People v. Hawkins, 4-17-0143

CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtJUSTICE HOLDER WHITE delivered the judgment of the court.
Citation2018 IL App (4th) 170143 -U
PartiesTHE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. SHATYRA N. HAWKINS, Defendant-Appellant.
Docket NumberNO. 4-17-0143,4-17-0143
Decision Date10 April 2018

2018 IL App (4th) 170143-U

SHATYRA N. HAWKINS, Defendant-Appellant.

NO. 4-17-0143


April 10, 2018


This order was filed under Supreme Court Rule 23 and may not be cited as precedent by any party except in the limited circumstances allowed under Rule 23(e)(1).

Appeal from Circuit Court of Champaign County
No. 14CF1742

Honorable Thomas J. Difanis, Judge Presiding.

JUSTICE HOLDER WHITE delivered the judgment of the court.
Presiding Justice Harris and Justice Steigmann concurred in the judgment.


¶ 1 Held: The appellate court affirmed, concluding (1) defendant waived review of the juvenile-transfer proceedings by joining in the State's motion to transfer the case to criminal court, (2) defendant cannot demonstrate her attorney provided ineffective assistance for failing to challenge an alleged deprivation of her right to a preliminary hearing, (3) other-crimes and consciousness-of-guilt evidence was properly admitted, and (4) the State presented sufficient evidence to sustain the convictions.

¶ 2 In November 2014, the State filed a petition to adjudicate defendant, Shatyra N. Hawkins, as a delinquent minor for her role in the armed robbery of Ashley M. In February 2015, at the request of both parties, the trial court transferred the juvenile case under the presumptive-transfer provision of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (Act) (705 ILCS 405/5-805(2) (West 2014)). The case proceeded to trial, after which the jury found defendant guilty of aggravated battery and attempted armed robbery. The court subsequently sentenced defendant to an aggregate term of eight years in prison.

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¶ 3 Defendant appeals, asserting (1) the trial court erred in transferring her juvenile case to criminal court, (2) the court lacked jurisdiction over defendant in criminal court because the State filed charges against defendant in criminal court prior to the transfer proceedings, (3) defense counsel provided ineffective assistance by failing to challenge the court's failure to provide a preliminary hearing on each count, (4) she was deprived of a fair trial due to the admission of unduly prejudicial evidence, and (5) the State presented insufficient evidence for a jury to find defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. For the following reasons, we affirm.

¶ 5 A. Juvenile Transfer Proceedings

¶ 6 Defendant has provided us with only minimal portions of the record from the juvenile court proceedings. From what we can glean from the record provided, in November 2014, the State filed a petition to adjudicate defendant as a delinquent minor. Although we do not have a copy of the petition, it appears, at a minimum, defendant was charged with armed robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-2(a)(1) (West 2014)). No other charges were mentioned in the context of the juvenile court proceedings.

¶ 7 Later that month, the State filed a petition to transfer the proceedings from juvenile court to adult criminal court. Notably, the transfer petition was not provided as part of the record; rather, one of the transcripts of the transfer proceedings references the November 2014 petition.

¶ 8 During a February 2015 hearing on the transfer petition, defendant joined in the motion and requested the trial court transfer the case to criminal court. The court then engaged in a lengthy series of admonishments to ensure defendant understood her rights. The court asked defendant if she had enough time to discuss the matter with her attorney and her guardian ad

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litem, to which defendant replied that she had sufficient time. The court also admonished defendant about the nature of the transfer hearing and the differences between juvenile court and criminal court, including the nature of the armed-robbery charges and the different sentencing ranges. The court noted, in juvenile court, defendant could receive a sentence of probation, whereas the minimum sentence in criminal court for an armed-robbery conviction would be six years' imprisonment. Defendant said she understood. The court further explained defendant would receive a bench trial in juvenile court but had a right to a jury trial in criminal court. Defendant indicated she understood, and she had no questions for court. Defendant then asked the court for the transfer to criminal court, which her attorney noted was against his advice.

¶ 9 The trial court noted defendant was subject to the presumptive-transfer provision outlined in section 5-805(2) of the Act (705 ILCS 405/5-805 (West 2014)). Prior to accepting the parties' agreement, the court considered the factual basis for the transfer. While defendant did not agree with all of the evidence contained in the factual basis, she conceded the evidence was sufficient to establish probable cause. The court found the State met its burden in establishing probable cause and then provided defendant an opportunity to present evidence that she could be rehabilitated through the juvenile court system.

