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People v. Alexander

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

December 17, 2019

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ANDRAY DONETA ALEXANDER, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of McLean County No. 15CF1266 Honorable Scott D. Drazewski, Judge Presiding.

          JUSTICE STEIGMANN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Turner and Cavanagh concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          STEIGMANN JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 In October 2015, the State charged defendant, Andray Doneta Alexander, with two counts of residential burglary (counts I and II) (720 ILCS 5/19-3(a) (West 2014)) and one count of possession of burglary tools (count III) (Id. § 19-2(a)). In April 2017, a jury found defendant guilty of all three charges. In May 2017, the trial court sentenced defendant to 16 years in prison on counts I and II, 3 years in prison on count III, and ordered all sentences to be served concurrently.

         ¶ 2 Defendant appeals, arguing he was denied the effective assistance of counsel because his trial attorney labored under a per se conflict of interest. We disagree and affirm.

         ¶ 3 I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 4 A. The Charges

         ¶ 5 In October 2015, the State charged defendant with two counts of residential burglary (Id. § 19-3(a)) and one count of possession of burglary tools (Id. § 19-2(a)). The trial court appointed counsel for defendant, and, ultimately, assistant public defender Jennifer Patton represented defendant in this case.

         ¶ 6 B. McLean County Case No. 05-CF-326

         ¶ 7 Prior to Patton's position in the McLean County public defender's office, she served as a McLean County assistant state's attorney (ASA). On July 29, 2005, Patton appeared at a status hearing on behalf of the State in McLean County case No. 05-CF-326, in which the State had charged defendant with 14 counts of residential burglary and burglary. The docket entry for that date shows defendant's case was continued to August 1, 2005, for a "plea hearing."

         ¶ 8 On August 1, 2005, Patton again appeared on behalf of the State. Defendant pleaded guilty to four counts of residential burglary, and the State dismissed the remaining charges. The trial court sentenced defendant to eight years' in prison.

         ¶ 9 C. Defendant's Motion in Limine

         ¶ 10 In April 2017, defendant filed a motion in limine to exclude other-crimes evidence, including such evidence arising from McLean County case No. 05-CF-326. Following a hearing, the trial court found defendant's convictions ...


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