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People v. Davis

JUNE 10, 1970.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

WILLARD B. DAVIS, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



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

MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

OFFENSE CHARGED

Armed robbery. Ill Rev Stats 1967, c 38, § 18-2.

JUDGMENT

After a bench trial, defendant was found guilty and sentenced to a term of 4 to 8 years.

ISSUES RAISED ON APPEAL

1. Defendant was prejudiced by the admission of an in-court identification resulting from a prejudicial out-of-court confrontation.

2. Defendant was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

EVIDENCE

James Clark, for the State:

He was employed at Roberts Motel, 3760 South Michigan Avenue, as a desk clerk. On June 26, 1967, at 1:10 a.m., he was sitting behind the desk filling out a registration sheet. Working with him was Geneva Powell, the switchboard operator, and standing across the desk in the motel lobby was James Barnes, a guest. Two men walked into the motel lobby, and he glanced at them and continued working. He identified defendant in court as one of the two men. Lighting in the lobby and behind the desk was excellent.

The men approached the counter and asked about room rates. Witness kept his head down while answering them. When they then asked him if he rented single units to two men, he raised up, looked at them, and said, "No." They were about a foot away from the witness at that time. They then displayed pistols, and said, "This is a stickup." He described the attire of the robbers and their weapons. They asked for the money, and he put the cash box, containing about $300, on the counter. Defendant stood at the counter as the other man grabbed the box and asked for "the envelope." This entire sequence took about two minutes. Witness said he didn't have any envelope, whereupon both men came behind the counter. Defendant held a gun on the switchboard operator as the other man started searching for the envelope. The witness observed the defendant, who was about four feet away, out of the corner of his eye. While behind the desk, the men took five envelopes containing currency and checks, all in a period of about three minutes. They walked to the front of the counter facing the witness and he saw them take a billfold from Mr. Barnes. He looked at their faces. Then they left, running south on Michigan Avenue. He called the police and they responded in 5 to 10 minutes.

Several days later, detectives brought five or six photographs to his home and he identified a photograph of defendant as being a picture of one of the men who had robbed him. Four or five days after that, police took him to the station to attend a lineup. He was told that they had a suspect and wanted to see if he could identify him. (On cross-examination, he testified that on the morning of the trial he told defense counsel that the police had told him, "Come down. We have caught the men.") There were six or seven men in the lineup and he identified defendant as one of the men who participated in the robbery.

Geneva Powell, for the State:

On the morning of June 26, 1967, she was working at Roberts Motel as the switchboard operator. She was placing a long distance call and not paying much attention when she heard a voice say, "Give me the envelopes." A man with a gun then stood next to her for a minute or two and told her not to place any calls. ...


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