People v. McCarty

Decision Date19 October 2006
Docket NumberNo. 100469.,No. 100813.,100469.,100813.
Citation223 Ill.2d 109,306 Ill.Dec. 570,858 N.E.2d 15
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. Roger McCARTY, Appellant. The People of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. Jeanyne Reynolds, Appellant.
CourtIllinois Supreme Court

Daniel M. Kirwan, Deputy Defender, Dan W. Evers and Larry R. Wells, Assistant Defenders, Office of the State Appellate Defender, Mt. Vernon, for appellant, and Roger McCarty, Centralia, appellant pro se.

Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, Springfield, Matt Wilzbach, State's Attorney, Salem (Gary Feinerman, Solicitor General, Linda D. Woloshin and Ira Kohlman, Assistant Attorneys General, Chicago, of counsel), for the People.

OPINION

Justice GARMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion:

After separate bench trials in the circuit court of Marion County, defendants Roger McCarty and Jeanyne Reynolds were convicted of knowingly manufacturing more than 900 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine. 720 ILCS 570/401(a)(6.5)(D) (West 2000).1 Each received the mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years' imprisonment. 720 ILCS 570/401(a)(6.5)(D) (West 2000). In separate decisions, the appellate court affirmed defendants' convictions and sentences. McCarty, 356 Ill.App.3d 552, 292 Ill.Dec. 521, 826 N.E.2d 957; Reynolds, 358 Ill. App.3d 286, 294 Ill.Dec. 778, 831 N.E.2d 1103. This court allowed defendants' petitions for leave to appeal (177 Ill.2d R. 315) and consolidated their cases for review. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the judgments of the appellate court.

BACKGROUND

On December 20, 2001, Deputy Mark Rose of the Marion County sheriff's department obtained a warrant to search "the trailer of Roger McCarty" for "methamphetamine[,] records of drug transactions[,] drug paraphernalia[,][and] United States Currency."2 Deputy Rose and a group of other police officers executed the warrant later that day. Their search divulged numerous items, including four containers of liquids suspected to contain methamphetamine, six bottles of pseudoephedrine pills, lithium batteries, hoses, a set of electronic scales, coffee filters, six one-gallon cans of camping fuel, gas masks, and a locked metal box containing $3,030 in cash and approximately 30 grams of suspected cannabis. After the search, the officers arrested defendant Roger McCarty and his fiancée, defendant Jeanyne Reynolds.

The next day, defendants were charged by information with unlawful manufacture of less than five grams of a substance containing methamphetamine (720 ILCS 570/401(d) (West 2000)) and unlawful possession of a methamphetamine manufacturing chemical with intent to manufacture less than 15 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine (720 ILCS 570/401(d-5), 102(z-1) (West 2000)), both of which are Class 2 felonies. Defendants were also charged with the Class 3 felony of unlawful possession with intent to deliver more than 30 grams, but not more than 500 grams, of a substance containing cannabis (720 ILCS 550/5(d) (West 2000)). A preliminary hearing was held on January 17, 2002 (725 ILCS 5/111-2 (West 2000)), and the circuit court entered findings of probable cause as to both defendants.

The State amended the informations against defendants on February 21, 2002, and again on March 4, 2002. Initially, the State omitted the counts for possession of a methamphetamine manufacturing chemical and increased the manufacturing counts from Class 2 felonies to Class X felonies, alleging that defendants manufactured more than 15 grams, but less than 100 grams, of a substance containing methamphetamine. 720 ILCS 570/401(a)(6.5)(A) (West 2000). The State then amended the manufacturing counts to allege the manufacture of more than 900 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine, thereby rendering defendants eligible for sentences of 15 to 60 years' imprisonment. 720 ILCS 570/401(a)(6.5)(D) (West 2000).

Defendants filed separate motions to suppress the evidence seized during the search. They argued that the search warrant obtained by Deputy Rose failed to describe the premises to be searched and the items to be seized with sufficient particularity. The circuit court held a consolidated suppression hearing and subsequently denied both motions in a written docket entry.

After the motions to suppress were denied, defendants filed separate motions to dismiss the methamphetamine-related counts of the informations. They argued that section 401(a)(6.5) of the Controlled Substances Act violates the proportionate penalties clause (Ill. Const.1970, art. I, § 11) and the due process clause (Ill. Const.1970, art. I, § 2) of the Illinois Constitution if the statute is interpreted to permit the weight of the by-product produced during the manufacture of methamphetamine to count toward determining a defendant's penalty for manufacturing the drug. The circuit court held a consolidated hearing on the motions to dismiss and denied them both.

