People v. Andrews

Decision Date24 March 2006
Docket NumberNo. 2-03-0959.,2-03-0959.
Citation845 N.E.2d 974
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Shauntel L. ANDREWS, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois

Thomas A. Lilien, Deputy Defender and Kathleen J. Hamill (Court-appointed), Office of the State Appellate Defender, Elgin, for Shauntel L. Andrews.

John Barsanti, Kane County State's Attorney, St. Charles, Martin P. Moltz, Deputy Director, State's Attorneys Appellate

Prosecutor, Elgin, Kristine A. Karlin, for the People.

Justice KAPALA delivered the opinion of the court:

Defendant, Shauntel L. Andrews, was charged by indictment with aggravated vehicular hijacking while carrying a firearm (720 ILCS 5/18-4(a)(4) (West 2002)). A first trial ended in a mistrial due to jury deadlock. On retrial, a second jury convicted defendant of the offense, and the trial court sentenced him to 14 years' imprisonment. Defendant timely appealed, contending first that his second trial violated his rights under the double jeopardy clauses of the United States and Illinois Constitutions. Second, defendant contended that the offense of aggravated vehicular hijacking while carrying a firearm (720 ILCS 5/18-4(a)(4) (West 2002)) was declared unconstitutional in People v. Moss, 206 Ill.2d 503, 276 Ill.Dec. 855, 795 N.E.2d 208 (2003), and, therefore, his conviction must be reversed and supplanted with a conviction of the lesser-included offense of vehicular hijacking (720 ILCS 5/18-3 (West 2002)). As alternatives to his second contention, defendant contended that the evidence presented at his second trial was insufficient to sustain his conviction, and that the trial court erred in refusing to answer a question posed by the jury during its deliberation at the second trial.

In People v. Andrews, 358 Ill.App.3d 744, 294 Ill.Dec. 543, 831 N.E.2d 66 (2005), we rejected defendant's first appellate contention but agreed with defendant's second contention and, consequently, we reversed defendant's conviction of aggravated vehicular hijacking while carrying a firearm in violation of subsection 18-4(a)(4) and vacated his 14-year sentence. We found it unnecessary to reach defendant's alternate contentions. We also ordered the entry of a judgment of conviction of the Class 1 felony offense of vehicular hijacking (720 ILCS 5/18-3 (West 2002)), and we remanded the cause to the trial court for resentencing. The State filed a petition for leave to appeal. Our supreme court denied the petition but, under its supervisory authority, directed this court to vacate our judgment and to reconsider in light of People v. Sharpe, 216 Ill.2d 481, 298 Ill. Dec. 169, 839 N.E.2d 492 (2005), which was handed down while the State's petition was pending. The parties have filed supplemental briefs addressing the impact of Sharpe on defendant's appeal. We now vacate our prior opinion and file this opinion in its stead. Upon reconsideration, we continue to reject defendant's first appellate contention, and we agree with defendant's new proportionate penalties clause challenge. Consequently, we reverse defendant's conviction of aggravated vehicular hijacking while carrying a firearm in violation of subsection 18-4(a)(4), and vacate his 14-year sentence. We continue to find it unnecessary to reach defendant's alternate contentions. We order the entry of a judgment of conviction of the Class 1 felony offense of vehicular hijacking (720 ILCS 5/18-3 (West 2002)), and we remand the cause to the circuit court of Kane County for resentencing.

I. FACTS
A. The First Jury Trial

Defendant's first jury trial began on February 3, 2003. Erica Rocha testified that she drove her mother's white pickup truck to an Office Depot in Aurora, Illinois, on September 28, 2002. Erica's friend Amber Ibarra was Erica's passenger. After Erica parked the pickup truck, a man with a goatee, wearing a black "hoody" and black "Wilson" gloves, approached the pickup truck. Erica made an in-court identification of defendant as the man who approached the pickup truck. Defendant told Erica that he liked her truck and that he wanted to show her something, and he then pulled out a gun. Erica described the gun as a black metal revolver with rust spots and scratches on it. Defendant told Erica and Amber to empty their pockets and to give him all their money. After Erica and Amber told defendant that they had no money, defendant said that he liked the truck and was going to take it. After Erica asked defendant not to take the truck, defendant asked if it was worth her life. With that, Erica said no, and she and Amber got out of the pickup truck. Defendant got into the pickup truck and drove away. Thereafter, Erica telephoned the police. On October 4, 2002, Detective Guillermo Trujillo of the Aurora police department showed Erica two six-photograph arrays. Erica identified the person depicted in photograph number four in the second array as the person who took her mother's pickup truck. The individual depicted in photograph number four was defendant. On cross-examination, Erica agreed that the gun defendant had on the afternoon in question could have been fake, but she believed that it was real.

