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from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County, No. 10-CF-340;
Review the Hon. Rudolph M. Braud, Judge, presiding.
E. Chadd, John M. McCarthy, and Ryan R. Wilson, of State
Appellate Defender's Office, of Springfield, for
C. Milhiser, State's Attorney, of Springfield ( Patrick
Delfino, David J. Robinson, and Thomas R. Dodegge, of
State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of
counsel), for the People.
¶ 1 In
January 2012, a jury convicted defendant, Lynn A. Fathauer,
of participation in methamphetamine manufacturing (720 ILCS
646/15(a)(2)(A) (West 2010)) and obstruction of justice (720
ILCS 5/31-4(a) (West 2010)). The trial court sentenced
defendant to 20 years in prison for the methamphetamine
offense and a concurrent term of 3 years in prison for
obstruction. On direct appeal, this court affirmed
defendant's conviction and sentence. People v.
Fathauer, 2013 IL App. (4th) 120424-U, ¶ 2, 2013 WL
¶ 2 In
February 2014, defendant pro se filed a petition for
postconviction relief pursuant to the Post-Conviction Hearing
Act (Act) (725 ILCS 5/122-1 et seq. (West 2014)).
Defendant alleged four grounds for relief, including
ineffective assistance of trial counsel. In April 2014, the
trial court appointed counsel to represent defendant on his
postconviction petition, and later that month the State filed
a motion to dismiss.
¶ 3 In
August 2015, postconviction counsel filed a motion to
withdraw. Citing People v. Kuehner, 2015 IL 117695,
392 Ill.Dec. 347, 32 N.E.3d 655, postconviction counsel
argued each of defendant's pro se claims was in
fact frivolous or patently without merit. In May 2016, the
trial court granted counsel's motion to withdraw over
defendant's objection but did not address the State's
motion to dismiss.
Defendant appealed, and this court dismissed the appeal for
want of a final order. People v. Fathauer, 2017 IL
App. (4th) 160364-U, ¶ 2, 2017 WL 6498086. On remand, the
trial court granted the State's motion to dismiss
defendant's postconviction petition.
Defendant appeals, arguing the trial court erred by granting
postconviction counsel's motion to withdraw because (1)
defendant's petition stated a claim for ineffective
assistance of counsel and (2) postconviction counsel rendered
ineffective assistance by failing to amend the pro
se petition. We disagree and affirm.
¶ 6 I.
¶ 7 A.
¶ 8 In
June 2010, the State charged defendant with participation in
methamphetamine manufacturing (720 ILCS 646/15(a)(2)(A) (West
2010)) and obstruction of justice (720 ILCS 5/31-4(a) (West
2010)). The State alleged defendant knowingly participated in
the manufacture of less than 15 grams of methamphetamine or a
substance containing methamphetamine on May 22, 2010.
Regarding the obstruction charge, the State alleged defendant
knowingly concealed evidence by throwing a glass jar
containing methamphetamine into a grassy area.
¶ 9 In
January 2012, the case proceeded to a jury trial. We need not
provide a detailed summary of the testimony at trial. Such a
summary may be found in the direct appeal of defendant's
conviction. See Fathauer, 2013 IL App. (4th)
120424-U. The resolution of defendant's appeal largely
turns on the testimony of one witness, Daron Trudeau.
¶ 10 1.
The Jury Trial
The State's first witness was Jeffrey Leininger, a
Springfield police officer. Leininger was on duty around noon
on May 22, 2010. Because a detective wanted to speak to
Trudeau "with reference to him parting out stolen parts
on a stolen car," Leininger drove to Maaco (an auto
collision repair shop) to search for Trudeau and a Chevy
Blazer. When he saw the Blazer, Leininger pulled his squad
car next to it and asked the driver if they could talk. The
driver responded, "Why?" and drove away. The driver
continued even after Leininger exited his squad car and told
him to stop. Leininger followed the Blazer and initiated a
traffic stop, informing the driver, Trudeau, that he was
under arrest "for basically obstruction, resisting, for
not listening to [his] commands, and driving away."
