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People v. Bates

Supreme Court of Illinois

November 21, 2019


          JUSTICE GARMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Chief Justice Burke and Justices Thomas, Kilbride, Karmeier, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion.



         ¶ 1 Defendant Quentin[1] Bates was convicted of home invasion and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual conduct against the same victim. During his trial, the State introduced evidence of other aggravated criminal sexual conduct crimes that he allegedly committed. During the hearing for his motion for a new trial, defendant's retained counsel claimed that he was surprised at the depth of the evidence introduced regarding the other crimes and that counsel would have had that evidence tested by his own experts had he known the depth. We are called on to decide whether counsel's statements were an admission of ineffective assistance of counsel and whether such statements require the trial court to conduct an inquiry pursuant to this court's decision in People v. Krankel, 102 Ill.2d 181, 189 (1984).

         ¶ 2 BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 Defendant was arrested and charged in the circuit court of Sangamon County with home invasion, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and other crimes arising out of two separate incidents. The State alleged that, on September 19, 2011, defendant entered victim A.P.'s home and, armed with a knife, sexually assaulted her. The State also alleged that, on October 6, 2011, defendant entered victim C.H.'s home in a similar manner and, again armed with a knife, sexually assaulted her. Charges for both incidents were consolidated for pretrial proceedings. The same assistant public defender was appointed to represent defendant in both matters.

         ¶ 4 The State elected to try defendant for the assault of A.P. first and moved in limine to introduce other crimes evidence of the assault of C.H. pursuant to section 115-7.3(b) of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (725 ILCS 5/115-7.3(b) (West 2012)). After that motion was granted, defendant retained private counsel for the trial regarding the assault of A.P. only. The public defender continued to represent defendant regarding the assault of C.H.

         ¶ 5 Prior to the trial for the assault of A.P., counsel moved for a continuance because he had "just received a copy of discovery materials from [the assistant state's attorney] and/or [the assistant public defender], which are voluminous." That motion was allowed. Defendant also moved the court to pay for him to retain a DNA expert to review the DNA testing conducted by the Illinois State Police, "which reports to show a match of Defendant's DNA with matter found on two women in [the case regarding A.P. and the case regarding C.H.]" At oral argument on that motion, counsel confirmed that the scope of the request "would include the evidence in [the case regarding the assault of C.H.]" That motion was granted, and the court authorized the expenditure.

         ¶ 6 Counsel also moved for reconsideration of the order permitting the State to introduce the other crimes evidence, arguing that defendant could not receive a fair trial "if evidence is allowed from matters derived from evidence in [the case regarding the assault of C.H.]" As late as the week before trial, counsel continued to argue that admission of evidence regarding the assault of C.H. "would be grievous error," that he would be successful on appeal, and that "we would have to start all over again." Despite his earlier request for funds to pay for an independent DNA expert to review Illinois State Police testing of "matter found on two women," he stated that "he would need to hire an expert to review those-the evidence in [the case regarding the assault of C.H.]" He later stated, at the Rule 402 plea conference (Ill. S.Ct. R. 402(d)(1) (eff July 1, 2012)), that "[a]s far as the [case concerning the assault of C.H.], I'm not on that case so I'm not familiar with all of that-all the facts there, but I assume they're basically correct."

         ¶ 7 When the case advanced to trial, counsel indicated in his opening statement that he was not defendant's attorney regarding the assault of C.H. and that no defense expert had reviewed the State's report. He asked the jury to "consider that for what it's worth and that is not much. It's an accusation. He's not been through trial."

         ¶ 8 A.P. testified about her assault. The State also introduced testimony from police officers, a nurse, and a DNA expert. The DNA expert testified that defendant's DNA matched DNA from the semen found on the victim's body in 15 of 16 loci tested. Although the DNA found was not a direct match for defendant's DNA, the expert testified that he could not exclude defendant as the source of the semen and that he "would expect approximately one in 2.3 quadrillion whites, one in 840 trillion blacks, and one in 3.0 quadrillion Southwest Hispanics could not be excluded from the profile." Counsel cross-examined A.P. and the DNA expert. He cross-examined the crime scene investigator who collected evidence at both locations, but only to confirm that she merely collected, and did not test or process, that evidence. He did not cross-examine any other witness.

         ¶ 9 C.H. also testified about her assault. The State introduced testimony from other witnesses regarding that assault, including another DNA expert. This expert testified that the DNA recovered from the saliva found on C.H. Matched defendant's DNA at all 16 loci tested, thus indicating a match for defendant. She testified that this profile "would be expected to occur in approximately one in 2.8 quintillion black, one in 53 quintillion white, or one in 270 quintillion Southwest Hispanic unrelated individuals." Other than the crime scene investigator, counsel did not cross-examine any witness regarding the assault of C.H.

         ¶ 10 The defense presented one witness, its own DNA expert, who testified that the DNA profile recovered from A.P. was not as conclusive as the State's expert testified. He highlighted the difference between a DNA match and a failure to exclude defendant's profile from the DNA found on A.P.'s body. He testified that multiple DNA profiles could not be excluded from the semen recovered from A.P.' s body and that defendant was but one of those profiles. He was not asked about nor did he testify about the DNA found in the saliva recovered from C.H.'s body. During closing argument, defense counsel asked the jury not to put much weight on the "case within a case," also stating that "[t]here's been no review by any DNA experts."

         ¶ 11 The jury found defendant guilty of home invasion and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual conduct, one each for oral and vaginal penetration of A.P. Defendant moved for a new trial. In that motion, counsel argued that the trial court erred in denying defendant's motion in limine to exclude the other crimes evidence and in granting a motion by the State to exclude evidence regarding A.P.'s sexual history. During the hearing on that motion, counsel stated that he was not defendant's attorney for the case resulting from the assault of C.H. He stated that although he was generally aware of the allegations, he "couldn't possibly do as good a job in defending my client since it wasn't my case." He also stated that he "was taken by surprise at the depth of the evidence and testimony brought by the State's attorney, meaning, brought the victim-alleged victim, forensic scientists, I had no chance to review that. As [the court] know[s], had I been thinking about that case, I would have asked for review by our own experts." The trial court denied the motion, noting that it reviewed the motion and "had an opportunity to review my notes during the trial and the testimony and I remember it very well."

         ¶ 12 Defendant appealed, arguing that he did not receive effective assistance of counsel, that he was denied his constitutional right to confront witnesses against him, that he should have received a new trial because the State made improper statements in its closing argument, that the amount of other crimes evidence deprived him of a fair trial, and that the trial court erred when it failed to conduct a Krankel hearing. The ...

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