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.
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.
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
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
"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
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
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
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,
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