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People v. Pisarski

JUNE 9, 1972.

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

v.

MICHAEL DENNIS PISARSKI, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. FRANCIS T. DELANEY, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

OFFENSES CHARGED

Murder. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1965, ch. 38, pars. 9-1 (a-1) and (a-2).) Three counts of aggravated battery. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1965, ch. 38, par. 12-4, par. 12-4 (b-1), and par. 12-4 (b-3).) Attempt (to commit murder). Ill. Rev. Stat. 1965, ch. 38, par. 8-4.

JUDGMENT

After a jury trial, defendant was found guilty of murder and one count of aggravated battery. He was sentenced to concurrent terms of 35 to 60 years for murder, and 4 to 5 years for aggravated battery.

CONTENTIONS RAISED ON APPEAL

1. Defendant was denied a fair trial because two jurors had read newspaper articles concerning defendant and the trial which had appeared in two Chicago daily papers on the evening the trial began and on the morning after the first witnesses were called.

2. Defendant was denied a fair trial because a State's witness, while demonstrating her version of defendant's handling of the gun at the time of the shooting, broke down sobbing in the presence of the jury.

3. Defendant's sentence was excessive.

EVIDENCE

In the summer of 1966, defendant and the decedent were very close to one another and considered themselves engaged. In December, 1966, defendant gave decedent a diamond ring which she wore on the third finger of her left hand. On April 8, 1967, when defendant went to visit decedent in her home, he was met by decedent's brother, who handed him the diamond ring and other items he had given decedent. The decedent was not present, but her mother told defendant that he could not see or speak to the decedent at all.

According to defendant's testimony, decedent called him on April 16, 1967, to tell him that it was not her idea, but her mother's and brother's, that they were not to see each other again. She told him that she still loved him, they arranged to meet on April 24, 1967.

On April 24, 1967, defendant went to the high school to pick up decedent, and they went for a ride.

Decedent's mother testified that on April 27, 1967, when defendant again came to her home, she told him that he was not to see her daughter again as she did not want to see or talk with him. ...


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