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People v. Hampton

NOVEMBER 27, 1968.




Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JAMES J. MEJDA, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.


Rehearing denied December 18, 1968.

OFFENSE CHARGED: Armed robbery.

JUDGMENT: After waiving his right to a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of robbery at a bench trial and sentenced to serve not less than eleven nor more than fifteen years in the State penitentiary. The court entered a finding of guilty as to robbery only, rather than armed robbery, because of the State's failure to prove, as alleged, that the defendant had in fact used a dangerous weapon in the commission of the crime. *fn1


1) The trial court's failure to conduct a competency hearing after a bona fide doubt of competency had been raised at trial amounted to a violation of due process of law contrary to the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of Illinois, and thereby deprived the defendant of his right to a fair trial.

2) The defendant was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

3) The sentence imposed is more severe than is warranted by the record and should be modified accordingly.

EVIDENCE. Testimony of State's witnesses.

On December 5, 1965, Hudson Montgomery, according to his testimony, was working a late shift for the Yellow Cab Company. At about 12:30 a.m., as he was driving past the 2600 block of West Madison Street, his cab was flagged by the defendant, who entered and directed him to drive to the intersection of Kedzie and Franklin. The witness said that he was tired and wanted to check in, but the defendant said, "I may be drunk, and I want to go home," so the witness reluctantly agreed to drive him to his destination. Arriving at Kedzie and Franklin Boulevard, the defendant said he had really wanted to go to Elm and Franklin Streets, and persuaded the driver to take him there, directing him through a series of turns into an unfamiliar section of the city.

The witness further testified that the defendant then grabbed him around the neck, put an object against him head and said, "Give me your money." (At the trial, however, the witness was unable to identify the object.) The defendant then took about $19 and some change from the witness and told him to lie down on the front seat, which he did. The defendant left with the money and began running, and the witness started to follow him. A police car appeared and the witness told the officers what had happened, after which the officers followed the defendant into a dead-end alley and apprehended him.

Officer Robert Dougherty testified that he and his partner, William Alexander, were on patrol near 230 Elm Street when they saw a cab stopped in the middle of the street and saw the driver chasing the defendant. When they approached the driver he told them he had been robbed, and they began following the defendant whom they saw walking on Elm Street. When the defendant saw the police car following him he darted around a corner and began running down an alley where, after a brief scuffle, he was arrested, taken back to the police car and searched. In one pocket was found $19.50 (eighteen $1 bills and six quarters), and in another forty cents. The $19.50 was admitted into evidence at trial. After arresting the defendant the officers unsuccessfully searched the area for a weapon, during which time the defendant attempted to leave the police car and had to be subdued.

Testimony of defense witnesses.

The defendant, John Hampton, testified that on December 5, 1965, at 12:30 a.m., he flagged a cab at Madison and Oakley Streets, entered and directed the driver to take him to Elm and Franklin, meaning Elm and Franklin Streets, but the driver apparently misunderstood him and went to Kedzie and Franklin Boulevard. The defendant stated that after a brief argument he persuaded the cab driver to take him to the correct destination — Elm and Franklin Streets — where his brother lived. Upon arriving there he paid the driver $4.50, using a $5 bill, but left no tip. He stated that when he left the cab the driver followed him, waved a gun, and told him to stop or he would shoot. The defendant denied taking any money from the driver and further denied that he was running up the alley when the police arrived, or ...

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