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People v. Smith

SEPTEMBER 13, 1966.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

OTHA B. SMITH, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, Criminal Division; the Hon. WILLIAM WHITE, Judge, presiding. Judgment of conviction reversed and cause remanded.

MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

CHARGE

Armed robbery.

DEFENSE AT TRIAL

Alibi.

JUDGMENT

After a jury verdict finding defendant guilty, the court imposed a sentence of three to seven years.

POINTS RAISED ON APPEAL

(1) The State's Attorney commented unfairly on the absence of an additional alibi witness.

(2) The State's Attorney improperly questioned a defense witness concerning his arrest record.

(3) The State's Attorney asked improper impeachment questions of a defense witness.

(4) Defendant was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

EVIDENCE ON BEHALF OF THE STATE

John Kannell, a grocery store owner, testified that defendant robbed him at gunpoint on December 12, 1964, at 10:30 a.m. He made an unequivocal identification of defendant in a police lineup.

Another witness did not see the robbery, but identified defendant as a man he had seen at the time of the robbery leaving the grocery store in great haste.

A police officer testified to his apprehension of defendant through tracing of defendant's automobile license plate which had been observed by Kannell. He also testified concerning Kannell's identification of defendant at a lineup.

EVIDENCE ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT

Eugene Griggs

He had known defendant for three or four years. On December 12, 1964, defendant lived in the same apartment building with Griggs and his wife. On that date, at about 9:15 a.m., defendant gave Griggs and his wife permission to borrow defendant's car to go shopping. Approximately forty-five minutes to an hour later they completed their shopping, and upon returning to the car, found that it would not start. After phoning defendant to inform him of the situation, they took a cab home, arriving there at about 10:00 or 10:15 a.m. Defendant was in ...


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