APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Madison County; the Hon. JOHN
GITCHOFF, Judge, presiding.
A jury found the defendant guilty of the offense of attempted murder, and a sentence of from 1 to 5 years was imposed.
The defendant claims that testimony of two prosecution witnesses contained inadmissible evidence which was sufficiently prejudicial to deprive the defendant of a fair trial. Roxanne Lyons, the defendant's ex girl friend, gave the following testimony about a conversation she had with the defendant on the date of the alleged offense:
"Q. Okay. And what was the nature of your conversation, or what exactly was said?
A. Well he came in there and wanted to get back together again, and I told him no way, that after my car was blown up, which I couldn't prove that he did it "
Defense counsel immediately objected to the answer and moved that it be stricken and the jury instructed to disregard it. The trial judge replied:
"All right. That'll be sustained, and the jury is instructed to disregard all the remarks pertaining to the bombing of the automobile, and anything pertaining thereafter."
Irma Voght, the mother of Roxanne Lyons, was questioned by the State's Attorney concerning the identification of the defendant's car as follows:
"Q. What occasioned you to know the license number?
A. Well, sir, lately I had thought that maybe I'd need it, and I did need it. I memorized his license plate.
A. Why did I do it? I guess I realized something was going to take place, because we'd been threatened several times."
Defense counsel then moved for a mistrial because witness had indicated that the defendant had threatened her and her daughter in the past. The court denied the motion for a mistrial, but, as then requested by defense counsel, instructed the jury to disregard any comment "with regard to threats."
The defendant contends that the jury had been so impressed with bombings and threats that he could not receive a fair trial. The defendant further asserts that the judge, in instructing the jury to disregard the ...