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People v. Greer

MARCH 2, 1971.

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

v.

AUSTRALIA GREER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



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

MR. JUSTICE STAMOS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied March 19, 1971.

After a bench trial, defendant was found guilty of robbery and sentenced to the penitentiary for a period of three to five years. He appeals and contends that he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

RUSSELL FLOWERS, complainant, testified for the State:

He occupied a small kitchenette on the first floor of an apartment building. He was living there on January 15, 1969. At the time he was unemployed. At approximately 6:00 P.M. he left his quarters to use the washroom located adjacent to the common hallway. Defendant was known to him. Defendant was called "Al" and had been seen in the building on previous occasions. Defendant came up behind him and "ran his (defendant's) hand in his pocket." He grabbed defendant's hand, but defendant stuck something against his side and told him to relax and he would not get hurt. Defendant removed his $15.00.

He went to the adjoining apartment which is occupied by Gene Williams and summoned the police who arrived within five minutes. At his direction the police officers went upstairs to the third floor endeavoring to apprehend the defendant. The officers were unable to locate defendant and they returned to his apartment. Within 5 or 6 minutes, defendant came downstairs to his apartment.

On cross-examination he testified that he was unemployed and was receiving the sum of $174.00 in State aid because of disability. As he started to lock his door to visit the washroom, he observed defendant and three or four other men in the hallway. He had seen all of them on previous occasions but did not know them by name. One of these men in the hallway was defendant's brother, William Greer, but he did not know whether any of these men in the hallway were looking in his direction at the time. He did not cry out for help or say anything to them.

He had seen defendant on previous occasions but they had never spoken nor had they any difficulty between them. He directed the police to go up to the third floor apartment, because he heard defendant run upstairs and he knew where defendant lived. He thinks he told police that there were people in the hall and he saw the police talking to them.

On redirect, he testified that the people in the hall were witnesses. They were looking at him and had to see it.

GEORGE HALKO, a police officer testified for the State:

He and his partner responded to Flowers' call. After interviewing Flowers they went to the third floor, but just prior to this they also interviewed Gene Williams whose apartment is adjacent to Flowers'. He, his partner and Flowers went upstairs to the third floor. There were several people standing in the hallway and he saw his partner at the open door of an apartment, but could not recall if he saw anyone in the apartment. He, his partner and Flowers went back downstairs to Flowers' apartment. As the police report was being completed, defendant appeared and stated that he, the defendant, had been advised that he was being sought.

On cross-examination he testified that Flowers described the person who committed the robbery as wearing a brown fur cap, green coat and brown shoes and also informed the police that the offender's nickname was Al. Flowers did not know the full name. Flowers appeared sober. There was no odor about Flowers. The case report was typed up by Officer Sabbia on information furnished by him. He never told Sabbia that Flowers was inebriated. The report does reflect, however, that Flowers had been drinking.

At the time of this arrest he had been a Chicago policeman for approximately five months. In his opinion Flowers was sober. He did not recall Flowers falling asleep at the police station. A search of the defendant did not reveal any money. The name of only one witness was obtained, that of Gene Williams, who Flowers said was in ...


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