¶ 10 Defendant declined to present any evidence to establish she was amenable to rehabilitation in the juvenile court system. In considering the seriousness of the allegations, defendant's age, and "other factors," the court granted the State's petition to transfer defendant's case from juvenile court to criminal court.

¶ 11 B. Criminal Court Proceedings

¶ 12 In December 2014, while the petition to transfer defendant's case to criminal court was still pending in juvenile court, the State charged defendant with one count of armed

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robbery, a Class X felony (720 ILCS 5/18-2(a)(1) (West 2014)), and one count of aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony (720 ILCS 5/12-3.05(a)(1) (West 2014)). The trial court arraigned defendant on these charges immediately after granting the petition to transfer her case to adult court. Next, the court relied on the finding of probable cause at the transfer hearing in declining to conduct a preliminary hearing.

¶ 13 In March 2015, the State added a count of attempted armed robbery, a Class 1 felony (720 ILCS 5/8-4(a), 18-2(a), 8-4(c)(2) (West 2014)). Defendant did not receive a preliminary hearing on this count.

¶ 14 In April 2015, defendant filed a motion to dismiss the charges, arguing she had been deprived of a preliminary hearing on all three counts. However, when defendant obtained new counsel, that attorney moved to strike the motion to dismiss, asserting that due to the finding of probable cause at the transfer hearing and the fact that count III arose from the same conduct as counts I and II, defendant was not entitled to a preliminary hearing on count III.

¶ 15 C. Jury Trial

¶ 16 In December 2016, defendant's case proceeded to trial, at which time the jury heard the following evidence.

¶ 17 1. Ashley M.

¶ 18 Ashley M. testified that on November 12, 2014, around 10:35 p.m., she walked into the Circle K gas station to withdraw cash from the automated teller machine (ATM) and to buy snacks. She was carrying a cellular phone in her pocket. When she entered the store, Ashley noticed three girls standing near the clerk's counter. The girls made Ashley feel uncomfortable and one of the girls, whom Ashley identified as defendant, continued to stare at

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Ashley while Ashley withdrew $500 from the ATM. Ashley stated defendant was wearing a black coat with a hood.

¶ 19 After withdrawing cash from the ATM, Ashley placed the cash in her shirt pocket. As she purchased snacks and a drink, the three girls left the store. Still feeling uneasy, Ashley moved the money from her shirt pocket to her pants pocket.

¶ 20 Ashley left the Circle K and began walking home. She heard a noise behind her, and turned to see a girl with a baseball bat along with two others. The girl hit Ashley with the baseball bat until Ashley fell to the ground, at which time the girls demanded Ashley give them money and searched her shirt pocket to no avail. The girls then ran away, and Ashley crawled to a nearby house where the resident, Kiya Chapman, called police. Ashley said she told Chapman she had been hit by a baseball bat, and denied telling Chapman she had been hit with a firearm.

¶ 21 Ashley testified she did not notice anything missing from her person at first, but she later realized her cellular phone was missing. Ashley returned to the scene and recovered her phone approximately 10 to 15 feet from Chapman's house.

¶ 22 Ashley admitted numerous criminal convictions: (1) a 2004 burglary conviction, (2) a 2010 misdemeanor theft conviction, (3) a 2011 resisting-a-peace-officer conviction, and (4) a 2014 felony theft conviction. However, Ashley said she was now attempting to improve her life by looking for employment and supporting her two children.

¶ 23 2. Rhonda Winston

¶ 24 Rhonda Winston testified she was the Circle K clerk on duty on November 12, 2014. She recalled the three girls loitering in her store for about 40 minutes, talking with one another. She also remembered Ashley entering the store to use the ATM, then leaving sometime after the three girls. Winston provided police with surveillance footage from the store.

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¶ 25 3. Randy Beach

¶ 26 Randy Beach, an officer with the Champaign police department, testified he interviewed Ashley at the hospital, where he observed her to have a large laceration on her scalp that was stapled shut, lacerations on her lip and head, and a black eye. Although Chapman told him Ashley had been hit by a firearm, Ashley told him she thought she had been hit in the head with a baseball bat. Officer Beach acknowledged that Ashley did not specifically identify defendant at the time of the offense.

¶ 27 4. Kristina Haugen

¶ 28 Kristina Haugen, a K9 officer with the Champaign police department, testified she responded to Chapman's emergency call and, upon arrival, she observed Ashley had sustained blunt-force trauma to the head and was bleeding profusely. Based on Ashley's account that she was attacked by three girls, one in a black hooded...

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