On January 29, 2003, the State amended defendants' informations for the final time. The State added counts for possession with intent to manufacture more than 900 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine. 720 ILCS 570/401(a)(6.5)(D) (West 2000). Thus, the final counts against defendants alleged: (1) manufacture of more than 900 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine (720 ILCS 570/401(a)(6.5)(D) (West 2000)), (2) possession with intent to manufacture more than 900 grams of a substance containing methamphetamine (720 ILCS 570/401(a)(6.5)(D) (West 2000)), and (3) possession with intent to deliver more than 30 grams, but not more than 500 grams, of a substance containing cannabis (720 ILCS 550/5(d) (West 2000)).

After the State's final amendment of the informations, defendant McCarty filed a motion to dismiss counts I and II of his information. McCarty made essentially the same argument as he had with respect to his initial motion to dismiss, and the motion was denied.

On May 5, 2003, McCarty proceeded with a stipulated bench trial. The State recounted the evidence its witnesses would have offered if called to testify. According to the State, the officers who executed the search warrant would have testified that the liquid in the four containers retrieved from the search weighed approximately 1,770 grams, and the samples taken from each container later tested positive for methamphetamine. The officers would further have testified that the other materials recovered as a result of the search could be used to manufacture methamphetamine. In addition, they would have testified that the substance suspected of containing cannabis was later confirmed to contain cannabis, and its weight exceeded 30 grams.

The State also submitted into evidence a laboratory report and the written and oral statements McCarty made to the police after he was arrested. The laboratory report contained the results of the tests performed on the samples of liquid and cannabis. McCarty's statements acknowledged that the various batches of liquid contained methamphetamine, and that, on the day of the search, McCarty was in the process of manufacturing methamphetamine so that he could sell it to make money.

McCarty stipulated to the State's evidence. He did not testify or offer any additional evidence. Based on the stipulated evidence, the trial court found McCarty guilty of all three counts against him. He did not file a posttrial motion.

On May 14, 2003, defendant Reynolds proceeded with a stipulated bench trial. The stipulated evidence was essentially the same as that presented during McCarty's trial. The State introduced the same laboratory report into evidence. In addition, according to the State, the testimony of the officers who executed the search warrant would have shown that the search divulged more than 900 grams of liquid that tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine, and more than 30 grams of a substance that tested positive for the presence of cannabis.

The State also introduced Deputy Rose's police report into evidence. The report indicated that, in Reynolds' oral statement to the police, she admitted that, on the day of the search, she had the intention to make methamphetamine and was involved in the process of doing so to make money.

Reynolds stipulated to the State's evidence. She did not testify or offer any additional evidence. She did note that she was not waiving her objections to the circuit court's rulings on her motion to suppress and her motion to dismiss. Based on the stipulated evidence, the trial court found Reynolds guilty of counts I and III. She subsequently filed a motion for a new trial arguing that her motions to suppress and dismiss were erroneously denied, and the trial court denied the motion.

Defendants' cases proceeded to sentencing. During McCarty's sentencing hearing, the trial court vacated the judgment on count II pursuant to People v. King, 66 Ill.2d 551, 6 Ill.Dec. 891, 363 N.E.2d 838 (1977), as a conviction for a lesser-included offense. The court sentenced McCarty to concurrent prison terms of 15 years and 5 years on count I and count III respectively. Reynolds received an identical sentence. At both sentencing hearings, the State conceded that it could not prove how much usable methamphetamine defendants produced. Therefore, the State sought no fines for the street value of the methamphetamine, and none were imposed. See 730 ILCS 5/5-9-1.1 (West 2000).

Defendants filed separate appeals raising substantially similar issues (see McCarty, 356 Ill.App.3d at 554-55, 292 Ill.Dec. 521, 826 N.E.2d 957; Reynolds, 358 Ill.App.3d at 289, 294 Ill.Dec. 778, 831 N.E.2d 1103), and the appellate court affirmed their convictions (McCarty, 356 Ill. App.3d at 566, 292 Ill.Dec. 521, 826 N.E.2d 957; Reynolds, 358 Ill.App.3d at 299, 294 Ill.Dec. 778, 831 N.E.2d 1103). The court rejected defen...

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