from the Circuit Court of De Kalb County. No. 16-DT-408,
Honorable Philip G. Montgomery, Judge, Presiding.
McLAREN JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Hutchinson and Zenoff concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 Following a jury trial, defendant, James E. Althoff, was
found guilty of, among other things, driving while under the
influence of alcohol (DUI) (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(2) (West
2016)). On appeal, he argues that the trial court should have
afforded him some relief for the State's failure to
produce a squad-car-camera video of the stop and the complete
booking-room video. Because we determine that the State did
not commit a discovery violation, we conclude that the trial
court did not err in denying defendant any relief.
Accordingly, we affirm.
2 I. BACKGROUND
3 After defendant was arrested for DUI, he asked the State to
produce videos of his stop and what transpired in the booking
room thereafter. Although the State eventually produced a
video of some of what transpired in the booking room, it did
not produce any video of the stop. Thus, defendant moved the
court to dismiss the case or bar the State from eliciting
testimony about events that would have been on the missing
4 At a subsequent hearing, before the court heard any
evidence, defendant advised the court that "again,
although [he] may change [his] opinion today, depending on
what's said or not said, at this point [he was] not
alleging malfeasance and intent ***. That's not the
5 The evidence revealed that, in late October 2016, the
arresting officer, Grey son Scott had one year of experience
with another police department and had just finished his one
year of probation with the Sycamore Police Department. During
his probationary term, two field-training officers trained
Scott on how to use the squad-car camera.
6 When Scott reported to work on October 30, 2016, he
completed an inspection report for his squad car before
taking it out on patrol. The inspection included checking the
emergency lights, camera, and microphone. An inspection of
the camera and microphone involved "looking at [the]
microphone and looking at the camera to make sure it's
[sic] blinking." Scott did not notice that
anything in the squad car was malfunctioning.
7 At 11:30 p.m., Scott saw defendant turn without signaling
and make an improper U-turn. Scott activated his emergency
lights and stopped defendant. Scott believed that, as soon as
the emergency lights were activated, the squad-car camera
began recording the stop. Again, nothing indicated that the
squad-car camera was not functioning properly.
8 Once defendant exhibited indicia of intoxication, Scott
repositioned his squad car to record defendant's
performance on various field sobriety tests. After moving the
squad car, Scott verified that the squad-car camera and
microphone were "activated." This entailed
observing that the lights on the camera and the microphone
were blinking, which meant that they were synched. Nothing
indicated that either the camera or the microphone was
9 After administering the field sobriety tests, Scott
arrested defendant for DUI and transported him to the police
department. As soon as Scott pulled into the sally port at
the police station, the camera and microphone turned off and
Scott placed the microphone in its cradle to charge. At this
point, recordings of stops start automatically synching with
the main system, which is called VuVault.
10 Scott then took defendant to the booking room and started
his police report for defendant's arrest. Scott, who did
not know anything about the booking-room recording system,
did nothing to activate that system. As he was preparing his
report, Scott checked VuVault to confirm that the recording
of the stop went through. He learned that it did not. He then
completed as much of his police report as he could and
checked VuVault again before he left the station. The
recording of the stop was still not uploaded to Vu Vault.
Scott then, per departmental policy, sent an e-mail to
Detective Joseph Meeks, telling him that he could not
determine why the recording did not upload. Scott then asked
Meeks to pull the SIM card from the squad-car camera and
download the video, as Scott did not have access to the SIM
11 When Scott returned to work on November 2, 2016, he saw
that Meeks had sent him an e-mail informing him and the other
patrol officers that the squad recordings had been
"dumped" into VuVault. The recording of
defendant's stop was still not there. Per departmental
policy, Scott told Commander Cook about the problem. ...