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People v. Powell

SEPTEMBER 11, 1968.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

O.C. POWELL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, Criminal Division; the Hon. EDWARD F. HEALY, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.

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

CHARGE: Murder. *fn1

DEFENSE AT TRIAL: Justifiable use of force in defense of person. *fn2

JUDGMENT: At a jury trial the defendant was found guilty and was sentenced to the penitentiary for a term of 14 to 25 years.

POINTS RAISED ON APPEAL:

1) Prejudicial error occurred when the court prevented defense counsel from impeaching a prosecution witness.

2) Reversible error occurred when the prosecutor turned over witness statements and police reports in front of the jury.

EVIDENCE: Testimony of State's witnesses.

Dorothy Terrell testified that on July 25, 1965, she was living with her sister at 4729 South Indiana Avenue; that she had known the deceased, James R. Guynes, for several years, and had gone with him to another sister's home at 215 East 47th Street on the evening of July 25, about 7:00 o'clock. She stated that she sat on the rear porch of the second-floor apartment, drinking with several other persons, among whom was the defendant, O.C. Powell, who she said was her cousin. She said the deceased had not joined the group on the porch, but remained in the parking lot playing with the children.

The witness testified that after they had been on the porch for about an hour the defendant went to his room, saying he was going to bed. His room at the rear of the apartment had a screened window which overlooked the porch and could be entered through the kitchen. The witness further testified that the deceased came up the stairs, stopped on the third step, and asked if she was ready to leave. At that time she heard a noise which sounded like a firecracker, and she saw the deceased grasp the stair rail and fall forward with blood coming from his mouth. She saw a hole in the back of his shirt where he had been shot. She then ran out and stopped a squad car to report the shooting.

Dorothy Terrell further testified that about eight days prior to the shooting she and the deceased had come to the 47th Street apartment looking for her son who had run away from them in the park. When they found him in bed in the apartment, the deceased questioned him about running away; the defendant came out of his room and quarreled with them about chastising the boy, and threatened the deceased with a gun, saying he would "blow his brains out" if he didn't leave. The witness and the deceased then left.

On cross-examination the defense counsel asked the witness whether or not she was living or had lived with the deceased at 51st and Michigan; an objection was sustained by the court. Counsel then said he wanted to ask her if she had ever lived at that address or if she had ever told anyone she lived with the deceased. The court sustained objections to these questions.

Marguerite Kimble, who rented a room of her apartment to the defendant, corroborated the testimony of Dorothy Terrell. She stated that she had put a second screen over the broken one on defendant's window, and when she had occasion to look at the screen later that night she saw a little hole in it, which was stipulated to be a half inch to an inch in size. She further testified that she ...


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