from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will
County, Illinois, Circuit No. 15-CF-330 Honorable Daniel J.
Rozak, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE O'BRIEN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Lytton and McDade concurred in the judgment
1 Defendant, Deanthony E. Williamson, appeals his conviction
for unlawful possession of a controlled substance. Defendant
argues (1) the trial court improperly infringed on his right
to self-representation and (2) defense counsel provided
ineffective assistance during the proceedings on
defendant's motion to suppress by abandoning the argument
that the cocaine found in defendant's vehicle was the
product of an illegal search. We affirm.
3 Defendant was charged with unlawful possession of a
controlled substance (720 ILCS 570/402(c) (West 2014)). The
public defender was appointed to represent defendant.
4 At a pretrial hearing, an assistant public defender advised
the court that defendant wished to proceed pro se.
The court asked defendant if he wished to represent himself,
and defendant said yes. The court then stated:
"All right. Years ago I used to always try and talk
people out of doing that. I don't do it any more. If
you're that unwise to try and represent yourself, I
figure have at it. I'm going home tonight. You probably
won't be for a long, long time because of your own
inability to act as your own attorney. All I care about-I am
going to go over a few things with you to make sure I know
that you have the mental capacity and so forth to represent
yourself. It's not whether you have the ability, but
whether your waiver is knowing and intelligent."
court began inquiring as to defendant's age, education
level, ability to read and write, history of mental illness,
and prior criminal history. The court then stated that
defendant did not appear to be paying attention and said that
it would continue the matter.
5 At the next hearing, which was two days later, defendant
stated that he still wanted to proceed pro se. The
court stated: "Okay. All you have to do, sir, is show me
that you are paying attention and that you make a knowing and
intelligent waiver of your right to counsel. If you can do
that, that's fine, you can represent yourself."
6 The court advised defendant that if he represented himself,
he would have to follow the same rules that an attorney would
have to follow, lay proper foundations for the admission of
evidence, and ask proper questions of witnesses. The court
stated that "presenting a defense is simply not a matter
of just standing up and telling a story." Defendant said
that he understood. The court advised defendant that the
State would be represented by experienced attorneys who had
training in trial procedure. Defendant stated that he
understood. The court then admonished defendant regarding
difficulties he might have with jury selection and objecting
to inadmissible evidence. Defendant indicated that he
understood. The court advised defendant that if he made
mistakes during the trial, he would not be able to complain
about the competency of his representation on appeal.
Defendant said he understood. The court told defendant that
it would not grant defendant more time to prepare his case
than it would an attorney, and defendant stated that he
understood. The following exchange occurred:
"THE COURT: Okay. Also, I will not appoint any standby
counsel. That's something I used to do.
THE DEFENDANT: That's fine, your Honor.
THE COURT: Pardon?
THE DEFENDANT: I said it's ...