People v. Alvarez, 2016 IL App (2d) 140364 (June). Episode 203 (Duration 5:04)
The statute required “great bodily harm and permanent disfigurement”, however consecutive sentencing requires “severe bodily injury”, the judge only made one finding.
This was a gang related shooting.
The court found defendant guilty on 5 counts of attempted murder for five shots fired at one victim. The victim was shot twice (hit in the hip and leg) and three shots hit the house.
Also, the court specifically found that the State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant had caused “great bodily harm and permanent disfigurement”, thereby requiring a 25-year enhancement to any sentence imposed on each of those counts (720 ILCS 5/8-4(c)(1)(D)).
The court made no finding as to whether the victim suffered “severe bodily injury.” See consecutive sentences under 730 ILCS 5/5-8-4(d)(1).
The Code mandates consecutive sentencing when a defendant has been convicted of a Class X felony and inflicted “severe bodily injury” during the commission of that felony. 730 ILCS 5/5-8-4(d)(1).
The court sentenced defendant to 31 years’ imprisonment on count I, to be served consecutively to 31 years’ imprisonment on count II. Both sentences included 25-year enhancements.
The court imposed a 26-year sentence on each of counts III, IV, and V, which were to run concurrently with one another but consecutively to the sentences on counts I and II.
This court went with language in the cases saying the two different terms “great bodily harm” and “severe bodily injury” were intended by the legislature to achieve different results. Further, severe bodily injury is deemed to require a degree of harm to the victim that is something more than that required to create the aggravated battery offense.
A finding of “great bodily harm” does not necessarily or automatically result in a finding of “severe bodily injury” for purposes of consecutive sentencing. Had the legislature intended such a result, it could have so provided.
Thus, the reviewing court without the trial court’s explicit finding of “severe bodily injury,” declined to uphold the imposition of consecutive sentences pursuant to section 5-8-4(d)(1) of the Code solely on its finding of “great bodily injury” in connection with a sentencing enhancement. Remanded so court can consider if there was severe bodily injury here.