Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County No. 14 CR 17533,
Honorable Dennis J. Porter, Judge Presiding.
Attorneys for Appellant: James E. Chadd, Patricia Mysza, and
Drew A. Wallenstein, of State Appellate Defender's
Office, of Chicago, for appellant.
Attorneys for Appellee: Kimberly M. Foxx, State's
Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J. Spellberg, Annette Collins and
Veronica Calderon Malavia, Assistant State's Attorneys,
of counsel), for the People.
JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.
Justice Connors concurred in the judgment and opinion.
Presiding Justice Mikva dissented, with opinion
1 Following a 2015 bench trial, defendant Michael Taylor was
convicted of aggravated stalking and sentenced to four
years' imprisonment with fines and fees. On appeal,
defendant contends that his conviction for aggravated
stalking (720 ILCS 5/12-7.4 (West 2014)) must be vacated
because the underlying stalking statute (id. §
12-7.3) is facially unconstitutional due to vagueness.
Defendant also contends for the first time on appeal that two
of his fees are erroneous and that certain fees are actually
fines for which he must receive presentence incarceration
credit. For the reasons stated below, we remand for defendant
to raise his fines and fees claims in the circuit court and
2 I. JURISDICTION
3 On October 8, 2015, the circuit court found defendant
guilty of aggravated stalking. On December 4, 2015, the court
sentenced defendant to four years' imprisonment with
fines and fees. Defendant filed his notice of appeal that
day. Accordingly, this court has jurisdiction pursuant to
article VI, section 6, of the Illinois Constitution (Ill.
Const. 1970, art. VI, § 6) and Illinois Supreme Court
Rule 603 (eff. Feb. 6, 2013) and Rule 606 (eff. July 1, 2017)
governing appeals from a final judgment of conviction in a
4 II. BACKGROUND
5 Defendant was charged with two counts of aggravated
stalking (720 ILCS 5/12-7.4(a)(3) (West 2014)) for, between
August 18 and August 30, 2014, in violation of an order of
protection in case No. 14-DV-74667, knowingly engaging in a
course of conduct against Tiffany DeShields by, on two or
more occasions, surveilling her, calling her, sending her
text messages, and threatening her. The counts alleged that
defendant knew or should have known that his course of
conduct would cause a reasonable person to, in count I, fear
for her safety, and in count II, suffer emotional distress.
See id. § 12-7.3(a)(1), (2).
6 Defendant was also charged with four counts of stalking
allegedly committed between July 12 and August 30, 2014. Two
counts (counts III and IV) mirrored the two counts of
aggravated stalking except for not alleging that defendant
violated an order of protection. Id. Count V alleged
that defendant knowingly and without justification followed
or surveilled DeShields on or about July 12 and August 23 and
transmitted a threat of bodily harm to DeShields by
threatening to kill her, while count VI alleged the same two
instances of surveillance and alleged that defendant placed
DeShields in reasonable apprehension of immediate or future
bodily harm. Id. § 12-7.3(a-3)(1), (2).
7 At trial, DeShields testified that, in August 2014, she had
been dating defendant for about two months. She broke up with
him on July 12, 2014, because she learned that he was not
employed. He was at her home when she told him she was
breaking up with him, and he left but then began
"banging on" the back door. When she told him to go
away, he made various remarks including, "I will kill
myself. I will kill you," so she called the police. On
July 24, defendant came to her home, told her that he had a
job, and asked her to "give me another chance."
Because he had a job, she "did get back with him at that
time." However, on July 29, after defendant borrowed her
cell phone, she broke up with him again. He left with her
cell phone and took her car. When he returned the car on July
31, he apologized for taking her car and home keys. She asked
him to get into her car, and she drove him to the police
station. As they were in the car, he said he would kill her
and himself "if you don't get back with me."
When she brought defendant to the police station, she
obtained an emergency order of protection against him.
8 On August 18, 2014, the circuit court granted DeShields a
plenary order of protection against defendant. At trial, she
identified copies of the August 1 emergency and August 18
plenary orders of protection. On August 23, defendant was at
DeShields's home "as usual," talking with her
through the back door and stating that he would "kill
you" and "kill myself." She told him to leave,
reminded him that he was "not supposed to be here,"
and mentioned calling the police. As he left, she saw him
take her daughter's bicycle from the backyard, throwing
it over the fence. She called the police, then called
defendant to demand the return of the bicycle. When he
refused "[be]cause you won't be with me," she
said that "we could be together, just bring the
bike." She said so to induce him to return the bicycle.
