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People v. Hunter

OCTOBER 1, 1973.




APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ROBERT J. DOWNING, Judge, presiding.


Three indictments covering a series of events that occurred on August 23, 1969, were consolidated, and the defendant, Jesse Hunter, was convicted in a bench trial of the burglary of the home of Louis Suchy, the aggravated battery of Louis Suchy and Sirflonia Barber and the rape of Millie Cathy Savage. He was sentenced to one to two years for the aggravated battery of Sirflonia Barber; two to five years for the aggravated battery of Louis Suchy; two to five years for the burglary; and four to six years for the rape. All sentences were to run concurrently.

On August 23, 1969, Sirflonia Barber was living at 2025 West Roosevelt Road in Chicago with her children, including her daughter, Millie Cathy Savage. Between 2:00 and 2:30 A.M. Millie, at the request of her mother, answered a knock at the door and saw the defendant, whom she knew by the name of Gerald. When Sirflonia asked the defendant what he wanted, he told her that he had some Scotch that he wanted to sell and asked if she wanted to buy some. She told him she did not drink and the defendant left, saying he would be back. Sirflonia Barber had known the defendant for about three years. He had been in her apartment before and was a friend of her daughter, Helen Ann Savage. Millie Savage, who was 14 years old at the time, was dressed in her nightgown when she first answered the door. She changed to shorts, bra and sweater.

When the defendant returned, he had a shopping bag with him and told her mother that he had some Scotch. When her mother asked if she could look in the bag, the defendant said: "No, I better look in it because there might be a shotgun in it." He then took a knife out of the bag and put it to Sirflonia Barber's neck. The defendant told the children to get into the bedroom, but they would not. The defendant told them that if they did not get into the room he would kill their mother. Sirflonia asked the defendant what he wanted, but he did not answer. She then told Millie to go in her purse and get $10. When Millie returned with the money, the defendant hit her in the eye, and she dropped the money. Millie then ran downstairs to get help and saw L.C. Evans and his son, and Eddie Lewis. She told them her mother was in trouble, and they ran upstairs. In the meantime the defendant was scuffling with Sirflonia. He stabbed at her as she crouched under a table and again after she ran into her bedroom. She was holding the right sleeve of his coat; he held the blade of the knife in his gloved right hand while she held the handle. He struck her once on the side of the head with his fist and bit her twice on the arm in an attempt to make her release the knife. After she finally wrested the knife away from him, she threw it to her oldest son, who ran downstairs and gave it to L.C. Evans. During the struggle with the defendant her blouse was torn off. She was bleeding from a scratch on her neck. It was stipulated that she was later treated at Illinois Research Hospital for human bite marks to the forearm and hand. After Evans broke the front door open, the defendant ran out. She saw Millie about 30 minutes later as Millie was running down Roosevelt Road naked and shouting, "Mommy, Mommy." Millie was crying and said, "He did it, he did it." Sirflonia testified that the defendant was in her apartment for more than 20 minutes and appeared to be "high," but she did not smell alcohol.

Millie, after Evans ran up the stairs to help her mother, was screaming and was restrained by a neighbor woman. When Millie saw the defendant come down the stairs, she jerked loose and ran across Roosevelt Road; and the defendant started chasing her. He caught her and put a gloved hand across her mouth. There was a large group of people standing in front of her house; and there were no obstructions to their view of her and the defendant; but they did not do anything when the defendant caught her. He then started pulling her toward Hoyne to a basement in back of a house. A man named Gene told the defendant he should let her go because she did not have anything to do with him and her mother. The defendant told him to mind his own business.

She was taken to a stairway leading to the basement. The defendant then tore off her sweater and bra and pulled her shorts off. After he had taken her clothes off, he removed all of his clothes. He told her to lie down on the stairs and then had intercourse with her for about 10 minutes. She testified that at this time the defendant looked "high" and his eyes were "real droopy." While they were having intercourse, the defendant heard someone in the alley and told her that if she made any noise he would kill her. The witness testified that she did not consent to having intercourse with the defendant; she did not scream because the defendant had his hand over her mouth; she did not struggle, punch or scratch; and at no time in her life before this occurrence had she had sexual intercourse.

After the man in the alley had left, the defendant ran down the alley pulling her. Neither she nor the defendant had any clothes on at this time. Eddie Lewis was coming down the other end of the alley and told the defendant to stop, but he did not. Lewis ran and caught up with them. He started fighting and struggling with the defendant, and Millie broke loose and ran home. The first one she saw was her mother, who covered her with a blanket, and the police were called. They took her back to the place where the defendant had intercourse with her which was 2107 West Roosevelt Road. The police found her clothes, a comb, a silver medal, and a cream colored glove on the stairway leading to the basement. The bra strap and sweater were torn, and there was a hole in her shorts.

Doctor Michael Rubin examined Millie Savage that night at Illinois Research Hospital; no sperm was found, the hymenal ring was torn and there was evidence of anterior vaginal wall trauma. Fresh blood on the hymenal ring and on the anterior vaginal wall indicated that the trauma was recent. He did not find any marks or bruises on any other part of her body. She told him that the assailant tore her clothes off, threatened to kill her and had intercourse with her.

At about 2:45 A.M. the defendant entered the home of Louis Suchy, who was 75 years old, at 2009 West Washburn by breaking through a side window on the first floor and a plasterboard partition used as a display window. When Suchy, who had been awakened by the noise, opened the door to the front parlor, he saw the defendant standing with pants on but no shirt, crouched in a "judo stance." When Suchy asked him what he wanted, he threw Suchy to the floor and began beating him, knocking him unconscious. When Suchy came to, he saw the defendant dragging his 72 year old wife down the hall. His grandson, who knew the defendant, came in and yelled, "Gerald, what are you doing to my Grandma?" The defendant ran into a side room and Suchy's grandson locked that door. In the meantime, his daughter, Lorraine Bobczyk, had been awakened by the noise, and, after seeing the defendant assaulting her father and mother, ran out and called the police, who arrived shortly thereafter and arrested the defendant.

The defendant's brother, Anthony Hunter, testified that the defendant had swallowed "about five" capsules of "Treinols" (or "Trianol") that Helen Savage gave him at 11:45 P.M. They went to the poolroom on the first floor of the building where Sirflonia Barber lived at 12:30 A.M. The defendant had no difficulty walking. During this time he noticed that the defendant was acting unusual and his eyes were bulging. He had previously seen people "under the influence" of these particular pills and the defendant was "under the influence" of the pills. He had seen his brother under the influence of pills once before. He asked the defendant why he didn't go home, and he answered that he wasn't going home. His eyes were "glittering."

L.C. Evans testified that he separated the defendant from Sirflonia Barber and told him to leave the apartment. Evans had known the defendant since he was a young child and testified that he had never seen him act the way he was that night; he was sweating and blowing; his eyes were "reddish looking" and "wildish looking."

Officer Armata testified that he saw the defendant at the Suchy home, that he was perspiring very heavily, and he did not notice anything unusual about his appearance.

Louis Suchy testified that when he saw the defendant choking his wife the defendant said: "You don't want her to get hurt, do you? Quiet."

Officer Albert Giannoni testified that when he and his partner arrested the defendant in the Suchy home, he did not resist; he ...

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