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People v. Blahuta

OCTOBER 30, 1970.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

IHOR BLAHUTA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



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

MR. JUSTICE DRUCKER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant was convicted after a bench trial of the offenses of attempted burglary (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1967, ch. 38, par. 19-1) and possession of burglary tools (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1967, ch. 38, par. 19-2). Judgment was entered and he was sentenced to two to six years for attempted burglary and one to two years for possession of burglary tools, the terms to run concurrently. Defendant raises three points on appeal: (1) he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) the trial court erred when it failed to hold a conpetency hearing on its own motion; and (3) sentences should not have been imposed for both attempted burglary and possession of burglary tools.

Testimony of Frank Gresik, complaining witness, for the State.

He owns a grocery store located at 3024 Wabansia, Chicago, Illinois, and lives above the store. On June 25, 1968, at 1:00 A.M. he heard pounding noises and went downstairs with a flashlight to investigate. He came down from the second floor to the back of the building. His store is ground level. There are steps on the side of the building going down to the basement where groceries for use in the store are kept.

When he flashed the light at the basement door he saw the defendant standing there and sweating. The defendant was not inside the building. He knew the defendant by name since the defendant lived in the neighborhood and had been in the store before. As he flashed the light at defendant he noticed a crowbar leaning against the basement door. When he asked the defendant what he was doing there, defendant said he was defecating. He allowed the defendant to leave. He then went down the steps and found that the door had been jimmied. On further inspection he also noticed that the door was all chipped. He had not noticed any marks on the door before June 25th.

He picked up the crowbar and brought it upstairs. He told his wife to call the police. After the police arrived he gave them defendant's name and description. The police then left to see if they could find the defendant. A short time later the police returned accompanied by the defendant. The defendant had no authority to enter his building. He gave the police the crowbar.

Testimony of George Carlson, a police officer, for the State.

On June 25, 1968, at about 1:00 A.M. his partner and he responded to a call. Mr. Gresik informed him of certain events that had occurred and gave him a description of a man. His partner and he then left. A short time later he observed the defendant walking southbound in the 1700 block of Albany. As the squad car approached the defendant, he observed defendant throw a screwdriver to the ground. He never lost sight of the screwdriver. He arrested the defendant and retrieved the screwdriver.

His partner and he then returned to Gresik's store and examined the basement door. There were marks on the door. Mr. Gresik gave him the crowbar which was inventoried. In court he identified the defendant as the man he arrested, the screwdriver he recovered, and the crowbar given to him by Mr. Gresik.

Testimony of John Grabinger, a police officer, for the State.

His testimony was substantially the same as that of his partner, Officer Carlson. Upon an examination of the basement area he noticed marks on the door and chippings of wood on the ground just below where the marks were.

The defense presented no evidence.

Opinion

One of the offenses defendant was charged with was attempted burglary. "Attempt" is defined in Illinois Revised ...


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