from the Circuit Court of Macon County No. 14CF1056 Honorable
Thomas E. Griffith, Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Turner and Justice Appleton
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 Under Illinois law, an individual commits home invasion
when "without authority he or she knowingly
enters the dwelling place of another when he or she knows or
has reason to know that one or more persons is present ***
and *** [i]ntentionally causes any injury *** to any person
or persons within the dwelling place." (Emphasis added.)
720 ILCS 5/19-6(a)(2) (West 2014).
2 After an April 2015 bench trial, the trial court found
defendant, Marcelus Witherspoon, guilty of home invasion. The
court found that defendant entered the dwelling of another
without authority because a court order prohibited him from
going to or entering that particular residence. Defendant had
argued that he had authority because the resident, S.L.,
consented to his entry. The court rejected that argument and
later sentenced defendant to 14 years in prison.
3 On appeal, defendant argues only that the State failed to
prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of home invasion
because S.L. consented to his entry. We agree, concluding
that a defendant is not guilty of home invasion when, with
the resident's consent, he enters that resident's
dwelling place even though his doing so is in violation of a
court order. Accordingly, we reverse defendant's
4 I. BACKGROUND
5 In August 2014, the State charged defendant in Macon County
case No. 14-CF- 0924 with domestic battery and criminal
trespass to a residence. S.L. was the alleged victim in that
case. On August 10, 2014, defendant was released on bond
subject to the conditions that he refrain from (1) contacting
S.L., (2) going to her residence, or (3) entering her
6 In September 2014, the State charged defendant with the
following crimes of which S.L. was the alleged victim: home
invasion (720 ILCS 5/19-6 (West 2014)), aggravated criminal
sexual assault (720 ILCS 5/12-13(a)(1) (West 2014)), domestic
battery (720 ILCS 5/12-3.2(a)(1) (West 2014)), unlawful
possession of a controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/402(c)
(West 2014)), and violation of bail bond (720 ILCS 5/32-10(b)
(West 2014)). The State alleged that these offenses were
committed on August 28, 2014. Before trial, the State dropped
the violation of bail bond charge.
7 In April 2015, defendant's case went to trial,
beginning as a jury trial. However, midway through trial,
defendant waived his right to a jury, and the trial continued
as a bench trial.
8 At trial, S.L. testified that she previously had a romantic
relationship with defendant throughout 2014. On August 28,
2014, around 10 p.m., defendant arrived at her home. She and
defendant argued, and defendant left with her phone and keys.
S.L. testified that she went to bed, expecting defendant to
return the items later. When she awoke around 2 a.m., she
discovered defendant standing over her, and he then attacked
and raped her. She called the police around 5:30 a.m., and
they arrested defendant as he slept at S.L.'s home.
Police found three-tenths of a gram of cocaine in his pants.
The State also introduced defendant's condition of bond
from his earlier pending criminal case, Macon County case No.
9 Defendant testified that on August 28, 2014, he had been at
S.L.'s home and left to get marijuana. When he returned,
S.L. opened the door to let him in her residence. Defendant
testified that they had a physical fight, and he defended
himself. According to defendant, he had consensual sex with
S.L. following the fight.
10 The trial court found defendant guilty of domestic battery
and possession of a controlled substance but not guilty of
aggravated criminal sexual assault. The trial court reserved
ruling on the home invasion charge so that it could receive
further argument from counsel regarding the effect of the
bail bond condition. However, when the court so ordered, the
court first essentially found that S.L. had consented to
defendant entering her residence, with the court's noting
that "by [S.L.'s] own testimony[, ] [defendant] had
authority to enter [S.L.'s] residence." The court
further explained that if defendant's violation of the
condition of his bail bond that he not enter S.L.'s
residence was sufficient "in and of itself" to
render his entry as being without authority, "then he is
guilty of home invasion." However, if defendant
violating that condition of his bail bond was not sufficient,
"then he is not guilty of home invasion." The trial
court continued the trial so that the parties could brief
11 At a subsequent hearing in April 2015, the State argued
that "judicial authority is the ultimate controlling
factor here as far as authority to enter a residence and
trumps any other authority that an individual might attempt
to give to another person as far as entering their
residence." The State cited subsection (d) of the home
invasion statute, which defined "dwelling place of
another" to include a dwelling place "where the
defendant maintains a tenancy interest but from which the
defendant has been barred by a divorce decree, judgment of
dissolution of marriage, order of protection, or other court
order." 720 ILCS 5/19-6(d) ...