from the Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit, Tazewell
County, Illinois. Circuit No. 15-CF-471 Honorable Richard
McCoy, Judge, Presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE SCHMIDT delivered the judgment of the
court, with opinion. Justice Holdridge concurred in the
judgment and opinion. Justice Carter specially concurred,
with opinion. Justice Holdridge also specially concurred,
SCHMIDT PRESIDING JUSTICE
1 Defendant, Valerie A. Parker, appeals her conviction for
aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).
Specifically, defendant argues that second-prong plain error
occurred "where an Assistant State's Attorney and
two court bailiffs were present when the jury viewed evidence
during deliberations outside of the presence of the parties
and the court." We affirm.
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 The State charged defendant with aggravated DUI (625 ILCS
5/11-501(a) (West 2014)) in that she drove a motor vehicle
while under the influence of alcohol and had at least two
prior convictions for DUI. The State also charged defendant
with driving while her license was revoked (id.
4 Defendant pled guilty to driving while her license was
revoked, and the matter proceeded to a jury trial on the
charge of aggravated DUI. During the trial, Assistant
State's Attorney Thomas Dennis appeared on behalf of the
5 During jury deliberations, the jury requested to watch a
DVD video recording that had previously been played during
the trial. The following exchange occurred:
"THE COURT: Okay. It's about 9:15 ***. [Defendant]
appears personally today with Mr. Bembenek, her lawyer. Mr.
Dennis is the Assistant State's Attorney. The jury has
resumed deliberations, and they have given us the question.
May we please see the video. Mr. Dennis, what's your
position on that?
MR. DENNIS: I believe that the jury should be able to review
the video. It was admitted into evidence and published to the
jury. I do believe they should be able to review that.
THE COURT: Mr. Bembenek?
MR. BEMBENEK: I have no objection to the jury's request,
THE COURT: Okay. How are we going to get them to get it set
up back there?
MR. DENNIS: I believe the laptop is still set up, Your Honor,
but the DVD is ...