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People v. Wicker

APRIL 7, 1972.

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

v.

MICHAEL WICKER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. PHILIP ROMITI, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DRUCKER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant was found guilty in a bench trial of attempted murder and battery. He was found not guilty on charges of attempted robbery and aggravated battery. He was sentenced to six months for battery to run concurrently with a sentence of six to twelve years for attempted murder.

Defendant does not appeal the battery conviction but contends the following in his appeal of the conviction for attempted murder: (1) the evidence was not sufficient to warrant a finding that the acts of the defendant constituted a substantial step toward murder; (2) the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the intent element of the crime of murder; and (3) the State did not meet its burden of proving that defendant had the capacity to form an intent at the time of the offense.

Testimony of Officer Wayne Resek, called by the State:

At approximately noon on December 22, 1969, at 800 West Chicago Avenue, while driving in his squad car, he was hailed by a woman. He had a conversation with her and then headed west on Chicago Avenue. About 200 feet from the woman, on a bridge 100 feet above the Chicago River,

I observed the defendant, Michael Wicker — he had the man [Karijianis], with one hand around the stomach — the other hand between his legs, and the man was lifting off the ground, about six inches. — The man was holding — hanging onto the guardrail.

The guardrail was three and one-half feet high. It was a very light, clear day and there was snow on the ground. He had a clear, unobstructed view of the defendant. Having observed the above, he and his partner got out of their squad car, placed the defendant under arrest and took him to a police station where complaints were signed.

On cross-examination he stated that Karijianis and the defendant were approximately halfway between the center and west end of the bridge on the north side. The defendant was standing up and Karijianis had both hands on the railing. The defendant had his left arm around Karijianis' waist and his right arm between Karijianis' legs.

Testimony of George Karijianis, called by the State:

He is 75 years old. About noon on December 22, 1969, he was on his way to Illinois Research Hospital to have his eyes and glasses tested when a young fellow (later identified as the defendant) approached him and asked him for carfare. He said he didn't have any and the defendant started hitting him and broke his glasses. He hit the defendant with his stick and then he hit the defendant in the jaw with his head. He then gave the following testimony: *fn1

"After I hit him with head * * * he grabbed me again, to take me — the bridge — you know, * * *.

Not have any money * * * you know, this guy * * * He trys me — to pull me — the bridge — down. Before the bridge — to take me down — I have the iron bars over there — I grab my hands, like that. It is after a few — I don't know — memory. The police — I see him after.

When asked how high off the ground he was lifted, he replied, "No, sir. No, sir, your honor." The following questioning then took place:

Karijianis. "He grabbed me, to throw me down there.

Q. Did you grab onto the guardrail?

A. Yes.

Q. With both hands?

A. Sure * * * both hands.

Q. All right. Do you remember, sir, being lifted off the ...


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