Modified upon denial of rehearing May 8, 2019
from the Circuit Court of Macon County, No. 14-CF-1205; the
Hon. Jeffrey S. Geisler, Judge, presiding.
E. Chadd, Patricia Mysza, and Alexander G. Muntges, of State
Appellate Defender's Office, of Chicago, for appellant.
Scott, State's Attorney, of Decatur (Patrick Delfino,
David J. Robinson, and Linda Susan McClain, of State's
Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for
JUSTICE CAVANAGH delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices DeArmond and Turner concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 After an evidentiary hearing, the Macon County circuit
court denied postconviction relief to defendant, Demario D.
Reed, who is serving a prison sentence of 15 years for armed
violence (720 ILCS 5/33A-2(a), 33A-3(a) (West 2014)). He
appeals, arguing that newly discovered evidence he presented
to the court in the postconviction hearing proved, clearly
and convincingly, that he actually was innocent of armed
violence despite his earlier negotiated guilty plea to that
2 Because the validity of defendant's guilty plea is
undisputed on appeal, we hold, de novo, that he
remains bound by his guilty plea and that his claim of actual
innocence cannot be entertained. See People v.
Pendleton, 223 Ill.2d 458, 473 (2006); People v.
Cannon, 46 Ill.2d 319, 321 (1970). Therefore, we deny
defendant's petition for rehearing, and we affirm the
3 I. BACKGROUND
4 In count I of the information, the State alleged that on
September 23, 2014, defendant committed armed violence in
that, while armed with a shotgun, he knowingly possessed
cocaine (an amount less than 15 grams).
5 In April 2015, defendant appeared with appointed defense
counsel, who announced:
"MR. WHEELER: Judge, the defendant is going to offer to
enter a plea of guilty to Count I of [Macon County case No.
14-CF-]120, be sentenced to the Illinois Department of
Corrections for a period of 15 years. *** The remaining
charges [(in Macon County case Nos. 14-CF-903 and
14-CF-1206)] will be dismissed.
THE COURT: [Defendant], you heard what your attorney said. Is
that your understanding of the plea agreement?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes."
6 The circuit court then recited count I to defendant and
told him the minimum and maximum punishments for the offense
it alleged, armed violence. The court further admonished him:
"THE COURT: If you plead guilty, you would be giving
up your right to a trial of any kind by a judge or a
jury. You would be giving up the right to confront and
cross-examine witnesses who would testify against you in
court during your trial. By pleading guilty, you would be
giving up the privilege against self-incrimination and the
presumption of innocence. You would be giving up the
right to subpoena witnesses to come into court to
testify for you and to present any defenses you might
have to this charge, and by pleading guilty, you
would be giving up the right to require the ...