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People v. Bonds

APRIL 21, 1971.

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

v.

ODELL BONDS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. DAVID CERDA, Judge, presiding.

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

Defendant, Odell Bonds, was found guilty of the misdemeanor of criminal damage to property after a trial without a jury. Defendant was sentenced to one year probation and brings this appeal. He contends (1) that the trial court erred in permitting the prosecutor to cross-examine a defense witness beyond the scope of direct examination on immaterial subjects and then to impeach the witness on those subjects and (2) that the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction.

The complaining witness, Mary Barnes, testified that she arrived at her home at 5540 S. Morgan in the City of Chicago at about 2:30 P.M. on November 1, 1968. She noticed the defendant, Odell Bonds, sitting on top of a car parked in front of her house. She went to her back door and noticed that her kitchen and den windows were open. She proceeded up the back porch, pulled the kitchen curtain back and noticed five or six boys in her house. She went around to the front of the house and saw Odell Bonds run out of the front door. The other boys ran out behind him. She grabbed Odell Bonds on the front lawn, but was unable to hold him as he squirmed out of his coat. Missing from her house were some light bulbs, a radio and $100.00.

Odell Bonds, a seventeen year old student at Tilden High School, testified that on the date in question he left school at 1:30 P.M. and arrived home at 5748 South Morgan, a block and a half from the complaining witness's home, at 2:00 P.M. He helped his mother wash their car until 2:30 P.M. Between 2:00 P.M. and 2:30 P.M. he went to a store for a bottle of 7-Up for his mother. Afterwards he went to bed at 2:30 or 2:45 P.M. and slept until 7:00 or 8:00 P.M.

Mrs. Lucy Bonds, his mother, testified her son came home at about 2:00 P.M. and helped her wash the car. He brought a glass out of the house so that she could split a bottle of 7-Up with another lady. She did not testify that her son went to a store for the 7-Up. She testified that he slept from about 2:30 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. and that he could not have left the house without her seeing him.

Two other witnesses, one, a woman who lived in the same building where the defendant resided, and the other, a lady friend of the defendant's mother, testified they saw Odell Bonds drying the car just after 2:00 P.M. on the date in question.

The primary issue in this case is whether the cross-examination of defendant's mother was improper and whether such error is reversible. The allegedly improper cross-examination occurred as follows:

"CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. TRUSCHKE:

Q. The defendant is your son, is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you love your son?

A. Sure, but I wouldn't lie for him.

Q. Well —

Mr. Ginsberg: We stipulate that —

Mr. Truschke: Q. You love your ...


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