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People v. Oliver

MAY 5, 1972.

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

v.

VICTOR P. OLIVER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. KENNETH R. WENDT, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

OFFENSE CHARGED

Armed robbery. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1967, ch. 38, par. 18-2.

JUDGMENT

After a bench trial, defendant was found guilty and sentenced to a term of one to three years.

CONTENTIONS RAISED ON APPEAL

1. The trial court erred in refusing to suppress evidence of a pre-trial identification of defendant.

2. Defendant was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

EVIDENCE

James Burns, for the State:

He is a route salesman for a baking company. On March 29, 1968, at about 10:45 A.M., he went into one of the stores on his route which was located in the 1300 block of S. Fairfield. He was talking to the owner in the rear of the store when another man walked in and stood beside him. Assuming that the newcomer was a customer, the owner went behind the counter to wait on him. As Burns turned to leave the store, the man grabbed him, put a pistol to the back of his head, forced him to lie face down on the floor, and went through his pockets, taking a wallet, some dollar bills and loose change, and a pearl-handled pocket knife which had a scratch on the handle. The man then warned Burns to stay where he was, and, facing him with the gun, backed out of the store. Burns had a clear view of the man's face and "a good look at him" for the 20 or 30 seconds it took him to back out of the store.

About a week later, an officer phoned Burns' home and left a message saying that they had arrested a man who was going to be in Felony Court that day; that they wanted him to see if he could identify the man, as they thought he might be the same one who had committed the robbery in Burns' case. Burns complied with the request and was present in a crowded courtroom when a bailiff brought a group of men before the bench. As names were called, other men approached the bench and joined the group, as did "a bunch of lawyers." When asked by an officer if he could identify one of the men in the group as the person who had robbed him, Burns indicated Victor Oliver, defendant in the instant case. *fn1

Burns also made an in-court identification of defendant as the man ...


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