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People v. Tidwell

JANUARY 8, 1971.

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

v.

CHARLES TIDWELL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. MEL R. JIGANTI, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

OFFENSES CHARGED

Unlawful possession and sale of narcotics. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1967, ch. 38, par. 22-3.

JUDGMENT

After a bench trial, defendant, who was a guard at the county jail, was found guilty and given concurrent sentences of 10 to 11 years (sale) and 2 to 3 years (possession).

CONTENTION RAISED ON APPEAL

The trial court erred in receiving into evidence a five-dollar bill taken from defendant's locker at the jail.

EVIDENCE

Because of the conclusion we reach in this opinion, we find it necessary to set forth the testimony in detail.

Walter Scott, for the State:

He was an inmate of the Cook County jail awaiting trial on a burglary charge. During the second week of December, 1967, he told Patrick Tuite, Chief of the Criminal Division of the State's Attorney's Office, that he thought he could buy marijuana from defendant who was a jail guard.

On December 20, 1967, he was introduced to Leotis Clark. On December 21, 1967, he met Clark in the visitor's cage at the jail, and then Clark talked to defendant. After that, Scott asked defendant if he would pick up some money his cousin had brought. Defendant agreed to get it for him and leave it folded up in the visitor's pass. In the visitor's cage, Clark gave defendant $25 wrapped in his visitor's pass, and defendant then passed the money through the bars to Scott. The money was in small denominations, including a five-dollar bill. About fifteen minutes later, Scott gave defendant five dollars for making the transfer of money and $18 for defendant's promise to get him some marijuana, with the understanding that defendant would be given another $2 upon delivery.

The following day, he talked to defendant who explained that, due to a shakedown at the jail that day, he did not have the marijuana, but would bring it the next day. Shortly after this conversation, he talked with John Clarke [a Probation Officer who was investigating the jail and who had been notified of the proposed purchase of narcotics], and gave him a note explaining that the exchange was to take place the next day. The next day he saw defendant who told him that he would have to wait until later to get the marijuana. Scott notified Clarke of the additional delay.

On the morning of December 24, defendant told Scott that the marijuana was available and he would be back with it. Scott then held up two folded single dollar bills so that Clarke, who was within sight, would know that the exchange was about to take place. Defendant returned shortly and told him to come to the safety cage. Defendant knelt down and handed him a tier board under which were two tin-foil packets. He gave defendant the two folded one-dollar bills which defendant placed in his pocket. About one minute later, after defendant left, Clarke came over and Scott told him that the packets had been passed. He gave Clarke one of them and placed the other packet in a cigarette package because of the presence of another guard.

Five minutes later, Lieutenant Gilbert removed Scott from the tier and he gave the cigarette package with the tin-foil packet to Gilbert. He was then taken to the bull pen where he gave Tuite a sheet of paper on ...


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