Amber Ibarra's testimony was substantially similar to Erica's testimony. Amber also made an in-court identification of defendant as the man who hijacked the pickup truck. Amber independently selected a photograph of defendant from the same arrays of photographs viewed by Erica. On cross-examination, Amber added that she saw defendant get out of a car before he approached the pickup truck. Amber responded affirmatively to defense counsel's question, "[a]nd that car you said had a half-circle shape on the trunk?"

Detective Trujillo testified that he met with Erica Rocha and Amber Ibarra on October 4, 2002, and interviewed them individually. Both Erica and Amber selected a photograph of defendant from the second of two photograph arrays and indicated that the photograph was of the man who hijacked the white pickup truck. When asked on cross-examination why he included a photograph of defendant in the photograph arrays, Detective Trujillo said that defendant's name was given to him by the North Chicago police department based on information provided to them from the arrest of James Walls and Angelo Wilcox in North Chicago. Detective Trujillo said that the North Chicago police department obtained defendant's name from James Walls and Angelo Wilcox. Detective Trujillo did not elaborate further on why defendant's photograph was included.

In his case, defendant called Officer Steven Bonnie, who testified that he took a description of the suspect from Erica Rocha and Amber Ibarra on September 28, 2002. Officer Bonnie said that in his report he used the hairstyle code "CUR," from the Aurora police department's code sheet, which corresponded to the hairstyle category of "curly slash [A]fro." On cross-examination, Officer Bonnie said that Erica and Amber told him that the suspect was an approximately 6-foot tall, 180-pound, African-American with short black hair and brown eyes, and facial hair on his chin.

Evidence technician Renaldo Rivera of the Aurora police department testified that he processed a 1997 Dodge pickup truck and a 1973 Ford Thunderbird in connection with this case. Officer Rivera indicated that he believed that the Thunderbird had a crescent or half-moon shape on the trunk. Officer Rivera said that he took prints from the Dodge pickup truck, but the prints were not sent to the lab. No gun was found in either vehicle. Officer Rivera found four black batting gloves in the Thunderbird, but none were "Wilson" batting gloves.

Defendant testified in the narrative. He admitted that he was convicted of two felony offenses in 1998. Defendant testified that he had never seen Erica Rocha or Amber Ibarra before their appearance at his trial and had never seen the pickup truck. Defendant admitted that the 1973 Ford Thunderbird belonged to him, but he claimed that the vehicle was towed from the house of a girl named Lakesha on September 28, 2002, and that he was nowhere near his car on that date. Defendant denied telling Sergeant Bell of the North Chicago police department that he sold his car to Demetrius Wilcox of Waukegan.

In its rebuttal case, for impeachment purposes, the State produced certified copies of defendant's 1998 conviction of attempted armed robbery in Kane County and defendant's 1998 conviction of attempted armed robbery in Kendall County.

In addition to giving the jury instructions on the charged offense of aggravated vehicular hijacking while carrying a firearm (720 ILCS 5/18-4(a)(4) (West 2002)), on defendant's motion and over the objection of the State, the trial court gave the jury instructions on the lesser-included offense of vehicular hijacking (720 ILCS 5/18-3(a) (West 2002)). Additionally, on the State's motion and over defendant's objection, the trial court gave the jury instructions on the lesser-included offense of aggravated vehicular hijacking with a dangerous weapon (720 ILCS 5/18-4(a)(3) (West 2002)).

The jury began deliberating at 10 a.m. After an undetermined period of time, the jury posed two questions, and the following exchange between the trial court and the attorneys ensued:

"THE COURT: Well, counsel we have some questions.

Question No. 1, what is the testimony or was there any testimony on where the pickup was found?

Second question, can we see the transcript?

I think—personally I think the answer to the first question is clear, that we can't answer it.

The second part, can we see the transcript, I believe is discretionary with the Court. There is something in the record. Although, I don't recall anything in the record on where the pickup was found.

[ASSISTANT STATE'S ATTORNEY]: Correct. There would be no transcript that would be helpful.

THE COURT: So, do you wish for the Court to answer the question that way? There is no...

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