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People v. Destefano

NOVEMBER 8, 1965.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,

v.

SAM DESTEFANO, APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, Criminal Division; the Hon. HERBERT R. FRIEDLUND, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE MURPHY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Rehearing denied November 26, 1965.

In three separate orders, defendant, Sam DeStefano, was found guilty of contempt of court for his conduct during a trial, wherein he was charged with and found guilty by verdict and judgment of "illegally offering to vote," the subject of a separate appeal in this court, No. 50162.

Although defendant had counsel of his own choice, he also acted pro se during the 11-day trial, from November 16, 1964, to November 27, 1964. After the conclusion of the trial, three separate orders were entered on December 9, 1964, finding him guilty of direct contempt on November 20, 24, and 27, 1964. For each contempt, defendant was sentenced to the County Jail for a term of one year, and the sentences were ordered to run concurrently. The third order also imposed a fine of $2,000.

On defendant's motion, the three separate appeals from the contempt orders, Nos. 50163, 50164, and 50165, were consolidated and are considered as one appeal. Also, on defendant's motion, the Record and Abstract filed in appeal No. 50162 were allowed to stand as the Additional Record and Additional Abstract in the instant three appeals.

The three contempt orders are as follows:

Appeal No. 50163 — contempt of November 20, 1964:

"Now, in the name and by the authority of the People of the State of Illinois, the defendant, Sam DeStefano, being present in his own proper person, the matter against said defendant of alleged direct contempt is considered by this court.

And, thereupon, the Court finds as follows:

1. That on November 20, 1964, being one of the days of the November term A.D. 1964 of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Criminal Division, the case of People of the State of Illinois vs. Sam DeStefano, Indictment No. 64-1435, Illegal Voting, come on to be heard in the regular course before the court.

2. That a petit jury had been duly impaneled and sworn to try the issues before them in said case.

3. That during the course of said case the defendant, Sam DeStefano, acted as his own counsel.

4. That throughout said trial which commenced on November 16, 1964, the court repeatedly asked said defendant, Sam DeStefano, to obey the court's rulings and instructions.

5. That on November 20, 1964, during the direct examination of witness, Mary Austin, the following took place:

Mr. Tuite, Assistant State's Attorney: . . . Q. Mrs. Austin what, if anything, happened after that, after the defendant, DeStefano, signed his name on that document?

A. Then he goes to the two girls that have the —

Mr. McDonnell: Objection. Objection. It's obvious what this witness is doing. The witness is saying what —

The Court: Keep your voice down.

Mr. McDonnell: I beg your pardon.

The Court: You don't have to holler at me.

Mr. McDonnell: I am not hollering at your Honor.

Mr. DeStefano: Excuse me.

Mr. McDonnell: This witness is reciting what is ordinarily done.

The Court: Sit down and be quiet.

Mr. DeStefano: May I address the Court?

The Court: No.

Mr. DeStefano: Exception. The Court won't let me address the Court.

The Court: Sit down and be quiet.

Mr. DeStefano: You were hollering at my co-counsel.

The Court: Step in the chambers.

(Whereupon, the following proceedings were had in chambers, outside the presence and hearing of the jury.)

The Court: I am citing Mr. DeStefano for contempt. On the record. Your remarks have been contemptuous. You totally disregard the Court's order and instructions. You have been warned many times. ...


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