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People v. Harvey

MAY 30, 1972.




APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ALPHONSE F. WELLS, Judge, presiding.


Mr. JUSTICE LYONS delivered the opinion of the court:

March 27, 1972. Supplemental Opinion —

Following a bench trial, Lonnie T. Harvey was found guilty of the offenses of involuntary manslaughter, driving while license revoked, leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injuries, and failure to report such accident within 48 hours of its occurrence. The trial court entered judgment on each of the findings and sentenced the defendant as follows: three to six years in the Illinois State Penitentiary for the involuntary manslaughter, one year in Cook County Jail for driving while license revoked, a $500 fine, suspended, for leaving the scene of an accident, and one year in Cook County Jail for failure to report the accident within 48 hours. Defendant appeals.

• 1-5 Although neither defendant nor the State has briefed or argued the issue, we must first consider the threshold question of this court's jurisdiction to entertain the issues raised by defendant in his brief. Appeals to this court in both civil and criminal cases are governed by Supreme Court Rules which provide that an appeal is perfected by the filing of a notice of appeal in the trial court and that such notice of appeal shall specify the judgment from which the appeal is taken. This is the only jurisdictional step in the appellate process. (See Supreme Court Rules 301, 303 and 606, Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 110A, pars. 301, 303 and 606.) Similarly, the scope of review in this court is limited, inter alia, to the judgment appealed from. See Supreme Court Rules 366 and 615, Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 110A, pars. 366 and 615.

• 6 The trial court found defendant guilty of four offenses, entered judgment on each finding and imposed a separate sentence for each offense. The totality of the issues raised by defendant ultimately reaches each of the judgments. The record on appeal, however, contains a notice of appeal from the judgment on the charge of involuntary manslaughter only. We conclude that this court's jurisdiction is limited to the issues raised with respect to that judgment only. (People v. Ilg, 1965, 60 Ill. App.2d 295, 210 N.E.2d 20.) These issues are:

1) That the evidence was not sufficient to establish defendant's guilt;

2) That he was without effective assistance of counsel; and

3) That the sentence imposed is excessive and should be reduced.

The charges against the defendant arose from an occurrence in which Mrs. Helen Hamill and her four year old daughter Cheryl were struck by a truck owned by Arthur Little, shortly after 9:00 P.M. on August 3, 1969, as they crossed Damen Avenue at its intersection with 35th Street in the City of Chicago. As a result of that Occurrence Mrs. Hamill sustained multiple injuries and Cheryl Hamill was killed. The issue raised by defendant with respect to the sufficiency of the evidence relates only to his identification as the driver of the offending vehicle. We, therefore, consider it appropriate to limit our discussion of the evidence presented to the trial court to that which bears on the identification issue.

Arthur Little, owner of the vehicle, testified that defendant, his brother-in-law, used the truck on the morning of the date in question as his mode of conveyance to the witness' grocery store in which defendant worked on a part-time basis. Mr. Little later drove to the store in his automobile. Late in the afternoon both he and the defendant went to a gas station, each in the vehicle which he had used earlier in the day. Mr. Little left defendant and the truck at the gas station and returned to his home, arriving there before 6:00 P.M.

Mr. Little further testified that defendant came to his home after 9:00 P.M. and at that time returned the keys to the truck. Shortly after defendant departed, two police officers arrived at his home and informed him that his truck had been involved in an accident. The remainder of Mr. Little's testimony details the efforts made by him and the police to locate the defendant.

Oleary Clark, a sister-in-law of both Mr. Little and the defendant, lived in the same building as Mr. Little. She testified that she saw Little in his apartment at approximately 5:30 P.M. on the date in question and did not leave his company until about 8:00 P.M. When she left his apartment she went across the street and sat with a friend, one Petola Todd, on the latter's front porch. From that vantage point she observed the defendant as he arrived in Mr. Little's truck at approximately 9:30 P.M. He parked the truck on the north side of the street, opposite Mr. Little's apartment building and then entered that building. Her testimony does not indicate whether she saw defendant leave the building.

She later observed two men as they attempted to gain entrance to the building. She asked them who they were looking for and was informed that they were police officers looking for the owner of the truck. She took them to Mr. Little's apartment where they found him sleeping on the couch. The truck was not moved between ...

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