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People v. Watkins

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

October 16, 2019

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
KOREY WATKINS, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Macon County Nos. 17CF698, 16CF1698 Honorable Thomas E. Griffith, Jr., Judge Presiding.

          Attorneys for Appellant: Michael J. Costello, of Springfield, for appellant.

          Attorneys for Appellee: Jay Scott, State's Attorney, of Decatur (Patrick Delfino, David J. Robinson, and David E. Mannchen, of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

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

          OPINION

          CAVANAGH, JUSTICE.

         ¶ 1 In Macon County case Nos. 17-CF-698 and 16-CF-1698, defendant, Korey Watkins, is serving two consecutive six-year terms of imprisonment for unlawful possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver it (720 ILCS 570/401(c)(2) (West 2016); 730 ILCS 5/5-5-3(c)(2)(D) (West 2016)). About six months after these sentences were imposed, he moved to withdraw his guilty pleas in both cases. Simultaneously, in Macon County case No. 17-CF-698, he petitioned for postconviction relief. The circuit court struck the postplea motions as untimely and summarily dismissed the postconviction petition.

         ¶ 2 We affirm the judgments because (1) defendant has withdrawn his challenge to the dismissal of the motions to withdraw his guilty pleas and (2) the postconviction petition is frivolous and patently without merit.

         ¶ 3 I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 4 A. The Negotiated Guilty Pleas (October 20, 2017)

         ¶ 5 In a hearing on October 20, 2017, defendant appeared with his defense counsel. The circuit court said, "[Defense counsel], let's start with the 16 case. What are we going to do there?" Defense counsel answered:

"[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Judge, it's going to be a plea to additional Count 4.
* * *
THE COURT: *** Why don't we show additional Count 4 on file alleging the offense of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver between 5 and 15 grams, a Class 1 felony."

         ¶ 6 After defense counsel waived the reading of this additional count, the circuit court asked him, "And then what are the terms in that case?" He answered:

"[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: The terms in that case are that [defendant] would be sentenced to a term of six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. It is mandatory consecutive to 2017-CF-698.
THE COURT: So it's six years and a two-year term of mandatory supervised release?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: It is consecutive. What's his credit on this case?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Judge, his credit would be from 11/27/16 to 11/28/16.
* * *
THE COURT: And it's a Class 1, so a $2, 000 drug treatment assessment, $100 lab fee.
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Yes.
THE COURT: And what's the street?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: $650 street value fine, Judge.
THE COURT: 650, and there would be a $10 incarceration credit. Any other terms in that case, [defense counsel]?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: No, Judge. ***
* * *
THE COURT: *** So then the 17 case, what are the terms there, [defense counsel?]
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Judge, in the 17 case, the plea will be to Count 2, unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class 1.
THE COURT: Okay. The terms there, [defense counsel]?
[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: He would serve a sentence of six years in the Illinois ...

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