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People v. Williams

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fifth District

June 25, 2019

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
MARK D. WILLIAMS, Defendant-Appellee.

          Rule 23 Order Filed: June 11, 2019

          Motion to Publish Granted: June 25, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Jackson County. No. 16-CF-200 Honorable Ralph R. Bloodworth III, Judge, presiding.

          Attorneys for Appellant Hon. Michael Carr, State's Attorney, Jackson County Courthouse, Murphysboro, IL 62966; Patrick Delfino, Director, Patrick D. Daly, Deputy Director, Office of the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor

          Attorneys for Appellee James E. Chadd, State Appellate Defender, Ellen J. Curry, Deputy Defender, Levi S. Harris, Assistant Appellate Defender, Office of the State Appellate Defender, Fifth Judicial District

          JUSTICE WELCH delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion Presiding Justice Overstreet and Justice Chapman concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          WELCH, JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 On May 18, 2016, the defendant-appellee, Mark D. Williams, was charged with six counts of unlawful use of weapons by a felon (720 ILCS 5/24-1.1(a) (West 2016)) and one count of possession of a defaced firearm (id. § 24-5(b)). On September 26, 2016, the defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence, arguing that the consent given to the police to search the apartment in which the firearms were discovered was invalid because it was a product of coercion and undue influence by law enforcement. Specifically, he asserted that Sharleah Williams, the resident of the apartment, was coerced into her consent to the search of her residence and that no other exception to the fourth amendment's warrant requirement existed to permit the search.

         ¶ 2 A hearing was held on the motion over three court dates, on December 9, 2016, January 27, 2017, and March 3, 2017. Testimony was adduced at the hearing from Illinois Department of Corrections officials; Murphysboro police officers; the defendant's girlfriend, Sharleah Williams; and the defendant.

         ¶ 3 On April 21, 2017, the defendant filed a memorandum of law in support of his motion to suppress evidence. He reiterated his argument that the police had coerced Sharleah Williams into giving consent to search her apartment.

         ¶ 4 On May 22, 2017, the trial court entered an order granting the motion to suppress evidence. It stated that it had considered "the original motion, arguments and briefs, if any, *** as well as testimony and evidence presented during the course of the hearings" and concluded that the defendant's motion "should be and is hereby granted."

         ¶ 5 A hearing was held on May 26, 2017. The State noted that the trial court had ruled on the defendant's motion to suppress without considering its memorandum in opposition to the motion, which it "would have intended to file" but had not yet been filed. It also stated its intention to file a motion for specific findings "within the next day or two," and then, once the court had issued that, it would file a motion to reconsider "that could probably be done within a week or two." The court advised the State to "file what you need to in the case and we'll reconsider the situation if needed."

         ¶ 6 On June 6, 2017, the State filed a motion for specific findings, which requested that the trial court clarify its previous order. It stated:

"1. That on or about May 23, 2017, your movant received a court's order which was filed May 22, 2017, granting the ...

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