Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

People v. Bolton

APRIL 10, 1974.




APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Champaign County; the Hon. BIRCH E. MORGAN, Judge, presiding.


Defendant was convicted of burglary upon a jury verdict. He appeals.

Defendant, aged 19 years, and his brother-in-law, Hilliard, aged 16 years, were discovered in the early morning of October 2, 1970, upon the lot of Christman Auto Sales. Several hours were spent investigating the circumstances during which time the defendant and Hilliard were arrested. There is no disagreement that defendant consented to a search of his car which disclosed various tools identified as the property of one Tschann doing business as 101 Auto Ranch. The indictment charged that the burglary of the Ranch occurred on September 30. Tschann testified relating the burglary to the fact that several windows were found broken out on that date, although at such time nothing was believed to be missing.

Hilliard testified for the prosecution. He showed some uncertainty in recalling dates, but testified that he and defendant shot out the windows on September 30, and that a day or two before he and defendant entered the building on the Ranch with a key which defendant had obtained. He testified that at that time the tools were taken.

Defendant testified that he had been employed by Tschann but that such employment was terminated some 2 weeks prior, that on the last day of his employment he used the tools to work on his car and that when he finished the building was locked and he placed the tools in his car. He stated that he had a dispute with Tschann as to the amount of his last day's pay and that he decided to keep the tools until the dispute was settled. He denied taking or having a key to the Ranch and he denied the burglary, although he admitted shooting out the windows because he was angry.

Upon questions by his counsel, defendant explained that he and Hilliard were required to move from their lodgings and that they had driven to the Christman premises to sleep in his car, that he could not sleep and went for a walk and upon returning the police were present and he was ultimately arrested.

Hilliard testified in rebuttal that a day or two before he and defendant were looking at a Pontiac on the Christman lot, that defendant had found a key to the car and that on the evening prior to the arrest they had taken the car to drive around town and were returning it when discovered by the police.

Here, defendant urges as error that testimony as to other criminal acts was received in evidence; that the court erred in giving the prosecution's instruction in the language of IPI Criminal No. 13.21, concerning the exclusive possession of recently stolen property; that the trial court should have included sua sponte an instruction that the evidence of other criminal acts was limited to defendant's credibility; that the court erred in refusing to give defendant's instruction on circumstantial evidence; that defendant was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the court unduly restricted his impeaching cross-examination of the prosecution witness, Hilliard.

Defendant's contention concerning the prejudicial evidence of other crimes is presented in two aspects. The first concerns the testimony as to the events on October 2 leading to the arrest. No objection was made as to such testimony and the issue was not preserved in his post-trial motion. The prosecution urges that it was necessary to prove the circumstances of a lawful arrest and seizure of the tools, which, in substance, constituted the discovery of the burglary charged. This proposition is supported by People v. Johnson, 34 Ill.2d 202, 215 N.E.2d 204; People v. Tucker, 118 Ill. App.2d 136, 255 N.E.2d 31, and People v. Sessions, 95 Ill. App.2d 17, 238 N.E.2d 94.

• 1 In Johnson, defendant was tried for theft from one Potts. The events leading to defendant's arrest included testimony concerning a theft from one Laurie. It was held that there was no error in admitting such testimony as a continuing narrative of the theft from Potts and the arrest of defendant. In Tucker, and in Sessions, it was held proper to admit testimony concerning the events which led to the arrest and identification of defendant with the offense charged. See also People v. Guyton, 114 Ill. App.2d 394, 252 N.E.2d 665.

• 2 Defendant made objection to the rebuttal testimony of Hilliard directed to the testimony of defendant about going to Christman's lot to sleep and to returning from a walk to find the police present at his car as evidence of another offense. This issue was preserved in his post-trial motion. The prosecution urges that the issue is controlled by People v. Daugherty, 43 Ill.2d 251, 253 N.E.2d 389, and People v. April, 97 Ill. App.2d 1, 239 N.E.2d 285. In Daugherty, defendant was accused of indecent liberties with a small boy. Defendant testified denying the charge and told of his friendly association and paternal concern with two younger boys in the family. In rebuttal, the latter testified concerning defendant's conduct with them on other occasions. It was urged that such testimony was prejudicial in suggesting other criminal offenses. The opinion held that it was proper to admit the testimony in rebuttal to the matters asserted in defendant's direct examination.

That opinion cited People v. Hanley, 317 Ill. 39, 147 N.E. 400, wherein defendant testified that he was not with a co-defendant on the date at issue, and that he did not own a gun. It was held that rebuttal was properly admissible in the testimony of a witness that he saw defendant and the co-defendant on the date concerned and that defendant had a gun. See also People v. April, 97 Ill. App.2d 1, 239 N.E.2d 285; People v. Jones, 125 Ill. App.2d 168, 260 N.E.2d 58, and People v. Appleton, 1 Ill. App.3d 9, 272 N.E.2d 397.

In People v. LaBatt, 108 Ill. App.2d 18, 246 N.E.2d 845, there was a failure of the Miranda warnings so that defendant's statements were held inadmissible in direct evidence. Defendant testified that he had no gun. The issue was whether it was error to admit the testimony of a police officer as to what defendant said about a gun. The court held that where he testified, defendant placed the truthfulness of his version in controversy and that the State was entitled to rebut such testimony. Cert. denied, 401 U.S. 963, 28 L.Ed.2d 248, 91 S.Ct. 980, sub nomine La Batt v. Illinois.

Defendant relies upon People v. Cage, 34 Ill.2d 530, 216 N.E.2d 805. In that opinion the court noted that the prosecution sought to rebut testimony of defendant resulting from the "clearly improper" cross-examination, and that under such circumstances evidence suggesting other offenses was reversible error. To the same effect, see People v. Kirkwood, 17 Ill.2d 23, ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.