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People v. Holt

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

December 11, 2019

FREDERICK L. HOLT, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 14th Judicial Circuit No. 14-CF-253, Whiteside County, Illinois. The Honorable Stanley B. Steines, Judge, presiding.

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

          Attorneys for Appellee: Terry A. Costello, State's Attorney, of Morrison (Patrick Delfino, David J. Robinson, and Justin A. Nicolosi, of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

          JUSTICE McDADE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices O'Brien and Lytton concurred in the judgment and opinion.


          McDADE, JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 The defendant, Frederick L. Holt, was convicted of burglary (720 ILCS 5/19-1(a) (West 2014)) and retail theft (id. § 16-25(a)(1)) and was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of eight and three years, respectively. On appeal, Holt argues that (1) the State failed to prove that he committed the offense of burglary, (2) the State failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of retail theft, and (3) he is entitled to a new trial due to prosecutorial misconduct in closing arguments. In our opinion filed March 7, 2019, we affirmed, unanimously, defendant's conviction for retail theft and reversed his conviction for burglary, with Justice Lytton dissenting from that part of the decision.

         ¶ 2 On September 25, 2019, the Illinois Supreme Court denied the petition for leave to appeal filed in this case by the State and issued the following supervisory order:

"In the exercise of this Court's supervisory authority, the Appellate Court, Third District, is directed to vacate its judgment in People v. Holt, case No. 3-16-0504 (03/07/19). The appellate court is directed to consider the effect of this Court's opinion in People v. Johnson, 2019 IL 123318, on the issue of whether the State failed to prove that defendant committed the offense of burglary and determine if a different result is warranted." People v. Holt, No. 124739 (Ill. Sept. 25, 2019) (supervisory order).

         Accordingly, we vacate our earlier judgment in this case and render the following decision.

         ¶ 3 FACTS

         ¶ 4 On July 23, 2014, the State charged Holt with burglary and retail theft. The charges stemmed from an incident that took place at a Walmart in Rock Falls on July 22, 2014. The State alleged that on July 22, 2014, Holt (1) entered Walmart without authority and with the intent to commit theft and (2) stole 11 T-shirts, three packages of socks, and a dress, all of which had a total value of less than $300.

         ¶ 5 The circuit court held a jury trial on February 11 and 12, 2015. Amanda Peppers testified that she was shopping with her nephew in the Rock Falls Walmart on July 22, 2014. When she was in the parking lot getting ready to leave, her nephew pointed out two males, one of whom she identified as Holt, who were coming out of the store. Peppers stated that she observed the males reach behind the soda machines, pull out backpacks, take items out of their clothes, and place the items in the backpacks. She testified that she observed Holt take "something long and orange, like a fabric of some sort" out of his pants and place it in a red and black backpack. Peppers further stated that the two males walked back into the vestibule by the Coinstar machine, but she could not see what they were doing. Then, the males walked back into the store. She stated that the males carried the backpacks into the vestibule by the Coinstar machine, but when they reentered the store, they were no longer carrying the backpacks.

         ¶ 6 Peppers called the police. Subsequently, she saw the males exit Walmart separately. When Holt left the store, he was not carrying anything. He sat on a bench outside the door.

         ¶ 7 After the police arrived and arrested the other male, Peppers exited her vehicle and approached Rock Falls police officer James Hollaway. While they were talking, she noticed a red and black backpack on top of the Coinstar machine.

         ¶ 8 On cross-examination, Peppers stated that she saw the males inside the store while she was shopping, but she did not see them steal anything. Peppers also admitted that she "may have" told Hollaway that she "was tired of these people going in the store and stealing stuff." She acknowledged that both males were black.

         ¶ 9 Hollaway testified that when he arrived on the scene, he noticed a red and black backpack on the Coinstar machine in the store's vestibule. He took the backpack over to Holt and, after being informed that Holt had already been Mirandized (see Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966)), asked if it was his; Holt said no. Hollaway told Holt the backpack was abandoned property, so he opened it and found girl's clothing and a transit identification (ID) card that did not bear Holt's name. When asked about the ID card, Holt said it was his friend's card.

         ¶ 10 Hollaway testified that the backpack contained three packs of socks, a dress, a pair of pants, and a two-piece shirt set. He described the packs of socks and noted that one of them did not have a sticker on it. He stated that neither the dress nor the pants had tags on them, but the exhibit contained a tag that he believed was from the dress. He read the tag: "Hello Kitty thirteen ninety seven, high low dress." He also described the shirt set as "Faded Glory, two-piece set size five, says, rack 15, $7.92." There was an owl on the shirt that matched owls on the purple pants. Hollaway also described the 11 T-shirts that were found on Holt's person. All of the T-shirts were priced at $4.88 or $4.97.

         ¶ 11 Hollaway testified that he concluded the items had been stolen because there were no receipts and no proof that Holt had paid for the items. He stated that the store manager had scanned the items and determined that they all were items offered for sale by Walmart. ...

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