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People v. Calhoun

MARCH 10, 1972.

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

v.

JOANN CALHOUN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JAMES J. MEJDA, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT: Offense Charged

Two alternate counts of murder. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1967, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a) (1) and (2). *fn1

Judgment

Defendant was found guilty of murder by a jury and was sentenced to a term of 16 to 30 years.

Contentions Raised on Appeal

1. The evidence presented at trial was insufficient to established defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

2. Defendant was denied a fair trial due to the ineffective assistance of court-appointed counsel.

3. The prosecutor's cross-examination of a defense witness was so prejudicial as to deprive defendant of a fair trial.

Evidence

Mamie Perkins, for the State:

She is defendant's mother. She shared a third-floor apartment at 4513 S. Indiana with Anthony Guy, a witness for the defense. Living in the other apartments on the third floor of the same apartment building were defendant and Bessie Porter, the deceased.

As far as she could remember, the only other people with her on the third floor of the building at about 8:00 P.M. on March 5, 1968, were Anthony Guy, the decedent, and defendant. She was in her apartment with defendant and Anthony Guy when Bessie Porter came and stood by the door of the apartment. The witness did not speak to her, nor did she overhear any of the conversation between defendant and decedent, but she did notice that the decedent was drunk. Defendant left the apartment, but she could not recall whether or not Anthony Guy also left the apartment. When she later saw defendant in the hall together with decedent, she did not see whether defendant had a weapon in her hand. The witness did not hear the shot, but Anthony Guy told her that Bessie had been shot. She went to the deceased's apartment and saw her lying on the couch. She did not see defendant at that time. She went downstairs, notified the police officers in a nearby squad car that her daughter had killed the decedent, and directed them to the decedent's apartment. She then went to the door of a building across the street, but returned home when she could not locate her daughter.

George Greenlee, for the State:

He has been a police patrolman for approximately seven and one-half years. At about 7:15 P.M. on March 5, 1968, he and his partner, Patrolman Nealis, went to 4534 S. Indiana in response to a call regarding lost property. Upon arriving at that address, they spoke to Mrs. Emma Simms and to defendant, Mrs. Simms' daughter-in-law, about a missing derringer pistol. Mrs. Simms believed that her pistol had been taken by Bessie Porter's son. Defendant took both officers across the street to 4513 S. Indiana to point out Bessie's apartment. Defendant was present when Bessie denied that her son had taken the gun. As all four were recrossing the street to the Simms' apartment to settle the matter, Bessie saw defendant's six-year-old son playing in the street and admonished defendant for drinking instead of looking after her son. Defendant became angry, and the officers had to quiet her down. Upon returning to the Simms' apartment, there were more ...


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