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People v. Clark

DECEMBER 17, 1971.

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

v.

THEOTIS CLARK, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ROBERT J. COLLINS, Judge, presiding.

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

Rehearing denied January 21, 1972.

OFFENSE CHARGED

Armed robbery. Two counts. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1967, ch. 38, par. 18-2.) Aggravated battery. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1967, ch. 38, par. 12-4.) Attempt (to commit murder). Ill. Rev. Stat. 1967, ch. 38, par. 8-4.

JUDGMENT

After a bench trial, defendant was found guilty of armed robbery and sentenced to a term of eight to fifteen years.

CONTENTIONS RAISED ON APPEAL

1. Defendant was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

2. The statutes authorizing admission into evidence of defendant's prior convictions for the purpose of impeaching his credibility as a witness are unconstitutional.

EVIDENCE

Charles Gibson, for the State:

At the time of the trial, he was incarcerated for a misdemeanor conviction. On July 28, 1968, he and Alfonzo Jackson went to the King Pin Den Tavern between 11:30 P.M. and midnight. There were 10 or 11 other customers in the bar. While he was there, he drank some beer. Earlier, he had a little wine with some people in the alley.

He and Alfonzo played pool. About 2 hours and 15 minutes after arriving, he was shooting pool with a young lady when he noticed a man come in, but did not pay any attention to him. Then, four more persons came in, about 10 feet from him, and said, "All right, this is a stick-up." He saw guns and raised his hands. Someone said, "I will take all your wallets and your money, put it out on the table." He placed his wallet, which contained between $34 and $37, on the pool table which he was facing. One person was taking the money off the table from behind where witness was standing. He turned around and saw that it was defendant. At that moment, defendant was only a few feet away and he was holding witness' wallet in his hand. He observed defendant for about 20 seconds.

He said to defendant, "Why are you doing this to me? I know you." Defendant answered, "No, you know I won't do that to you. Go ahead, go ahead and sit down." Defendant then searched witness for a gun, which he did not have, and returned witness' ...


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