People v. Helgesen


2020 IL App (2d) 160823-B No. 2-16-0823 Opinion filed December 29, 2020 ______________________________________________________________________________ IN THE APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS SECOND DISTRICT ______________________________________________________________________________ THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE ) Appeal from the Circuit Court OF ILLINOIS, ) of Du Page County. ) Plaintiff-Appellee, ) ) v. ) No. 93-CF-795 ) SEAN R. HELGESEN, ) Honorable ) George J. Bakalis, Defendant-Appellant. ) Judge, Presiding. ______________________________________________________________________________ JUSTICE HUTCHINSON delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Bridges and Justice Zenoff concurred in the judgment and opinion. OPINION ∂1 In 1995, following a jury trial, defendant, Sean R. Helgesen, was found guilty of 10 counts of first-degree murder (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(1) (West 1992)) for stabbing and slashing Peter and Diana Robles to death on April 17, 1993, when defendant was 17 years old. Defendant was initially sentenced to natural life in prison, pursuant to section 5-8-1(a)(1)(c) of the Unified Code of Corrections, which then mandated a natural life sentence for individuals found guilty of murdering more than one victim. 730 ILCS 5/5-8-1(a)(1)(c)(ii) (West 1992). Following the United States Supreme Courtís holding in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), forbidding sentencing schemes that mandate life in prison without the possibility of parole for juvenile offenders, and our supreme courtís decision in People v. Davis, 2014 IL 115595, ∂ 42, applying Miller 2020 IL App (2d) 160823-B retroactively, the trial court granted defendantís successive postconviction petition and held a new sentencing hearing in 2015. Defendant was resentenced to serve two concurrent 90-year prison terms. ∂2 Defendant appealed his new sentence, arguing that the maximum term authorized by the sentencing statute is 60 years and, alternatively, that his concurrent 90-year sentences are unconstitutional. We affirmed, holding that defendantís 90-year sentences amounted to extended- term sentences, which were justified by the uncontroverted presence of an extended-term factor (Dianaís physical handicap). People v. Helgesen, 2018 IL App (2d) 160823-U. Defendant filed a petition for leave to appeal to our supreme court, which was denied with a supervisory order directing us to vacate our prior judgment and reconsider the issue in light of new authority. People v. Helgesen, No. 124549 (Ill. Mar. 25, 2020) (supervisory order). ∂3 For the reasons that follow, we affirm defendantís 90-year concurrent sentences. ∂4 I. BACKGROUND ∂5 Detailed facts concerning the procedural history of this case were set forth in our prior order, and we will not repeat them here. People v. Helgesen, 2018 IL App (2d) 160823-U, ∂∂ 6- 24. We will, however, provide a brief factual summary for context. A week before the victimsí murders, the victimsí son, Eric Robles, approached defendant and asked if he was interested in receiving a ďlargeĒ amount of cash. Eric offered defendant $700 to kill his parents. That week, Eric gave defendant the key to his parentsí home, a .22 magnum handgun with three bullets, a collapsible buck knife, and $100 as a down payment. Eric insisted that the murders take place that Friday night. However, defendant spent that evening away from home and …

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