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People v. Blakely

SEPTEMBER 29, 1972.

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

v.

ARTHUR BLAKELY, 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:

Rehearing denied November 16, 1972.

OFFENSE CHARGED

Armed robbery against Arthur Blakely, Joseph Blakely, Robert Norfleet and Willie Rutledge. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1967, ch. 38, par. 18-2.

JUDGMENT

After a jury trial, Rutledge was found not guilty and the other three guilty. Arthur Blakely (hereafter "defendant") has appealed. He was sentenced to a term of 12-18 years consecutive to a prior sentence of 10-20 years.

CONTENTIONS RAISED ON APPEAL

1. Defendant was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt since the jury returned a compromise verdict finding defendant guilty and a co-defendant not guilty on the same evidence.

2. The admission of testimony of a prior unrelated crime prejudiced defendant in the eyes of the jury and is reversible error.

3. The court's imposition of a consecutive sentence was an abuse of discretion.

This is the third appeal to reach this court which concerns facts and circumstances which occurred during little more than one hour on the evening of October 7, 1968. The other two opinions, People v. Norfleet, 4 Ill. App.3d 758, 281 N.E.2d 761, and People v. Blakely, 7 Ill. App.3d 1012, involved the first two incidents and are helpful for a complete understanding of this case. The questions surrounding the third incident are raised by this appeal.

EVIDENCE

Wieslawa Krzysiak, for the State:

She had come to the United States from Poland approximately a year before, and did not understand English. On October 7, 1968, she was working in Sophie's Tavern at 4654 South Honore in Chicago. At about 11:00 P.M., four Negro men entered the tavern and approached the bar. One man, later identified as Joseph Blakely, took a gun from his pocket, but this defendant, his brother, grabbed it from him and began to pat down the customers looking for money. The customers were then told to lie on the floor, and defendant told the witness to come from behind the bar or he would shoot her. Since she didn't understand English, she did not respond as he directed, so defendant came behind the bar and pushed her to the floor. She looked up to see him taking money from the cash register and going through various drawers. Robert Norfleet told her to turn away or he would shoot her in the head. A customer in the tavern translated what he said into Polish.

A customer came in and the defendants ran. She did not actually see them leave. About two or three hours later at the police station she picked out four defendants from a seven-man lineup. She also identified the gun used ...


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