Is a Person Guilty of Vehicular Hijacking If the Vehicle Is Not Within Immediate Control of the Victim ?
In People v. McGee, 326 Ill. App. 3d 165, 761 N.E.2d 741, 260 Ill. Dec. 558 (2001), the defendant was convicted of aggravated vehicular hijacking and maintained on appeal that the State failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt because it failed to prove he took the victim's car from her "immediate presence." McGee, 326 Ill. App. 3d at 166.
The evidence showed that the victim was attacked inside a home, at which time her attackers took her car keys. McGee, 326 Ill. App. 3d at 167.
They then fled from the home in her car, leaving her behind in the house. McGee, 326 Ill. App. 3d at 167. Reviewing the question as a matter of law because the evidence was undisputed that the victim's vehicle was parked in the driveway when she was assaulted and her keys were taken (McGee, 326 Ill. App. 3d at 168), and looking to both the legislative history and Cooksey, the McGee court found that "immediate presence" meant that the "vehicle is within the immediate control of the alleged victim at the time of the occurrence" (McGee, 326 Ill. App. 3d at 170).
The McGee court found that the State failed to prove the defendant guilty of aggravated vehicular hijacking because the victim's keys were taken from her by force when her vehicle was located some distance from that occurrence. McGee, 326 Ill. App. 3d at 170.