People v. Bradshaw

CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois
Citation2020 IL App (3d) 180027,448 Ill.Dec. 638,177 N.E.3d 396
Docket NumberAppeal No. 3-18-0027
Parties The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Kendall T. BRADSHAW, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date08 December 2020

James E. Chadd, Thomas A. Karalis, and Amber Hopkins-Reed, of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Ottawa, for appellant.

Jodi Hoos, State's Attorney, of Peoria (Patrick Delfino, Thomas D. Arado, and Justin A. Nicolosi, of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

PRESIDING JUSTICE LYTTON delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

¶ 1 After a jury trial, defendant Kendall T. Bradshaw was convicted of unlawful possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance ( 720 ILCS 570/401(d)(i) (West 2016)) and sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment. He appeals, arguing that (1) defense counsel provided ineffective assistance when he failed to make a speedy trial demand, (2) the State's challenge to exclude an African-American juror constituted a Batson violation (see Batson v. Kentucky , 476 U.S. 79, 106 S.Ct. 1712, 90 L.Ed.2d 69 (1986) ), (3) the trial court erred in admitting prejudicial text messages and allowing a police officer to give his irrelevant expert opinion, and (4) the cause should be remanded for resentencing because he was unlawfully sentenced. We agree with defendant's second contention of error and reverse and remand for a new trial.


¶ 3 On March 16, 2016, the State charged defendant with unlawful possession with intent to deliver heroin and unlawful possession of heroin. At the time of his arrest, defendant had a pending case before the Peoria County circuit court for unlawful possession (case No. 16-CF-53). He pled guilty in that case on August 29, 2016, and was sentenced to two years in prison.1

¶ 4 A jury trial on the March 16 charges began on October 25, 2016. At the conclusion, the trial court declared a mistrial due to a deadlocked jury. A scheduling conference was held, and defense counsel asked for a continuance to discuss a plea offer with defendant.

¶ 5 On December 12, 2016, the case was continued to February 6, 2017, over defendant's objection. On February 6, the assistant state's attorney agreed to a continuance until March 2, 2017. On March 2, defense counsel sought a continuance to March 13 to present a motion in limine .

¶ 6 As a result of scheduling conflicts, defendant's motion was not heard until March 20, 2017. At the motion in limine hearing, defendant sought to exclude text messages recovered from a phone that allegedly belonged to him. He claimed that the messages on the phone were inadmissible because they were hearsay and lacked proper foundation. He also sought to exclude any mention of the search warrant that was executed at the time of his arrest. The trial court ruled that the text messages were inadmissible hearsay. The court also barred testimony as to the underlying basis for the warrant.

¶ 7 On March 27, 2017, the day of defendant's second trial, the State presented case law in support of a motion to reconsider the court's text message ruling. In the motion, the State argued that a proper foundation for the text messages could be established through circumstantial evidence. The trial court overturned its prior ruling and denied defendant's motion in limine in its entirety. In response, defense counsel asked for a continuance to May 8, 2017, to prepare for trial, which the trial court granted.

¶ 8 Following a continuance due to docketing issues, defendant's second trial began on June 19, 2017. Officer Todd Leach was the first witness to testify. He stated that he knew defendant based on two prior controlled buys that law enforcement conducted. He stated that the controlled buys served as the probable cause basis for the search warrant issued in this case. Defense counsel immediately objected and asked for a mistrial. After a sidebar, the State joined in defendant's request, and the trial court declared a second mistrial.

¶ 9 The trial court conducted scheduling conferences on June 22 and August 3, 2017. On August 3, defendant requested a continuance based on the impending expiration of his two-year sentence in case No. 16-CF-53. Counsel informed the court that defendant's prison term was set to end "shortly." He stated that, once released, defendant believed he could post bond and be out of custody before going to trial in this case. The court granted the continuance and set a third trial for August 14, 2017. On that date, defendant rejected a plea offer, and trial was reset for October 30, 2017. Following a motion to reduce bond, which was denied, the case was continued and rescheduled for November 27.

¶ 10 Voir dire began, as scheduled, on November 27, 2017. During the selection process, veniremember Pizzaro Pickett, an African-American juror, asked to speak with the trial judge. In chambers, Pickett stated that the judge had previously represented him in a criminal case but noted that he could be fair to both parties. In his jury questionnaire, Pickett also revealed that he had prior criminal convictions.

