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People v. Gaines

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

July 11, 2019

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
KEITH GAINES, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois.Circuit No. 15-CF-2835 The Honorable Edward A. Burmila Jr., Judge, presiding.

          McDADE JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justice Holdridge concurred in the judgment and opinion. Presiding Justice Schmidt concurred in part and dissented in part, with opinion.

          OPINION

          McDADE JUSTICE.

         ¶ 1 Defendant Keith Gaines was charged with felony criminal damage to property (count I), felony criminal trespass to residence (count II), misdemeanor criminal damage to property (count III), misdemeanor domestic battery (count IV), and misdemeanor aggravated assault (count V). Gaines and the State entered into a plea agreement in which Gaines would plead guilty to counts III and IV, both misdemeanors and, in exchange, the State would nol-pros the remaining charges and recommend a sentence of 158 days in prison (to be offset by 158 days of time served), 24 months' probation, and anger management classes. At the guilty plea proceeding, Gaines pled guilty to counts III and IV, and the trial court unequivocally accepted the plea. Thereafter, the trial court asked defendant if he would like to make a statement. As defendant spoke, the trial judge cut him off mid-sentence, vacated his guilty plea, reinstated all his charges, and continued the case to trial. At trial, the court found defendant guilty of counts II and IV, not guilty of all remaining charges and, ultimately, sentenced defendant to 60 months' imprisonment and assessed various fines and costs. Defendant appealed. We reverse and vacate the trial court's judgment.

         ¶ 2 FACTS

         ¶ 3 Defendant Keith Gaines was charged by indictment with felony criminal damage to property (count I) (720 ILCS 5/21-1(a) (1) (West 2014)), felony criminal trespass to a residence (count II) (id. § 19-4(a) (2)), misdemeanor criminal damage to property (count III) (id. § 21-1(a)(1)), misdemeanor domestic battery (count IV) (id. § 12-3.2(a) (2)), and misdemeanor aggravated assault (count V) (id. § 12-2(c) (1)). Gaines and the State entered into a fully negotiated agreement in which Gaines would plead guilty to misdemeanor domestic battery and misdemeanor criminal damage to property and, in exchange, the State would dismiss the remaining charges and recommend a sentence of 158 days in prison reduced by 158 days already served, 24 months' probation, and anger management classes.

         ¶ 4 During the guilty plea proceeding, the following dialogue occurred:

"MS. RABENDA: Your Honor, as to Mr. Gaines, the State would be recommending if the defendant were to plead to an amended Domestic Battery, Class A Misdemeanor on Count IV and Criminal Damage to Property on Count III.
THE COURT: Are those all Class A Misdemeanors?
MS. REBENDA: Yes. 24 months of reporting probation, 158 days, day for day credit for time served, time considered served.
THE COURT: How many days was that, please?
MS. RABENDA: 158. I would make a motion to nolle prosequi all remaining counts and the defendant would attend an anger management program or provide proof of completion thereof.
THE COURT: Okay. If Mr. Dawson and Ms. Crawford, if you would just stand by for a minute.
Mr. Gaines, do you see that document? Is that your signature?
DEFENDANT GAINES: Yes, Sir.
THE COURT: Do you understand that by pleading guilty there isn't going to be a trial of any kind in this case. These are all Class A Misdemeanors, the maximum punishment is a fine of up to $2, 500 and/or up to 364 days in the Will County Jail.
By pleading guilty you are giving away your right to remain silent by admitting to me that you committed these crimes. You are also giving away your right to a jury trial where 12 people would be selected randomly from the community to determine your guilt or innocence. Once you do that, that right is gone, it's gone forever and you can't get it back.
You heard the Assistant State's Attorney tell me there was a plea agreement in your case. Is what she told me your understanding of the agreement?
DEFENDANT GAINES: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: You understand I don't have to go along with that, that I can sentence you to anything that the law would allow once you plead guilty?
DEFENDANT GAINES: Yes, sir.
THE COURT: Brief statement of facts, Ms. Rabenda?
MS. RABENDA: Your Honor, one other admonishment. I believe that the defendant is on parole for residential burglary.
THE COURT: But you're reducing this to a misdemeanor, right?
MS. RABENDA: Correct.
THE COURT: Okay.
MS. RABENDA: Statement of facts. If called to testify, witnesses for the State would testify that officers met with Latoya [sic] Gaines who indicated that she had come home and discovered her son, being the defendant, in the house and that he was not welcome there. She ordered him to leave. He did not do so. She went upstairs and when she came back down he was still there. She asked him what he was doing. He grabbed her about the neck. She had difficulty breathing. She tried to call for her husband but the defendant grabbed and broke her phone.
The defendant ran outside and began to throw landscaping bricks at the house windows and screen door. The defendant's father came home and told the defendant to stop. The defendant threw bricks at him but missed. Damage was done to Lee Gaines' Chevrolet Silverado. Windows were broken on the house, the door and there were scratches on LaToya's [sic] neck.
THE COURT: And you're reducing these to misdemeanors?
MS. RABENDA: Yes, Your Honor. I have had a number of conversations with the named victims in this matter and that was part of their request.
THE COURT: Is that what happened, Mr. Gaines?
DEFENDANT GAINES: Not-no, but I don't want to be in here fighting it. I'd rather-
THE COURT: Okay. Well, let me ask you this. If you don't agree that that's what happened, do you think that's what the witnesses would say if they were here?
DEFENDANT GAINES: Yeah.
THE COURT: Show the Court finds that defendant's plea of guilty and his waiver of his right to remain silent and his waiver of his right to a jury trial to be knowing and intelligently entered into and executed in writing, accepted by the Court.
Prior criminal history?
MS. RABENDA: Your Honor, the defendant has a residential burglary from 2012 that he was given four years in [the Department of Corrections (DOC)]. He's on parole. I believe he has less than a week left on that parole. He has a DUI from 2013 that he received conditional discharge and a ...

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