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People v. Davis

JANUARY 27, 1971.

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

v.

BENNY DAVIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. FRANCIS T. DELANEY, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE ADESKO DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This appeal arises out of defendant Benny Davis' conviction of bribery after a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County on October 20, 1967. Defendant-appellant was sentenced to the penitentiary for a term of three years to three days and a day and fined $1000.00. He appeals on the grounds that (1) the State did not prove the offense of bribery had been committed; (2) the admission into evidence of testimony concerning the altercation accompany the arrest was prejudicial; (3) the prosecutor's closing argument was so prejudicial as to deny the defendant a fair trial; and (4) the sentence was excessive.

The testimony at trial was that Police Officer George Aguado assigned to the 19th District in Chicago, received a call at 10:30 A.M., on Sunday, October 19, 1966, to go to 1427 W. Belle Plaine Avenue. He went to that address in a marked squad car and when he arrived a Mrs. Gall came out of the house located at that address and pointed out a 1960 brown Oldsmobile located in her driveway. The front end of the car was on private property and the rear end from the front door hinge on back blocked the sidewalk. The officer also observed that a window on the driver's side was broken, the lock button was up and the ignition was broken. The officer started the car without a key and backed the car out of the driveway onto the street so that Mrs. Gall could back her car out and go to church. Mrs. Gall did back out and left the scene. While the officer was double parking the car across the street, he heard the defendant shout, "What are you doing?" The officer informed defendant that he was going to have the car towed because it was illegally parked with a broken ignition and an unlocked door. The following conversation took place:

"DEFENDANT: You can't do that because it is mine.

OFFICER: If it is yours, may I see your license or your registration.

DEFENDANT: I haven't got it.

OFFICER: I couldn't let you have it without the proper identification.

DEFENDANT: Well, it's my car and I am the owner.

OFFICER: I'm sorry, but I can't give it to you.

DEFENDANT: It's my car, but do you mean I can't have it, you are not going to do it."

The officer returned to his squad car and while he was calling for a tow, defendant got into the back seat of the squad car. The officer told the defendant he could not sit there. Then the conversation continued as follows:

"DEFENDANT: Don't tow the car, I have $5.00 for you if you forget about it and give me the car because I have a business deal Monday.

OFFICER: Would you repeat that, I didn't hear you.

DEFENDANT: (While holding five one-dollar bills in his hand) "Here, ...


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