward.
Q. Now, what is the closest intersection to the area we're referring to?
A. Huron and Ridgeway.
Q. Are you familiar with that ...

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