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People v. Sanchez

MAY 31, 1973.

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

v.

ANTHONY RAY SANCHEZ, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Rock Island County; the Hon. ROBERT M. BELL, Judge, presiding. MR. JUSTICE DIXON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This was a proceeding by indictment against the defendant Anthony Ray Sanchez, charging in four counts the crimes of Murder, Attempt Robbery and Involuntary Manslaughter. There was a jury trial. At the close of all the evidence the court directed a verdict on two counts but denied the motion for directed verdict as to one count of Murder and the counts for Involuntary Manslaughter. The jury returned a verdict of guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter. Defendant's petition for probation was denied and following a waiver of a hearing in aggravation and mitigation the defendant was sentenced by the trial court of Rock Island County to a term of from 8 to 10 years.

During the early evening hours of August 18, 1970, the 15 year old defendant met with a small group of his friends in his home. The boys went to a nearby park where they played awhile. Later they met a man sitting on a bench in the park and one of the boys asked him for cigarettes. The defendant attempted to take them from the man's pocket and the man pulled out a gun and said no one could have any cigarettes. An argument ensued. Defendant left the park with his friends, went to his home where he got a .32 cal. revolver from the basement. He put a bullet into the gun. Defendant claimed he got the gun from a neighbor. The neighbor, a defense witness, denied this.

The boys returned to the park with intent to "scare the dude". On the way they ran into another boy who told them the man in the park was waiting for them with a pocketful of bullets. As a result, the boys decided not to go into the park. Later they met the same man who apologized for threatening defendant with a gun. The boys then went across the street and met Bob Herron, the deceased, and some of his friends. Defendant attempted to borrow money from Herron.

During this encounter the defendant pulled out the revolver and pointing it at a cat pulled the trigger 3-4 times but the gun did not fire. Defendant then pointed the gun at Clayton Veasey. He pulled the trigger four more times and still the gun did not fire. Defendant then asked one of his friends if he liked Bob Herron, to which the friend replied that he did not. Defendant then put the gun to Robert Herron's head and told him that he would "give him three to run", that he would give him a "sporting chance" and to "run".

Herron started to turn, the defendant called him back and shot him in the eye, killing him. The victim was unarmed and the gun was a foot away from his head when it was fired. The defendant then ran from the scene, discarding the gun, on his way home. The weapon was never found.

Defendant claimed that because the gun was rusty he did not expect it to fire and in substance claimed the death was accidental.

On cross-examination the State's Attorney asked defendant if the .32 revolver was the only gun he ever owned. The answer was, "Yeah, besides a cap gun". Then:

"Q. Did you own a .25 caliber automatic, Tony?

A. No.

Q. Whose .25 caliber automatic was in the basement?

Objection by defense counsel and motion for mistrial."

On rebuttal the State produced the testimony of Officer Hockenberry who testified that the defendant had told him that he owned a .25 automatic and that, "If those dudes from Davenport mess with me, I have a .25 automatic with nine shells and I will do them a deal".

• 1 Defendant, citing only People v. Tranowski, 20 Ill.2d 11, contends that the mention of the .25 automatic (which had been discovered in the basement of defendant's home incident to a valid search for the weapon employed) was ...


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