No. 2--06--0140 Filed: 10-29-08
APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE ) Appeal from the Circuit Court
OF ILLINOIS, ) of Winnebago County.
v. ) No. 04--CF--3278
JOHNATHAN J. ROMERO, ) Honorable
) Richard W. Vidal,
Defendant-Appellant. ) Judge, Presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE ZENOFF delivered the opinion of the court:
Defendant, Johnathan Romero, appeals his conviction of first degree murder (720 ILCS 5/9--
1(a)(2) (West 2004)) and his subsequent sentence of 50 years' imprisonment in connection with an
incident in which he fatally stabbed another young man, Eric Flynn, at a bonfire party. On appeal,
defendant argues that (1) the evidence that defendant acted under an unreasonable belief in the
necessity of deadly force in self-defense warrants our reducing his conviction to second degree
murder; (2) his conviction should be reversed and the cause remanded for retrial due to the
prosecutor's allegedly improper statements during closing rebuttal argument; (3) his sentence was
excessive; and (4) the judgment must be corrected to reflect the three years of mandatory supervised
release (MSR) statutorily authorized instead of the four years actually imposed. The State concedes
the latter point. For the reasons that follow, we affirm as modified.