He returned the bicycle later that day by bringing it
"close" to her home.
9 On August 25, defendant was again in DeShields's
backyard cursing, begging, and "banging" on her
back door "trying to break down the door." In his
begging, he repeated that he would kill himself if they were
not together. She called the police, and he left. On the
afternoon of August 29, defendant called her on the
telephone; she recognized his voice. He said he was outside
her home and asked her to come outside and "please be
together." She called the police, but he was gone when
they arrived. That night, two back windows of her home were
broken by thrown bricks, and she saw defendant in the
backyard with another brick in his hand that he threw
"but missed." She called the police, and he fled.
10 Defendant sent DeShields "a lot" of text
messages in the latter half of August 2014, using the cell
phone he borrowed from her. Many of his messages said that he
would "get back with" her, and some were
threatening, including one threatening to kill DeShields and
break her car windows. DeShields was shown a copy of an
August 12 message in which defendant threatened to kill
DeShields and Shavon Clash, her neighbor and babysitter; she
agreed that the copy was accurate. The copy includes messages
that DeShields should "[w]atch car before it blow
up" and "d[o]nt get yo[ur] nieghbor [sic]
killed." This threat left her "very terrified for
me and my children." Indeed, all of these incidents left
her feeling "threatened for my safety because of the
defendant [a]ll the time" and also afraid for her two
11 On cross-examination, DeShields testified that defendant
was "bothering me those whole two weeks" between
the July 12 breakup and July 24 but she did not call the
police because she was open to resuming the relationship if
he had a job, as he did on July 24. She broke up with him on
July 29 because, when he borrowed her cell phone, she saw
texts between himself and various women referring to
"how he slept with them." When he left that day,
she unsuccessfully asked for the return of her cell phone but
did not know he was leaving with her keys as well. When he
returned her car on July 31 and she drove him to the police
station, she did not mention to him at first where they were
going. Once she did, he said he had to be with her,
threatened to kill her if she was not with him, and asked her
not to bring him to the station. He did not try to leave the
car until they reached the station and he fled, but the
police caught him immediately.
12 When DeShields filed for an emergency order of protection,
she mentioned his death threats but not taking her cell phone
or car, explaining that he returned the car by then and that
he did not take the cell phone but failed to return it after
borrowing it. When asked if she told police on the night of
August 29 to 30 that she saw defendant in her yard with a
brick in hand, she replied "I thought I did." She
could not recall if she called police after the August 12
text message, though she called police about 30 times and
filed about 20 reports. She admitted that she replied
"okay" to one of defendant's text messages but
explained that "that's the only time I was nice to
him, the day he stole my daughter's bike" and that
she tried to be calm when dealing with defendant
"because you don't know what they're capable
13 Clash, DeShields's neighbor and babysitter in August
2014, testified that DeShields was dating defendant then,
identifying defendant at trial. She saw him walking with
DeShields in the latter half of August 2014. In the same
period, she saw him "hop" the fence separating her
home from DeShields's home and then heard him
"banging and knocking" at DeShields's door and
asking her to let him it. On another occasion, Clash saw him
"verbally abusing" DeShields on the street in front
of her home. On "[n]umerous" occasions, Clash saw
defendant enter DeShields's backyard, stand outside her
back door, and ask to be let in.
14 Following arguments, the court found defendant guilty of
aggravated stalking under count II, based on causing
emotional distress by his course of action. It also found him
guilty of all four counts of stalking and merged them into
15 Defendant filed a general posttrial motion, claiming
without particular allegations that he was denied due
process, equal protection of the laws, and a fair trial.
Counsel stood on the motion and his closing arguments
regarding the sufficiency of the evidence, and the court
denied the motion without further findings.
16 Following a sentencing hearing, the court entered a final
judgment on count II only (720 ILCS 5/12-7.4(a)(3),
12-7.3(a)(2) (West 2014)) and sentenced defendant to four
years' imprisonment with $449 in fines and fees. This
appeal timely followed.
17 III. ANALYSIS
18 On appeal, defendant challenges his aggravated stalking
conviction and ...