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People v. Curtis

MAY 12, 1970.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, DEFENDANT IN ERROR,

v.

LITTLE BERRY CURTIS, PLAINTIFF IN ERROR.



Writ of error to the Circuit Court of Jasper County; the Hon. RAYMOND O. HORN, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.

EBERSPACHER, J.

Little Berry Curtis was indicted by the Grand Jury of Jasper County, Illinois, on October 18, 1963, for the crime of aggravated incest with his daughter, Mary Curtis. On October 25, 1963, his motion for a Bill of Particulars specifying the time and place of the crime was denied without argument and trial was held December 2, 1963. The defendant was represented by appointed counsel throughout. He was convicted of the offense charged and sentenced to the penitentiary for not less than eight nor more than twenty years.

His post-conviction petition was denied on motion without an evidentiary hearing and defendant appealed to the Supreme Court from that judgment. The issue on that appeal was whether his constitutional rights were violated by reason of the failure of the trial court to grant the motion for a Bill of Particulars. This issue was decided adversely to the defendant by the Supreme Court in People v. Curtis, 41 Ill.2d 147, 242 N.E.2d 201 (1968). That issue, although raised on this appeal from the judgment of conviction, therefore has been disposed of and will not be further discussed herein.

The only issue remaining is defendant's contention that the trial court erred in denying him the right to cross-examine the victim's sister, Bonnie Curtis, as to her interest, bias or motivation and to examine defense witness, Hazel Williams, the sister of defendant, as to the interest, bias or motivation of the complaining witness. The following excerpt from defendant's brief shows this claim:

"On cross-examination of prosecution witness, Bonnie Curtis, Mr. Leffler, defense attorney, asked:

"Q. How has your father treated you, Bonnie?

"Mr. Eaton: That's objected to as immaterial.

"The Court: The objection is sustained.

"On another occasion Mr. Leffler, defense attorney, was questioning Hazel Williams, defense witness, who testified that Mary Curtis, came back over after a while and they were sitting over there drinking and she stated to me ____

"Mr. Eaton: I object to that statement as hearsay and ask the Court to instruct the jury to disregard it.

"The Court: The objection is sustained and the jury are instructed to disregard any conversation that Mary had with her.

"Mr. Leffler: Mary came to your house?

"Hazel Williams: She said that she hoped that her dad got so drunk that he got locked ____

"The Court: You are instructed not to continue that answer as it is hearsay, and the jury is ...


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