Decision filed 07/31/08. The text of
this decision may be changed or
corrected prior to the filing of a
Peti tion for Rehearing or the
disposition of the same.
APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, ) Appeal from the
) Circuit Court of
Plaintiff-Appellee, ) Edwards County.
v. ) No. 01-CF-49
KENNETH R. LEMKE, ) Honorable
) Mark L. Shaner,
Defendant-Appellant. ) Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE WEXSTTEN delivered the opinion of the court:
Following a jury trial in the circuit court of Edwards County, the defendant, Kenneth
R. Lemke, was convicted of first-degree murder (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(2) (West 2000)). On
appeal from his conviction, the defendant argues that his murder conviction should be
reduced to involuntary manslaughter (720 ILCS 5/9-3(a) (West 2000)) and that, alternatively,
he should be granted a new trial because he was denied the effective assistance of counsel.
For the following reasons, we affirm the defendant's conviction for first-degree murder.
In November 2001, the defendant and his stepson, Lance Albertson, were involved
in an altercation that resulted in Albertson's death. It is undisputed that the incident began
as a verbal dispute and ended when Albertson was shot in the head with a round fired from
a .22-caliber revolver.
In April 2002, following a bench trial in the circuit court of Edwards County, the
defendant was convicted of first-degree murder. On appeal, the defendant argued that the
evidence presented for the trial court's consideration did not support a conviction for first-