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People v. Bonner

SEPTEMBER 9, 1963.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

ROBERT BONNER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Municipal Court of Chicago; the Hon. HARRY G. COMERFORD, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Defendant appeals from a conviction upon an information charging an attempt to commit theft. He contends that the evidence did not prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and, more specifically, that the State failed to show that he had the requisite intent to commit theft.

Pertinent to this case are the following excerpts from the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill Rev Stats, c 38):

§ 16-1. Theft.

A person commits theft when he knowingly:

(a) Obtains or exerts unauthorized control over property of the owner; or

(c) Obtains by threat control over property of the owner; . . ., and

(1) Intends to deprive the owner permanently of the use or benefit of the property. . . .

§ 8-4. Attempt.

(a) Elements of the offense.

A person commits an attempt when, with intent to commit a specific offense, he does any act which constitutes a substantial step toward the commission of that offense.

The information was presented by Joseph Lorenz, a police officer of the City of Chicago assigned to the Tactical Undercover Force. Lorenz and his partner, Officer Juan Gomez, testified for the State and defendant himself was the only defense witness. In most respects their testimony is in substantial agreement.

Between 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. on August 11, 1962 the policemen were investigating reports of robberies in the vicinity of Cottage Grove Avenue and Marquette Road. Both men were in civilian clothes; Lorenz, acting as a "decoy," staggered and pretended to be drunk, while Gomez acted as his "cover man." As they walked south on Cottage Grove and then east on Marquette, Gomez inconspicuously kept near Lorenz, sometimes following and sometimes passing. They did not speak to each other, but did communicate by signals and two-way radio.

Lorenz testified that he first saw defendant at Marquette and Cottage Grove, when the defendant approached him and asked for a light. The officer said he had been walking south on Cottage Grove, past a tavern in the 6400 block (two blocks north of Marquette), where "I got a number of remarks as I went by but no takers," and that defendant had not yet approached him at that point. Gomez and defendant ...


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