¶ 11 Levar Washington, another African-American veniremember, stated that he was born and raised in Peoria and had been employed with Morton Industries for seven months. He had never served on a jury before but believed he could give defendant a fair trial. During voir dire , the prosecutor asked Washington two questions. She first inquired if he had served on a jury before, to which he answered, "No." She then asked him if missing work for a few days for jury duty would "cause any problems." Washington responded, "No. I'm getting paid for it."

¶ 12 After questioning the panel, the State struck Pickett and Washington, the only African-American veniremembers in the group. Defense counsel objected, claiming the prosecutor used the peremptory challenge to strike both jurors on the basis of race.

¶ 13 The trial court found that a prima facie case had been made for a Batson violation and conducted a brief hearing.In providing a race neutral reason for removing the potential jurors, the prosecutor explained that she struck the potential jurors because they were the only two panel members that had criminal backgrounds. Specifically, she stated that "[i]t just so happens that the two black males that were in my jury also happen to be the two people on my whole list of people that I know have criminal contacts." She then noted that Pickett had a list of criminal convictions and that Washington "has some criminal contacts and arrests, at least some ordinance violations."

¶ 14 The trial court found that a Batson violation did not occur regarding the State's removal of Pickett based on his documented criminal convictions. However, the court asked for further evidence in support of a race-neutral reason for dismissing Washington, emphasizing that criminal contacts was a "pretty minimal" reason to remove a juror. In response to the court's inquiry, the prosecutor stated, "I don't have LEADS [(Law Enforcement Agency Data System)] in front of me * * * sometimes I just get a bad vibe for me. He wasn't all that warm and fussy [sic ] for me." Defense counsel informed the court that he did not have the referenced LEADS information. He also argued that "criminal contacts" was not a sufficient race-neutral reason because it would disproportionately eliminate many minorities as potential jurors.

¶ 15 Following further questions from the court, the prosecutor acknowledged that she did not personally review Washington's LEADS report. She stated that another assistant state's attorney in the office wrote notes next to Washington's name on her list of potential jurors. She stated that she did not have the notes in front of her, but she believed she exercised the peremptory challenge to excuse Washington based on arrests:

"So normally I would have written down exactly what his were because I didn't look at it, I just saw the top sheet which she had made notes on, and that makes sense, and I know they were ordinance violations, I know arrests.
I don't know—I didn't have time because she needed the same packet of information. I mean I suppose I could if—they're done in there. I could go try to get it back from her, but she's in the middle of picking a jury as well."

The court determined that it was unnecessary to retrieve the list. It found the prosecutor's statement that the criminal contacts were arrests was sufficient to support a race-neutral reason for using a peremptory challenge to excuse Washington and denied defendant's claim.

¶ 16 Defendant's third trial began on November 28, 2017. The evidence revealed that officers had a search warrant for defendant, a red Ford Escape, and a cell phone. They located defendant at a convenience store, wearing a black cap, sweats, and a black shirt. He was driving a red Ford Escape. As he left the parking lot, officers attempted to perform a traffic stop. Defendant did not pull over, and officers were unable to pursue the vehicle. After losing contact with the Escape, they communicated with other officers in the area as to the vehicle's last known direction of travel. Detectives nearby spotted a vehicle matching the description. They followed the vehicle down a residential street but lost sight of it. When they turned their patrol car around, they saw a black male, identified in court as defendant, walking out of an alley. The description given over the radio matched the man they observed, so they detained him and waited for the officers with the search warrant to arrive.

¶ 17 Officers searched the area around the alley and found a red Ford Escape parked behind a house. Inside the car, they recovered a cell phone. The cell phone that was recovered had the same number as the cell phone number identified in the warrant. Near the house where the Escape was parked, underneath a downspout, they found a black hat, a key to the car, and seven "tear-offs" containing...

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  • People v. Moore
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 5 Mayo 2021
    ...does not constitute double jeopardy. People v. Taylor , 76 Ill. 2d 289, 309, 29 Ill.Dec. 103, 391 N.E.2d 366 (1979) ; People v. Bradshaw , 2020 IL App (3d) 180027, ¶ 43, 448 Ill.Dec. 638, 177 N.E.3d 396. In doing so, we may consider all evidence before the jury, regardless of whether defend......

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