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People v. Jefferson

MAY 28, 1971.

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

v.

ELIJAH JEFFERSON (IMPLEADED), DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. FRANK J. WILSON, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DRUCKER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant was found guilty after a bench trial of the offense of unlawful sale of a narcotic drug. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1967, ch. 38, par. 22-3.) Judgment was entered and he was sentenced to a term of ten to fifteen years. *fn1 On appeal defendant contends that he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Testimony of A'Roterick McLaughlin, for the State:

He is a police officer with the Chicago Police Department assigned to the Vice Control Division, Narcotics. On March 13, 1968, at 4:00 P.M. he met his partners, Officers King and Kelly, at 22nd and Indiana. He then drove his own car to a tavern at 1456 East 67th Street called "That Lounge." Once inside That Lounge he met defendant who was behind the bar. He had seen defendant once before, on February 6, 1968, when defendant was tending bar at That Lounge. On March 13 he had a conversation with defendant alongside of the juke box and defendant asked him if he wanted to "cop a bag of smoke" (buy a bag of marijuana). He told defendant he would buy a ten dollar bag. "Mr. Jefferson said he was getting off duty, if I would wait he would take me to his man where he would cop some for me." By "get off duty" defendant meant when he was through working for the day at That Lounge as a bartender.

He arrived at That Lounge at approximately 5:00 P.M., had the conversation with defendant and then left with defendant about 5:10 P.M. He drove defendant in his car to the Music Box which is another tavern located on the southeast corner of 43rd and Michigan Avenue. Upon their arrival they sat down next to a male Negro, known to him as Frank Lewis. There was normal lighting in the tavern. Defendant and Lewis had a conversation. The witness was about two feet from Lewis when defendant told Lewis that defendant wanted to cop a bag for him (McLaughlin). Lewis said he could handle it and asked defendant how much he wanted to purchase. Defendant told Lewis that a ten dollar bag was needed. The witness gave defendant one five dollar and five one dollar bills. This money was from the narcotics unit but it was not recorded. Defendant immediately turned the money over to Lewis. Lewis told them that they should wait a few minutes while he picked up the bag.

Defendant and he waited about four minutes and then left the Music Box. They walked north on Michigan Avenue in the 4200 block. When he left the Music Box with defendant he saw Officers King and Kelly parked at a gas station at 43rd and Michigan. King and Kelly were approximately 200 feet from the Music Box entrance. He then observed Lewis walking south on Michigan on the east side of the street. Lewis crossed the street to meet defendant and him. This occurred at about 5:25 or 5:30 P.M. (On cross-examination the witness stated it was approximately 5:15, 5:20 "something like that.") Lewis pulled a silver foil package out of his pocket and said, "This is dynamite stuff." Lewis handed the package to defendant who in turn handed it to the witness. All three then walked back south on Michigan and Lewis went back inside the Music Box. Defendant and he returned to his car and he drove defendant to the 1400 block of 67th Street where defendant got out at "approximately 20 minutes to 6:00, quarter to 6:00, something like that" and left. He had a general conversation with defendant as they drove from the Music Box to 67th Street. He examined the contents of the fail package while defendant and he were driving back to 67th Street. The package contained a crushed green substance.

After he dropped off defendant he met Officers King and Kelly at 67th Street and Stony Island. He handed the foil package to King and related what had occurred. They drove to 1121 South State Street, Chicago Police Headquarters. King and Kelly went inside and brought back several photographs. He picked out Lewis' picture. He identified both defendant and Lewis as the two men who sold him the narcotic drug.

Defendant finished work a few minutes to five. He did not notice if anyone was behind the bar when defendant and he left That Lounge. There were other customers in the tavern at this time. He did not know if a Mr. Mitchell was at That Lounge on March 13th.

Testimony of Thomas King, for the State:

He is a police officer with the Chicago Police Department. On March 13, 1968, he was working with Detective A'Roterick McLaughlin, an undercover police officer, and Detective John Kelly. At 4:00 P.M. on March 13th Kelly and he proceeded to 22nd and Indiana where they met McLaughlin. They followed McLaughlin to the area of 1400 East 67th Street where they parked their car. They observed McLaughlin enter That Lounge at approximately 5:00 P.M. About five minutes after McLaughlin entered the lounge he came out with defendant. It was still daylight.

He observed defendant and McLaughlin enter a car and proceed west on 67th, north on Cottage Grove to 43rd, turn left, proceed west on 43rd to Michigan, turn left again and then park. They parked their unmarked police car at a gas station near the Music Box at approximately 5:35. He saw defendant and McLaughlin enter the Music Box. Defendant and McLaughlin remained inside for four or five minutes and then came back outside and walked north on Michigan. He instructed Kelly to drive around the block to 42nd Street. As they were driving toward defendant and McLaughlin he observed Lewis cross over Michigan and meet defendant and McLaughlin. Lewis walked right up to defendant and McLaughlin. "It appeared they were in a conversation and at which time they started walking back toward 43rd Street." Kelly drove right past the three men so he could see this third man. At this time he recognized Lewis. Lewis went back inside the Music Box. Defendant and McLaughlin drove back to the 1400 block of 67th Street where defendant got out of McLaughlin's car and left.

He identified defendant and Lewis as the two men who were with Detective McLaughlin on March 13th.

It was stipulated between the parties that the crushed green plant found inside the tin ...


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