No. 2--07--0316 Filed: 7-1-08
APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS
THE VILLAGE OF KILDEER, ) Appeal from the Circuit Court
) of Lake County.
v. ) 06--TR--168184
TERRY R. MUNYER, ) Honorable
) George D. Strickland,
Defendant-Appellant. ) Judge, Presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE GILLERAN JOHNSON delivered the opinion of the court:
The defendant, Terry R. Munyer, was charged in three separate cases with reckless driving
(625 ILCS 5/11--503 (West 2004)). The defendant agreed to be tried on all three charges at a single
bench trial. After the Village of Kildeer presented its evidence, the defendant moved for a directed
finding. The trial court granted the defendant's motion with respect to two of the cases but sua
sponte ruled that it was going to consider the evidence presented on those charges as evidence of the
defendant's motive and intent on the remaining charge. Following the presentation of the defendant's
evidence, the trial court found the defendant guilty of reckless driving and sentenced him to one year
of conditional discharge, plus fines and costs. On appeal, the defendant argues that (1) it was error
for the trial court to admit the other-crimes evidence sua sponte; (2) the admission of the other-crimes
evidence was improper; and (3) he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of
reckless driving. For the reasons that follow, we reverse and remand for a new trial.