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People v. Reed

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

March 27, 2019

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DEMARIO D. REED, Defendant-Appellant.

          Modified upon denial of rehearing May 8, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Macon County, No. 14-CF-1205; the Hon. Jeffrey S. Geisler, Judge, presiding.

          James E. Chadd, Patricia Mysza, and Alexander G. Muntges, of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Chicago, for appellant.

          Jay 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 the People.

          Panel JUSTICE CAVANAGH delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices DeArmond and Turner concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          CAVANAGH, JUSTICE

         ¶ 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 offense.

         ¶ 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 judgment.

         ¶ 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[5], 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 ...

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