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People v. Burlington

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

March 20, 2018

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
TYLER R. BURLINGTON, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from Circuit Court of Macon County No. 14CF1263 Honorable Timothy J. Steadman, Judge Presiding.

          JUSTICE TURNER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Knecht and DeArmond concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          TURNER JUSTICE.

         ¶ 1 In October 2014, the State charged defendant, Tyler R. Burlington, with one count of burglary (720 ILCS 5/19-1(a) (West 2014)). After a February 2015 trial, a jury found defendant guilty of burglary. Defendant filed a posttrial motion. At a joint April 2015 hearing, the Macon County circuit court denied defendant's posttrial motion and sentenced him to seven years' imprisonment. Defendant filed a motion to reconsider his sentence, which the court granted. After a second sentencing hearing in July 2015, the court sentenced defendant to six years' imprisonment. Defendant appeals, asserting (1) the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt he entered a Menards store without authority, (2) the court erred by allowing his prior burglary convictions to be used as impeachment evidence, (3) he is entitled to two additional days of sentencing credit, and (4) this court should vacate his fines imposed by the circuit clerk and the electronic citation fee. We affirm in part as modified, vacate in part, and remand the cause with directions.

         ¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 The State's information alleged that, on October 10, 2014, defendant committed burglary, in that he, without authority, knowingly entered the building of Menards in Forsyth, Illinois. Burglary is a Class 2 felony. 720 ILCS 5/19-1(b) (West 2014). However, based on defendant's criminal history, the parties and the circuit court believed defendant was subject to Class X sentencing. See 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-95(b) (West 2014).

         ¶ 4 In February 2015, the circuit court commenced defendant's jury trial on the burglary charge. The State presented the testimony of Donald Langlois, Menards assistant general manager, and Eric Dowdy, deputy sheriff. It also presented footage from the Menards surveillance cameras. Defendant testified on his own behalf. The evidence relevant to the issues on appeal is set forth below.

         ¶ 5 At around 8 p.m. on October 10, 2014, Langlois was working at Menards. One of his duties was loss prevention, and he was responsible for observing the footage from the 42 surveillance cameras inside Menards. Defendant entered the store, went directly to a digital camera recording system, removed the system from the shelf, walked through the cash register area, and attempted to leave the store. After being stopped by a cashier, defendant attempted to return the item at the service desk for cash. Langlois was watching the attempted return in real time and could hear the conversation between defendant and the employee at the service desk through the microphone located on the service desk. Defendant denied stealing the item. While at the service counter, defendant purchased a screwdriver. While Langlois was on the stand, the State played a video from the Menards surveillance cameras. The video did not have any audio. Langlois identified defendant on the video as the man wearing a Superman sweatshirt. He also identified defendant in court as the man he saw on the video.

         ¶ 6 Deputy Dowdy testified he was on duty the night of October 10, 2014, and responded to a call at Menards around 8:47 p.m. Upon arrival, he made contact with defendant, who was wearing a black and teal Superman hoodie, jeans, and a blue stocking cap. Defendant waived his rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), and Deputy Dowdy interviewed defendant in the loss prevention room. Defendant told Deputy Dowdy he had entered the store to take an item and return it for United States currency because he owed a man named Tony money for drugs. If he did not pay Tony, he would be physically harmed. Defendant also indicated he had bought a screwdriver while in Menards but that was not the reason why he went there.

         ¶ 7 Before defendant testified, defense counsel made a motion to exclude defendant's prior convictions for burglary (People v. Burlington, No. 09-CF-731 (Cir. Ct. Macon County)) and retail theft (People v. Burlington, No. 12-CF-1536 (Cir. Ct. Macon County)). Counsel did not challenge the admission of defendant's prior conviction for residential burglary (People v. Burlington, No. 09-CF-1912 (Cir. Ct. Macon County)) and aggravated driving under the influence (DUI) (People v. Burlington, No. 09-CF-865 (Cir. Ct. Macon County)). After hearing the parties' arguments, the court barred the use of defendant's aggravated DUI conviction for impeachment purposes but allowed the admission of the other three convictions.

         ¶ 8 Defendant testified he had prior convictions for burglary, residential burglary, and retail theft. When he went to Menards on the night in question, his intent was to buy a screwdriver, and he did so. Defendant denied entering the store with an intent to steal. According to defendant, he walked into the store and asked the guy next to the service desk where the screwdrivers were. He then went to the screwdrivers. Thereafter, he began walking around the store to see what else he wanted. Defendant did not find anything else. Eventually, he picked up the camera and thought he might "take it." Defendant then decided to pay for one item and then act like he was going to walk out. Moreover, he was the one that stopped the woman and asked her where the service desk was. He walked all the way around the store and then went to the service desk. Defendant purchased the screwdriver and talked to them about returning the camera. The service desk never gave him money or a gift card, and he never left the store with a stolen item. Defendant further testified he told Deputy Dowdy he owed someone $200 and decided to take the item to pay his debt when he was already in the store. Defendant testified he made up the story about owing someone money to get out of trouble. Additionally, defendant testified a 20-minute gap existed between the first and the second clip. During that period is when he talked to the man next to the service desk, obtained the screwdriver, and walked around the store.

         ¶ 9 One of the jury instructions the circuit court gave the jury was Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions, Criminal, No. 3.13 (approved Oct. 17, 2014) (hereinafter IPI Criminal No. 3.13), which states the following: "Evidence of a defendant's previous conviction of an offense may be considered by you only as it may affect his believability as a witness and must not be considered by you as evidence of his guilt of the offense with which he is charged."

         ¶ 10 At the conclusion of the trial on February 24, 2015, the jury found defendant guilty of burglary. On April 7, 2015, defendant filed a motion for a new trial or for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, asserting the State failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. At a joint April 10, 2015, hearing, the circuit court denied defendant's posttrial motion and sentenced him as a Class X offender to seven years' imprisonment for burglary. In the written sentencing judgment, the court gave defendant sentencing credit for the period of October 12, 2014, to April 9, 2015. The court did not impose any fines. On April 23, 2015, defendant filed a notice of appeal, and this court dismissed the appeal at defendant's request (People v. Burlington, No. 4-15-0296 (July 1, 2015) (unpublished order dismissing the appeal)).

         ¶ 11 On May 8, 2015, defendant filed a motion to reconsider his sentence, contending he should not have been sentenced as a Class X offender. The State did not object, and the circuit court allowed the motion. On July 24, 2015, the court held a new sentencing hearing, at which defendant was sentenced on the Class 2 felony. The court sentenced defendant to six years' imprisonment and gave defendant sentencing credit for the period of October 12, 2014, to July 23, 2015. The court again did not impose any fines.

         ¶ 12 On August 5, 2015, defendant filed a timely notice of appeal in sufficient compliance with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 606 (eff. Dec. 11, 2014), but the notice indicated the appealed judgment was only his sentence. On August 19, 2015, defendant filed a timely amended notice of appeal under Illinois Supreme Court Rules 606(d) (eff. Dec. 11, 2014) and 303(b)(5) (eff. Jan. 1, 2015), appealing both his conviction and sentence. Thus, this court has jurisdiction of defendant's appeal under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 603 (eff. Feb. 6, 2013).

         ¶ 13 II. ANALYSIS

         ¶ 14 A. Reasonable Doubt

         ¶ 15 Defendant first asserts the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt he entered Menards without authority, contending the term is ambiguous and this court should take into consideration the same factors considered by our supreme court in People v. Bradford, 2016 IL 118674, 50 N.E.3d 1112. The State disagrees. Here, defendant's challenge to his guilty finding is a legal one of statutory construction and not a factual one of ...


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