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People v. Wade

OCTOBER 30, 1970.

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

v.

MURTHY WADE ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. FRANCIS X. CONNELL, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE MURPHY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied December 4, 1970.

In a bench trial defendants, Murthy Wade, Wesley Wade and James Carswell, were found guilty of the offense of "Theft," "* * * in manner and form as charged in the complaint, * * *," which stated, "in violation of Chapter 38, Section 16-1al." Each defendant was sentenced to six months in the County Jail. The separate appeals of each defendant were consolidated here for disposition. In sum, the defendants assert that the complaints were fatally defective in that they did not charge an offense pursuant to Chapter 38, Section 16-1(a)(1).

The three defendants were arrested on March 30, 1968, by Officer Hosea Burnette of the Maywood Police Department for the theft of a .30 cal. Carbine serial 4122066 and a riot helmet from the trunk of the officer's car. The defendants were separately charged in three identical written complaints. Each complaint stated the name of one of the defendants as the accused, the date (March 30, 1968) and location (1306 Madison Street; Maywood, Illinois). "Theft" was set out as the name of the offense, and "Chapter 38, Section 16-1a1, Illinois Revised Statute" was stated as the statutory provision which was violated. The following was set forth as descriptive of the nature and elements of the offense charged:

"[The defendant] on or about March 30, 1968, at in front of 1306 Madison Street; Maywood, Illinois committed the offense of Theft in that he knowingly obtained control over a 30 cal. Carbine serial 4122066 and a riot helmet, that was in the complainant's trunk of his 1967 Ford intending to deprive the said owner permanently of the use and benefits of said property, in violation of Chapter 38, Section 16-1a1 Illinois Revised Statute * * *."

On appeal defendants contend that the complaints were insufficient to confer jurisdiction on the trial court because (1) the complaints charged defendants with theft in violation of section 16-1a1, "a nonexistent reference"; and (2) "the complaints do not state in what manner and form the defendants allegedly committed the taking i.e., without authority, by threat or by deception."

The constitutional and statutory provisions involved are:

A. Constitution of the State of Illinois, Article II, Section 9:

"In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person and by counsel, to demand the nature and cause of the accusation and to have a copy thereof, * * *."

B. Illinois Revised Statutes, Chapter 38, section 111-3, Form of Charge:

"(a) A charge shall be in writing and allege the commission of an offense by:

(1) Stating the name of the offense;

(2) Citing the statutory provision alleged to have been violated;

(3) Setting forth the nature and elements of the offense ...


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