from the Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit, Peoria
County, Illinois, Circuit No. 15-CF-515 Honorable Kevin W.
Lyons, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE O'BRIEN JUDGE
the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Lytton and
Wright concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 Defendant, Mitchell James Royster, appeals his aggravated
battery conviction, arguing that a jury instruction given
misstated the law. We affirm.
3 Defendant was charged with aggravated battery (720 ILCS
5/12-3.05(b)(2) (West 2014)) and domestic battery
(id. § 12-3.2(a)(1)). The case proceeded to a
jury trial. Ashley C. testified that A.C.M. was her daughter
and, on July 31, 2015, A.C.M. was two years old. Defendant
was Ashley's fiancé. On July 31, Ashley had a
doctor's appointment to which defendant and A.C.M.
accompanied her. A.C.M.'s car seat was located behind the
driver's seat. Ashley testified that they all went into
the examination room. A.C.M. was given a latex glove, and
Ashley blew it up like a balloon for her to play with. A.C.M.
kept putting the glove in her mouth, and Ashley, defendant,
and the nurse kept telling her to stop. When A.C.M. would not
stop, they took the glove away from her and threw it in the
garbage can. A.C.M. then "started throwing a fit in the
exam room." "She started throwing herself backwards
onto the floor, kicking and screaming and hitting her head on
the floor and pulling at her hair." When Ashley could
not calm A.C.M. down, defendant took her out to their
vehicle. Ashley saw A.C.M. later that day and did not notice
any black eyes, bruises, or a cut on her lip. She stated that
the photographs accurately portrayed what A.C.M. looked like
that day. Defendant had Ashley's permission to
"spank [A.C.M.'s] bottom" or "pop her on
her mouth" at any time when A.C.M. was misbehaving.
4 Lori Tracy testified that she was a medical records
supervisor at Heartland Community Health Clinic. At around
11:30 a.m. on July 31, she was leaving the clinic for a smoke
break with Misty Garcia. Before they reached the doors, they
saw defendant carrying a screaming A.C.M. over his shoulder
and asking where to exit the building. A lady directed
defendant to the door, and Tracy and Garcia followed him.
Tracy stated, "As soon as he walked out the *** door and
we were not even two feet behind him, he smacks her on the
leg, open handed at least three times really hard and yelled
at her to shut the fuck up." The slaps were on
A.C.M.'s bare leg and were "pretty hard." Tracy
said they observed defendant take A.C.M. to a vehicle and
"thr[o]w [A.C.M.] in the backseat." She saw
defendant "raise up his fist in the air" three
times "[t]owards the child." Defendant then walked
around the vehicle, opened the vehicle door again, and
"struck A.C.M. again three more times with a fist."
"When he got done with that one, he slammed the car
door, proceeded to walk around again. By the time he got to
the trunk, he slammed the phone on the trunk of the car
because he was so pissed-you can see he was mad-proceeded to
open the car door again. By then we couldn't stand it
anymore. We took off running [toward the vehicle]. By the
time I got to the car, he already hit her again another three
5 Tracy told defendant she was going to take A.C.M. inside.
Defendant tried to prevent her from doing so and said,
"by law I can hit her up to three times." Tracy
told Garcia to call the police. When Tracy approached A.C.M.,
"[s]he was crying and her face was all red. Her lip was
bleeding and she was just crying." Tracy took A.C.M.
into the clinic until the police arrived. Tracy said that
once A.C.M. started to calm down, she noticed that
A.C.M.'s "lip was busted. She had red lines where it
was split apart. *** Her face was all red and her-underneath
her eyes were starting to turn more blue and puffy." As
time progressed, Tracy noticed that both of A.C.M.'s eyes
were puffy and blue. She also had a handprint on her leg.
Garcia corroborated Tracy's testimony.
6 Dina Durst stated that she was sitting in her vehicle in
the parking lot of the clinic at the time of the incident.
She saw defendant carrying A.C.M. out of the clinic.
Defendant "looked agitated with [A.C.M.]" It looked
like defendant was yelling at her. Durst saw defendant
"throw[ ] [A.C.M.] in her car seat." She saw
defendant's arm "swinging" in "an upwards
movement sideways." Defendant then slammed the door,
walked around the vehicle, opened the door, and did it again.
After it had happened twice, Durst exited her vehicle and
started walking over toward defendant's vehicle when
defendant opened the door and did it a third time. She saw
two other ladies walk over and take A.C.M. into the clinic.
7 Defendant testified that when A.C.M. started to
"throw[ ] a fit, " he took her out to their
vehicle. It was difficult placing A.C.M. in her car seat
because she was thrashing around and flailing her arms and
legs. He then pointed his finger at her and told her
"that if she did not stop throwing her fit that [he] was
going to pop her in the mouth." When she did not stop,
he "popped her in the mouth with [his] left hand with
minimal force, just enough to get her attention." He
then shut the door and walked around to the passenger side of
the vehicle to retrieve his cell phone and cigarettes. As
A.C.M. was still "throwing a fit, " he again
"popped her in the mouth with [his] open hand [with]
minimal force." He again closed the door and walked
around the vehicle. He then opened the door to try to talk to
A.C.M. when Tracy approached the vehicle and said she was
taking A.C.M. When defendant refused, Tracy forcefully took
A.C.M. out of the vehicle and into the clinic. Defendant
followed her. Defendant said he never hit A.C.M. with his
fist. He also did not throw A.C.M. into the vehicle.
8 A jury instruction conference was conducted. The State
proposed three instructions that included references to
defendant's affirmative defense of corporal punishment
based on People v. Green, 2011 IL App (2d) 091123.
The three instructions provided, in relevant part:
(1)"To sustain the charge of Aggravated Battery, "
the State had to prove, inter alia, "[t]hat the
force used was not reasonable or necessary, "
(2)"To sustain the charge of Domestic Battery, "
the State had to prove, inter alia, "[t]hat the
force used was not reasonable or ...