INADMISSIBLE PRIOR LEADS TO REMAND IN BENCH TRIAL

Chicago Police Detective Johnson testified in a bench trial before the Hon. Lawrence Fox (Ret.) that he saw defendant David Sanchez throw a bag of cocaine out of an apartment window. Sanchez testified that he had no cocaine in his apartment or that he threw it out the window. The parties stipulated to the prior conviction of the defendant. The Hon. Judge Fox (Ret.), in resolving the credibility issue, made mention of the Sanchez’s prior conviction twice before resolving the credibility issue against Sanchez.  Turns out that the prior was outside of the ten year limit of Montgomery. Our Appellate Court, by Justice HOFFMAN remands for a new trial, finding that defense counsel’s stipulation to this prior constituted ineffective assistance of counsel because “we are unable to discern any valid strategic reason for trial counsel’s failure to object to the admission” of the inadmissible prior. The Appellate Court also makes clear that the ten year time begins from the time the defendant is released from prison not from MSR. Read all about it in People v David Sanchez, No. 1-08-3458 (1st Dist., 2nd Div., 8/31/10).
 
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