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People v. Jinkins

APRIL 13, 1967.




Appeal from the Circuit Court of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of Kane County; the Hon. JOHN S. PETERSEN, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.


Rehearing denied May 8, 1967.

William Jinkins, the defendant, was tried by a jury in the Circuit Court for the 16th Judicial Circuit, Kane County, for armed robbery. The jury returned a verdict of guilty and judgment was entered against him on March 8, 1965, after motions for new trial and for judgment notwithstanding the verdict were denied. The court sentenced the defendant to the penitentiary for a term of 7-21 years. Leave was granted defendant to appeal to this court.

The Fox Valley Country Club, just south of Batavia, Illinois, on Illinois State Route 25 in Kane County, was robbed at about 1:00 a.m. on August 27, 1964, by four armed robbers, three of whom entered the country club and participated in the robbery while the fourth waited a short distance away in a car. The getaway was made in two cars. The manager, J.D. Whittle, his wife, and several customers were present at the time. The defendant was arrested for the crime about two weeks later.

Defendant relies upon four grounds of alleged error in his petition for leave to appeal.

First, he complains that the verdict of the jury was contrary to the law and to the manifest weight of the evidence, and that the defendant was not proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. The principal defense was alibi. The defendant and three witnesses, Edna Doris Cole, J.C. Fields and Billie Stockton Myrick who were employees, or acquaintances of the defendant, testified that the defendant was in his tavern in Chicago during the hours when the robbery was taking place.

The abstract does not include the substance of the testimony produced by the State to identify the defendant and his participation in the robbery. The record, however, shows that J.D. Whittle, the manager of the country club, identified the defendant as one of the men who held him up at gunpoint and made him open the safe, get the money, and then lie down on the floor until the customers were searched and robbed and the getaway complete. He testified that he saw the defendant at a distance of 12 feet and face to face. He saw the defendant close up three times. He also quoted the defendant as saying to the witness as the witness was getting up off the floor where he had been compelled to lie, "If you try anything funny, I'll shoot your wife." In addition, the witness Henry Mayberry, one of the participants who pleaded guilty, testified in detail as to the plans for the robbery and the acts of the robbers while committing the crime. Mayberry had worked for the defendant in the defendant's tavern for about two weeks as bartender prior to the crime. The witness rode with Jinkins in the witness's car and followed the other participants who were driving in a Ford to the scene. The witness described his car, the road taken to the scene of the crime and the clothing worn by the participants. Frank Francis Robinson testified he followed defendant's car from the scene and saw defendant in the back seat. He identified defendant at a police show-up also.

The jury heard and saw the witnesses and had an opportunity to consider the weight of both the State's and the defendant's evidence. This court cannot say that the verdict was contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence.

As to the second complaint that the indictment was insufficient because the date of the offense was blurred and unreadable, the indictment is not abstracted, but the record is clear on the date as the 27th of August 1964.

The third complaint of the defendant is on the admission and exclusion of evidence. The defendant objects that he was not permitted to introduce evidence of his good character and reputation, citing People v. Lewis, 25 Ill.2d 442, 185 N.E.2d 254 (1957); and People v. Guzzardo, 4 Ill. App.2d 355, 124 N.E.2d 39 (1955).

The Lewis case, in which the charge was rape, held that the defendant in a criminal case can make proof of such previous good character as is inconsistent with commission of the crime with which he is charged, and that this proof is made by showing his general reputation for the specific trait of character involved, to suggest the inference that the accused acted consistently with his character.

The Guzzardo case, above cited, was a conviction for violation of the statute relating to unlawful assembly and the court held that the defendant's reputation for being trustful, law abiding, and peaceful citizen could be shown.

As to the defendant's reputation, four witnesses were produced by defendant. Karl Laskowski, the defendant's barber, testified as to his customary haircut style, but also was asked the ...

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