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People v. Armstrong

JULY 31, 1970.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

ALFRED ARMSTRONG AND JERRY SUMLIN, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. L. SHELDON BROWN, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT. OFFENSE CHARGED

Armed robbery. Ill Rev Stats 1963, c 38, § 18-2.

JUDGMENT

After a jury trial, both defendants were found guilty and sentenced to terms of 15 to 20 years (Armstrong) and 10 to 15 years (Sumlin), to run consecutively with defendants' prior sentences for murder, if the latter are finally upheld.

DEFENDANTS' CONTENTIONS ON APPEAL

1. Defendants were denied due process of law by being prosecuted and convicted twice for the same conduct.

2. The trial court erred when it denied defendants' pretrial motion to prohibit the State's use of a prior murder conviction for impeachment purposes.

3. The trial court erred in refusing one of defendants' tendered jury instructions.

4. The sentences imposed on defendants are excessive.

5. Defendant Armstrong was denied adequate representation by counsel.

EVIDENCE

Emil Misiunas, for the State:

On April 18 and 19, 1966, he owned a tavern at 2419 West Marquette Road. At around 10:30 to 11:00 p.m., on the 18th, he was at the tavern when Charles Sizemore arrived. Sizemore's wife came about midnight. They were the only persons present, and he was serving them. During the evening, Sizemore had four or five seven-ounce beers and his wife had one or two. At approximately 1:00 a.m., on April 19, three men entered the premises. One man, who was short, ran by him toward the cooler. Another, identified as defendant Armstrong, held a shotgun and said, "Hands up and don't look around." Armstrong also told the customers to keep their hands on the bar. The witness kept watching the man with the shotgun until the third man, identified as defendant Sumlin, came behind the bar. Sumlin asked him where the gun was, so he turned and faced Sumlin and told him he had no gun. Sumlin then told him to open the cash register and took money from his shirt pocket and bottles from the bar. He heard the short man say that he discovered some whiskey cases in the storage room, and Armstrong said, "All right, take it."

Armstrong then ordered the witness to come out from behind the bar and face the wall alongside the customers. Then Armstrong ordered all three into the washroom and told them to stay there. A few minutes later, the witness opened the door of the washroom, saw that defendants were gone, and called the police.

He testified that the tavern was well lit, bright enough to "read a newspaper on the bar." He couldn't tell what color clothes the three men were wearing because he was "scared," not because it was too dark. He identified ...


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