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People v. Green

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division

June 14, 2018

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
QUOVADIS GREEN, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. No. 13 CR 3725 Honorable Timothy Chambers, Judge Presiding.

          PRESIDING JUSTICE MASON delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Neville and Hyman concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          MASON PRESIDING JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 Defendant Quovadis Green, a security guard who possessed a valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card, was observed with a holstered weapon across the street from Senn High School on November 12, 2012. He was convicted of two counts of unlawful use of a weapon (UUW) for carrying a loaded, accessible firearm while on a public street and while in a vehicle. 720 ILCS 5/24-1(a)(4), (a)(10) (West 2010). Because he committed those offenses within 1000 feet of a school, he was sentenced on a Class 3 felony. Id. § 24-1(c)(1.5).

         ¶ 2 On appeal, Green argues that (1) the statute under which he was convicted is unconstitutional on its face under Moore v. Madigan, 702 F.3d 933 (7th Cir. 2012), People v. Aguilar, 2013 IL 112116, and People v. Chairez, 2018 IL 121417; (2) the evidence was insufficient to convict; and (3) one of his convictions should be vacated under the one-act, one-crime rule.

         ¶ 3 BACKGROUND

         ¶ 4 On November 20, 2012, around 3:15 p.m., Dan Svoboda, a teacher at Senn High School, observed a maroon van parked across the street from the school. Green was standing outside the van wearing a black security uniform. He appeared to be carrying a gun in a holster on his hip. Svoboda observed the gun twice over a 10-minute period.

         ¶ 5 Carter Carey, an assistant principal at Senn, also saw Green standing outside the van. Svoboda informed Carey that Green was carrying a gun. Carey then walked across the street to speak to Green, who had entered the passenger side of the van. Carey identified himself as the assistant principal of the school and stated that he had "some concerns." He asked Green whether he was a police officer, to which Green replied that he was a security guard. Carey then walked back across the street.

         ¶ 6 Svoboda called 911 and reported that Green had a gun. Before police arrived, Carey observed the van turn into an alley, come back northbound toward where he and Svoboda were standing, and park directly across from them on the east side of the street.

         ¶ 7 The parties stipulated that if called to testify, Officer Cannon would state that on November 20, 2012, he was on duty and received a 911 call regarding a man with a gun. When he arrived at the scene, he observed Green in the front passenger seat of a red van, wearing a security guard uniform and an empty holster. Searching the van, Cannon recovered (1) a magazine with 16 live rounds from the floorboard of the passenger seat and (2) a cooler next to the passenger seat with a Glock G17 pistol inside. The gun and magazine were sent to the crime lab, and it was determined that the gun was able to fire.

         ¶ 8 The parties further stipulated that Ray Schnoor, a Cook County State's Attorney Investigator, would testify that he measured the distance between Senn High School and where Green was parked to be 97 feet.

         ¶ 9 The trial court found Green guilty of two counts of UUW for possessing a loaded, accessible firearm in a vehicle (count 1) and on a public street (count 3). 720 ILCS 5/24-1(a)(4), (a)(10) (West 2010). Because the court found that Green committed these offenses within 1000 feet of a school, he was sentenced to one year of probation as a Class 3 felony offender.

         ¶ 10 Green filed a notice of appeal on November 21, 2014. Briefing was completed in May 2017 and argument was held in November 2017.[1] During argument, we raised with the parties the pending appeal in Chairez from an order of the trial court declaring unconstitutional a related provision prohibiting the carriage of firearms within 1000 feet of a public park. The parties acknowledged Chairez's potential impact on the issues presented here, and the State suggested we postpone ruling in this case until Chairez was decided.

         ¶ 11 On February 1, 2018, our supreme court decided Chairez, 2018 IL 121417, where it found section 24-1(a)(4), (c)(1.5) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Code) (720 ILCS 5/24-1(a)(4), (c)(1.5) (West 2012)) (prohibiting the carriage of firearms within 1000 feet of a public park) unconstitutional. The court severed the prohibition on carriage within 1000 feet of a park from the remainder of that section. Following the ...


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