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People v. Williams

SEPTEMBER 19, 1966.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

ODESSA WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, Criminal Division; the Hon. CHARLES R. BARRETT, Judge, presiding. Judgment of conviction affirmed in part and reversed in part.

MR. JUSTICE MURPHY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

After a bench trial, defendant, Odessa Williams, was found guilty of the offense of unlawful possession of a narcotic drug. She was sentenced to the penitentiary for a term of 5 to 7 years.

On appeal, it is not disputed that defendant was improperly sentenced. For that reason, we consider only defendant's contentions (1) that the evidence was not sufficient to support a finding of guilty; and (2) that there were prejudicial trial errors.

On July 18, 1962, five police officers proceeded to 4042 West Jackson Boulevard, pursuant to a warrant in which were named Odessa Williams and one Johnny B. Four police officers testified that the defendant was present in the apartment when they entered, and that narcotics were found in a chest of drawers in the apartment, which defendant substantially admitted belonged to her. Three witnesses for the defense testified that defendant entered the apartment while "the raid was going on." Defendant denied that there were any narcotic drugs in her apartment.

Officer DeLeo testified that he went to the apartment with Officers Duffy, Mrozek, Donovan and Boyle. Officer Duffy had a search warrant and knocked on the rear door at about two o'clock in the afternoon. Defendant walked out, and Officer Duffy showed her the warrant, and "we walked into the apartment. . . . There were two men sitting in the dining room off the kitchen. These two men were Johnny Rosemont and John B. Cooper. I walked approximately into the bedroom at the far end of the hall. . . . I began a search of the dresser drawers and chest of drawers. I searched the closets of that bedroom. There were female clothes in the closet. In the chest of drawers, a second drawer, I found a package. It was a tinfoil package. I opened the tinfoil package. In its contents I found a white envelope which contained a white powder substance. . . . Immediately after I found these exhibits, I called Officer Duffy into the bedroom. Present at this conversation was Officer Duffy, myself, and the defendant. Officer Duffy had taken the exhibits from my hand the white substance, and asked her if this belonged to her. She said, `Everything in here belongs to me, so it must be mine.' Words to that effect."

On cross-examination, Officer DeLeo said, "The narcotics here I found myself. No one was with me when I found them. Officer Duffy was in the bathroom at that time. I was in the apartment for approximately 45 minutes before I found the narcotics. As soon as I entered the apartment, as I testified on direct examination, I walked directly into the bedroom. When I went directly into the bedroom, the defendant was standing at the door talking to Officer Duffy, who showed her the warrant. I walked directly by them. . . . I was searching myself; I'm not positive what the other officers were doing. The tinfoil package was found and inside it was found a white envelope. In the bottom part of the drawer of the chest of drawers a separate 2 sections of the chest of drawers I found the pills, tinfoil wrappings of different sizes of tinfoil. I did not find anything else in the bedroom. I did not find any narcotics in the closet. I found clothing. . . . The clothing was still in packages of the store. The clothing was taken from the closet and inventoried and sent to the Custodian's Office. . . . In my presence Officer Duffy asked the defendant if the narcotics belonged to her. I couldn't say exactly what words Officer Duffy used. But words to the effect, `Does this belong to you,' indicating the narcotics in his hand. The package was opened at that time. We field tested the package just before she arrived.

"Q. Just before she arrived?

"A. Before he called her in, before he went to get her and brought her back into the apartment.

"Q. Officer, you said, `Just before she arrived?'

"A. That was a mistake by me, before.

"Q. I heard what you said, you said, `Just before she arrived' you field tested it. Did you ask the 2 men what their names were?

"A. I did not."

Officer Duffy testified that he had a search warrant for the premises at 4042 West Jackson Boulevard, and the names on the warrant were Odessa Williams and Johnny B. He entered the apartment and found Odessa Williams, Johnny Rosemont and Johnny B. Cooper. "Five officers entered the apartment. At 2:00, four officers and myself entered. . . . I identified myself as a police officer. Then I produced a warrant, and I showed it to Odessa Williams; I handed it to her; she looked at it. I do not know if she read it or not. . . . I went into the bedroom. Officer DeLeo was in there when I went in. He called me in there. . . . He showed me a tinfoil wrapped package. People's Exhibit No. 4 for identification is that package. I had a conversation with Odessa Williams in the bedroom. Officer DeLeo and myself were present. . . . I showed her the package and asked her if this was hers, she said `Everything in this apartment belongs to me, so it must be mine.'"

On cross-examination, Officer Duffy testified, "I knocked on the door, there was no answer. . . . A few minutes later the door opened up. The defendant was standing at the door. I said `I am a police officer from the 11th District.' I showed my badge. . . . I said, `I have a warrant to search the premises here.' I asked her if she was Odessa Williams, and she said she was. . . . When I went to the apartment on July 18, there were only three people present. Odessa Williams, Johnny B. Cooper and Rosemont. There were no other people present. . . . When I went into the bedroom Officer DeLeo showed me a white powder substance and a tinfoil package. He had the tinfoil package in his hand. I field tested it. It turned a slight purple, not a real deep purple. I don't know the name for this type of a test. I have been assigned to the Narcotics Investigation for possibly two years. I conducted this test in the bedroom. Only Officer DeLeo and myself were present. Then Odessa Williams was called in. I went and got her. . . . And I asked her, `Does this belong to you?' And she said, `Yes.' I was holding the package when I asked her, `Does this belong to you?' At the time I asked her the question I did not tell her I had narcotics in my hand. I did not refer to dope or anything of that sort. . . . There was a lot of clothing lying on the bed. And she answered, `Everything in this house belongs to me, I suppose it does.' Well, that's not exactly what she said; she said, `Everything in this apartment is mine, belongs to me, so it must be mine.' . . . We never told the defendant that she was also under arrest for ...


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