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People v. Johnson

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

October 28, 2019

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
MACEO JOHNSON, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 12th Judicial Circuit, Will County, Illinois., Appeal No. 3-19-0582 Circuit Nos. 16-CF-908, Honorable Sarah-Marie F. Jones, Judge, Presiding.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Will County, Nos. 16-CF-908; the Hon. Sarah-Marie F. Jones, Judge, presiding

          Attorneys for Appellant: James E. Chadd and Peter A. Carusona, of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Ottawa, for appellant.

          Attorneys for Appellee: James W. Glasgow, State's Attorney, of Joliet (Patrick Delfino and Thomas D. Arado, of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

          JUSTICE O'BRIEN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justice Carter concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          O'BRIEN, JUSTICE

         ¶1 The defendant, Maceo Johnson, appeals an order of the circuit court denying his motion for a reduction of his pretrial bail.

         ¶2 FACTS

         ¶3 The defendant was charged on April 20, 2016, by criminal complaint in case No. 16-CF-908 with calculated criminal drug conspiracy, a Class X felony (720 ILCS 570/401(c)(1), 405(a), (b) (West 2016));[1] two counts of attempted unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, Class 2 felonies (720 ILCS 5/8-4(a) (West 2016); 720 ILCS 570/401(c)(1) (West 2016)); two counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance (heroin), Class 2 felonies (720 ILCS 570/401(d) (West 2016)); and unlawful delivery of a controlled substance (more than 15 grams of a substance containing heroin), a Class X felony (id. § 401(a)(1)(A)). The circuit court set defendant's bail at $6 million (at 10%). Also on April 20, 2016, the defendant was charged by criminal complaint in case No. 16-CF-927 with unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver (100 grams or more, but less than 400 grams, of a substance containing heroin), a Class X felony (id. § 401(a)(1)(B)) and unlawful possession of a controlled substance (heroin), a Class 4 felony (id. § 402(c)). The circuit court set defendant's bail in that case at $500, 000 (at 10%). Superseding indictments charging the same crimes were filed on May 5, 2016.

         ¶4 On May 25, 2016, the defendant filed a motion to reduce his bail in both cases pursuant to section 110-6 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (Code) (725 ILCS 5/110-6 (West 2016)), arguing that the $6 million and $500, 000 bail amounts were oppressive and not considerate of the financial ability of the defendant. On December 15, 2016, the State agreed to nolle prosequi the unlawful delivery Class X felony in case No. 16-CF-908. The prior motion to reduce bail was never argued, and an almost identical motion was filed again on February 13, 2018. On February 26, 2018, the circuit court granted the motion to reduce bail, reducing the bail to $2 million, applicable to both cases, with 10% needed to be released from custody. In reducing the bail, the circuit court considered the quality and nature of the evidence expected to be produced at trial, the criminal history of the defendant, and the nature of the charges. The State's offer of proof indicated that the evidence relevant to the first case would show that the defendant was involved in a criminal conspiracy with two other defendants, who had both already pled guilty to the conspiracy. The State would show numerous transactions over a six-month period while under surveillance. With respect to the second case, the State argued that the search warrant challenged by the defendant was a search of the defendant's residence, where 288 grams of heroin were recovered. The State would call an expert at trial who would testify that amount was for an intent to deliver and not for personal use. The circuit court also considered that the defendant was facing mandatory prison sentences if convicted.

         ¶5 The defendant filed another motion to reduce bail on May 2, 2019, which was denied by the circuit court. The circuit court noted that the $2 million bail was appropriate for the nature of the offenses alleged to have been committed by the defendant. Then, on July 3, 2019, the defendant filed his first amended verified motion for bail reduction, the denial of which is before this court for review. In denying the motion for a bail reduction, the circuit court found that there had been no change in circumstances since the last bail reduction and the $2 million bail was reasonable based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the defendant's criminal background. The defendant filed a motion for appellate review of the order denying the bail reduction pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 604(c) (eff July 1, 2017).

         ¶6 ANALYSIS

         ¶7 The defendant requests that this court review the order denying his bail reduction and reduce his bail to $250, 000 (at 10%) or any other amount the court deems reasonable. As in the circuit court, the defendant argues that the $2 million bail is oppressive and not considerate of his financial ability. He contends that his bail is inconsistent with section 110-5(b) of the Code because it is more than is needed to assure compliance with the conditions set forth in the bail bond. The State argues that the bail, under the circumstances, is not oppressive and is necessary to assure compliance and that the defendant's financial ability was only one factor to consider.

         ¶8 The defendant filed a motion for review under Rule 604(c), which governs appeals from a bail order before conviction. We will review the decision of the trial court for an abuse of ...


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