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People v. Crane

DECEMBER 28, 1971.

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

v.

ELIZABETH CRANE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County; the Hon. HAROLD O. FARMER, Judge, presiding.

PER CURIAM:

Defendant was charged in a two-count indictment. Count I alleged that the defendant committed an aggravated battery on Pauline Mabry in that the defendant caused great bodily harm to her in violation of section 12-4 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Ill. Rev. Stat., ch. 38, par. 12-4.) Count II charged her with committing an aggravated battery on Pauline Mabry in that the defendant committed a battery on her knowing that she was a teacher upon the grounds of the school, in violation of section 12-4(b) (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. (Ill. Rev. Stat., ch. 38, par. 12-4(b) (3).) The defendant was found not guilty in a jury trial in the Circuit Court of St. Clair County on Count I and found guilty on Count II and placed on three years probabation. We reverse.

On November 2, 1970, the defendant, a member of Local 1220, American Federation of Teachers, was picketing the Longfellow School where she had regularly taught the first grade in previous years. Mrs. Mabry and Mrs. Coker, both non-union teachers at Longfellow School, arrived at the school that morning at approximately 7:45 A.M. They apparently had trouble parking their car and entering the school grounds and waited until approximately 8:30 A.M. when they were able to enter a driveway onto the playground of the school. There is no evidence that the defendant prevented their previous entry into the school grounds. Mrs. Mabry and Mrs. Coker got out of the car and Mrs. Mabry began walking ahead of Mrs. Coker toward the back door of Longfellow School. The defendant approached Mrs. Mabry. There is conflicting evidence as to whether the defendant took Mrs. Mabry by the arm, pulled on her sleeve, tapped her on the shoulder or arm, or took her by both arms and turned her body around. At this point the defendant said to Mrs. Mabry, "Don't go in there, don't go in there." Just as Mrs. Mabry was either turned or turned herself around, an unidentified young man darted quickly from the group of people standing nearby and struck Mrs. Mabry in the face with his fist. Mrs. Crane admonished this individual not to hit Mrs. Mabry. The assailant was not apprehended.

The Illinois Revised Statutes necessary to our decision in this case are set out in Chapter 38 in pertinent part below:

"12-3. Battery.

(a) A person commits battery if he intentionally or knowingly without legal justification and by any means,

(1) causes bodily harm to an individual, or

(2) makes physical contact of an insulting or provoking nature with an individual.

12-4. Aggravated Battery.

(a) A person who, in committing a battery, intentionally or knowingly causes great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement commits aggravated battery and shall be imprisoned in a penal institution other than the penitentiary not to exceed one year or in the penitentiary from one to 10 years.

(b) A person who, in committing a battery either:

(1) Uses a deadly weapon;

(2) Is hooded, robed or masked, in such manner as to conceal his identity;

(3) Knows the individual harmed to be a teacher or other person employed in any school and such teacher or other employee is upon the grounds of a school or grounds adjacent thereto, or is in ...


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