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People v. Thompson

APRIL 27, 1973.

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

v.

JOHN THOMPSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. DANIEL J. RYAN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE ENGLISH DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

OFFENSES CHARGED

Two counts of murder. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 38, pars. 9-1(a)(1) and (2). *fn1

JUDGMENT

After a bench trial, defendant was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to a term of not less than 4 nor more than 10 years.

CONTENTION RAISED ON APPEAL

There was insufficient evidence to establish all elements of the offense of voluntary manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt.

EVIDENCE

Amelia Currie, for the State:

She is defendant's mother-in-law and the mother of the deceased, Olivia Thompson. On May 19, 1971, Olivia spent the entire day with her at her home in Chicago, Illinois. At about 8:30 P.M., defendant came to her house. He did not speak to her at that time, but briefly spoke to Olivia, telling her that she could not get her clothes at their apartment that night because he had some business to take care of. Defendant then left, but returned later that night, about 12:30 A.M. She, her daughter, and defendant were in the living room when he asked, "Olivia, what is you going to do?" Her daughter answered that she just wanted to get her clothes. Then the witness said to defendant, "I thought you said she couldn't get them tonight." Defendant answered, "I done took care of my business and I wants her to get them damn clothes tonight * * * I am tired of this woman acting like she acting. I done told her this once before. She keep on messing around, and this is one woman I am going to kill." Defendant then told her daughter to come on, and they both left the house together, got into the car, and drove away. There had been no argument between defendant and her daughter immediately prior to their leaving, and defendant did not force her to leave with him. The witness saw no reason to call the police at that time. Upon leaving, her daughter was wearing a flowered dress with a checkered coat and white slippers. Her daughter drank frequently, but had not been drinking that day.

She called defendant the next morning, and he told her that Olivia had left the car the night before and that he did not know where she was.

On May 21, 1971, the witness went to the police station and spoke with Officer Banahan. He had her look at a photograph which she identified as that of her daughter.

Bernard Banahan, for the State:

He is a Chicago police officer assigned to homicide investigation. On May 21, 1971, Amelia Currie came into the station to report that her daughter was missing. He showed her a picture of the deceased, whom she identified as her daughter. Later that afternoon, he and his partner went to the U.S. Steel Co. to speak with defendant. He told him that he was being arrested for murder, and advised him of his constitutional rights. With defendant's permission, he searched defendant's car and found a man's black trench coat with a red stain on the sleeve. He brought defendant to the station, again advised him of his rights, and had another conversation with him. Defendant related to him that the last time he had seen his wife alive was when he had picked her up from her mother's house at about midnight on May 19, 1971; that on their ...


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