from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County No. 10CF340
Honorable Rudolph M. Braud, Judge Presiding.
Attorneys for Appellant: James E. Chadd, John M. McCarthy,
and Ryan R. Wilson, of State Appellate Defender's Office,
of Springfield, for appellant.
Attorneys for Appellee: John 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.
JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Holder White and Justice Knecht
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
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.
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, 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
4 Defendant appealed, and this court dismissed the appeal for
want of a final order. People v. Fathauer, 2017 IL
App (4th) 160364-U, ¶ 2. On remand, the trial court
granted the State's motion to dismiss defendant's
5 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. BACKGROUND
7 A. Procedural History
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
11 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.
12 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.
13 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
14 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 methamphetamine, 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 methamphetamine
15 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.
17 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
18 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 obstruction.
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
unbelievable and his convictions should be overturned."
Fathauer, 2013 IL App (4th) 120424-U, ¶ 32.
21 This court affirmed the conviction and sentence.
Id. ¶ 2. In doing so, we noted as follows:
"The jury was informed of Trudeau's conduct and
pending methamphetamine-related charges, as well as
Trudeau's alleged purchase of stolen auto parts. Defense
counsel cross-examined Trudeau regarding his motive to lie
and of his anticipation of receiving probation for the
offense. The jury, who heard Trudeau and the other witnesses
testify, apparently believed Trudeau, in spite of his alleged
motive to lie and his methamphetamine addiction. This
determination lies within the role of ...