from Circuit Court of McLean County No. 14CF617 Honorable
Robert L. Freitag, Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE DeARMOND delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Turner and Justice Knecht
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 In January 2015, the trial court found defendant, Christian
Dior Thomas, guilty of armed robbery with a firearm and
aggravated vehicular hijacking. At the March 2015 sentencing
hearing, the court sentenced defendant to 26 years in prison
on the aggravated vehicular hijacking conviction.
2 On appeal, defendant argues (1) he was denied the effective
assistance of counsel and (2) the trial court erred by not
conducting an inquiry under People v. Krankel, 102
Ill.2d 181, 464 N.E.2d 1045 (1984). We affirm.
3 I. BACKGROUND
4 In June 2014, a grand jury indicted defendant on single
counts of armed robbery with a firearm (count I) (720 ILCS
5/18-2(a)(2) (West 2014)) and aggravated vehicular hijacking
(count II) (720 ILCS 5/18-4(a)(4) (West 2014)). In count I,
the State alleged defendant committed the offense of armed
robbery with a firearm when he knowingly took property, a
Chevrolet Tahoe, by threatening the use of imminent force
while armed with a firearm. In count II, the State alleged
defendant committed the offense of aggravated vehicular
hijacking when he knowingly took a motor vehicle, a Chevrolet
Tahoe, by threatening the imminent use of force while
carrying a firearm on or about his person.
5 Following a January 2015 bench trial, the trial court found
defendant guilty on both counts. In March 2015, during the
sentencing hearing, it was determined that defendant could be
sentenced on only one count because of the one-act, one-crime
rule, and the State asked for a judgment on the
aggravated-vehicular-hijacking conviction. The court informed
the parties it believed the sentence would be served at 50%
because the State did not allege or prove great bodily harm
(730 ILCS 5/3-6-3(a)(2)(iii) (West 2014)), but it was willing
to hear arguments from both sides. The State agreed it did
not plead great bodily harm, nor would the evidence support a
finding of great bodily harm. Defense counsel stated he
originally "had no doubt that it was an 85 percent
sentence, " but upon reviewing the statute, he agreed
the court was correct in its assessment of the sentence.
After further discussion and arguments on aggravating and
mitigating factors, the court sentenced defendant to 11 years
with a 15-year add-on in the Illinois Department of
6 After the sentencing hearing, defendant filed a motion for
a new trial and a motion to reconsider the sentence. The
trial court deemed the motion for a new trial untimely and
denied the motion to reconsider the sentence. This appeal
7 II. ANALYSIS
8 A. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
9 Defendant argues he received ineffective assistance of
counsel because his attorney told him the plea offers would
be served at 85%, which was not possible given the pleadings
in the bill of indictment. We disagree.
10 A defendant's claim of ineffective assistance of
counsel is analyzed under the two-pronged test set forth in
Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984).
People v. Henderson, 2013 IL 114040, ¶
11, 989 N.E.2d 192. To prevail on such a claim, "a
defendant must show both that counsel's performance was
deficient and that the deficient performance prejudiced the
defendant." People v. Petrenko, 237 Ill.2d 490,
496, 931 N.E.2d 1198, 1203 (2010). To establish deficient
performance, the defendant must show his attorney's
performance fell below an objective standard of
reasonableness. People v. Evans, 209 Ill.2d 194,
219, 808 N.E.2d 939, 953 (2004) (citing Strickland,
466 U.S. at 687). "Effective assistance of counsel
refers to competent, not perfect representation.' "
Id. at 220 (quoting People v. Stewart, 104
Ill.2d 463, 491-92, 473 N.E.2d 1227, 1240 (1984)). Mistakes
in trial strategy or tactics do not necessarily render
counsel's representation defective. See People v.
Kyse, 220 Ill.App.3d 971, 974, 581 N.E.2d 285, 287
(1991) (finding defense counsel's decision not to tender
an affirmative defense of voluntary intoxication was a trial
tactic and did not constitute ineffective assistance of
11 To establish the second prong of Strickland,
"[a] defendant establishes prejudice by showing that,
but for counsel's unprofessional errors, there is a
reasonable probability that the result of the proceeding
would have been different." People v. Houston,
229 Ill.2d 1, 4, 890 N.E.2d 424, 426 (2008). A
"reasonable probability" has been defined as a
probability, which would be sufficient to undermine
confidence in the outcome of the trial. Id. "A
defendant must satisfy both prongs of the Strickland
test and a failure to satisfy ...