Defendant was in the passenger seat. At some point Leininger
observed white spots on defendant's clothing. He asked
Trudeau and defendant if they had thrown anything from the
window. Both denied having done so.
Trudeau testified he and defendant had known each other for
five to seven years. On May 21, 2010, Trudeau took some
methamphetamine he had cooked the day before to
defendant's Decatur home. The methamphetamine needed
further processing. To process the methamphetamine, Trudeau
used a "generator" (a glass jar with a hose
connected to it) and muriatic acid. Trudeau would mix
aluminum with the muriatic acid to make smoke.
Methamphetamine would form at the bottom of the jar. At that
point, the methamphetamine would be wet. Trudeau would strain
the product through coffee filters and let it dry. At
defendant's house, Trudeau asked for filters and used
them. Once he had the final product, Trudeau waited for it to
dry and then took it with him.
Trudeau testified he and defendant left defendant's home
in Trudeau's Chevy Blazer. While in the Blazer, Trudeau
cooked more methamphetamine. Defendant assisted by acting as
a lookout and by steadying the generator. The two smoked some
of the methamphetamine. They also went to Trudeau's
sister's house and then to Springfield. Defendant was
with Trudeau when Trudeau bought lighter fluid. Trudeau
obtained the anhydrous ammonia earlier by stealing it from
According to Trudeau, he drove to Maaco to pick up his last
check from work. As he exited the Maaco parking lot, a police
officer told Trudeau he wanted to talk. Trudeau responded he
had nothing to say and drove away. Trudeau testified he did
not stop because he had methamphetamine in his car. Trudeau
handed defendant a mason jar, which contained
and told defendant to throw it out. Defendant threw the jar
and its contents out of the passenger window. Trudeau stated
a bag containing methamphetamine and a pipe were also thrown
from the window. Trudeau believed he disposed of those items.
Trudeau then stopped for the police. An officer removed
Trudeau from the Blazer and handcuffed him. Trudeau was
arrested on May 22, 2010, for unlawful participation in
Trudeau further testified he was interviewed by the police
and the state's attorney's office. He testified he
was not promised anything for his testimony and that he was
facing the same charges as defendant.
¶ 16 On
cross-examination, Trudeau testified his trial for
methamphetamine manufacturing was approaching. Trudeau
believed he would get probation for that offense because he
had not been in trouble before. Trudeau agreed he had not
been caught stealing anhydrous ammonia. He denied stealing
anything else, including car parts. Trudeau testified he did
not know he was purchasing stolen parts. He bought them
because they fit his vehicle. Trudeau was not arrested for
possessing stolen car parts.
Trudeau acknowledged giving three interviews with police and
the state's attorney's office. Trudeau did not think
he had told police in his first interview that he knew the
parts recovered were stolen. Trudeau admitted he used half a
gram to a gram of methamphetamine per day and denied telling
the police officers he used two to three grams per day.
Trudeau stated he had been making methamphetamine for four to
five months and admitted he sold methamphetamine when he
wanted money. All of the items in the truck were thrown out
of the passenger side window. He admitted that each time he
manufactured methamphetamine he had to steal anhydrous
ammonia. Trudeau also recruited people to purchase
The jury found defendant guilty of both charged offenses. The
trial court sentenced defendant to concurrent prison terms of
20 years for methamphetamine manufacturing and 3 years for
¶ 19 2.
The Direct Appeal
¶ 20 On
direct appeal, this court summarized defendant's
arguments as follows:
"Defendant argues the State failed to prove him guilty
of both offenses beyond a reasonable doubt. Defendant
contends only one witness testified defendant participated in
methamphetamine production and threw the jar from the Blazer.
That witness, Trudeau, was `an admitted liar, methamphetamine
addict, and drug dealer,' who had a motive to testify
falsely. Defendant maintains, because of this, Trudeau's
testimony was ...