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People v. Flynn

OCTOBER 11, 1974.




APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. EARL E. STRAYHORN, Judge, presiding.


After a bench trial, defendants Alonzo Flynn and Irving Duffy were found guilty of armed robbery and aggravated assault and, after holding that the charges arose out of the same transaction, the court sentenced them to terms of 10 to 15 years for armed robbery. On appeal they contend that they were not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and that their sentences are excessive.

The following evidence pertinent to this appeal was adduced.

Dolly King testified for the State.

She is the wife of Leonard King and lived with him and their 5-year-old daughter at 1945 W. Crystal. On the evening of November 6, 1971, at approximately 9 P.M. her husband went to the store for groceries returning approximately 15 minutes later accompanied by the two defendants. Defendant Duffy put a gun to her head and ordered her to the dining room area where Flynn was holding a gun to her husband's head. Duffy announced it was a robbery and demanded money. Duffy took her back to the kitchen where he put the gun to the baby's head at the same time warning the witness that she would not be harmed provided she did not cause trouble. Duffy beat her husband in the face and head with his gun. Flynn ransacked the apartment searching for money and found $145. Duffy also took money out of her husband's pocket. While she was in the dining room she saw that Duffy had picked up a pillow and placed it on top of his gun. Flynn ordered her to go into the pantry and start pulling out all the drawers. Her husband was sitting on the floor in the dining room at this time. She was in the pantry about 2 or 3 minutes when she heard a crash. As Flynn ran out the front door of the apartment, she picked up her child and headed for her landlady's apartment on the first floor to call the police. She noticed a broken window, approximately a foot away from where her husband had been sitting. Both defendants were in the apartment about 25 or 30 minutes. She denied knowing either defendant by name and denied having ever had them as guests in her home.

Leonard King testified for the State.

On November 6, 1971, sometime after 9 P.M., he was accosted by defendants in the vestibule of the building where he resided with his wife Dolly and their 5-year-old daughter Michelle. Defendants, with whom he was acquainted, held guns to his body and forced him to go upstairs to his second-floor apartment where they proceeded to terrorize him and his family for the next 25 to 40 minutes in search of money. Flynn had seen him cash his $250 paycheck that day. His total vacation money was $1200. Flynn at one point struck him in the face and said, "We're going to kill you, because you know us." After ransacking the apartment of $145 and "tape recorders and things like that," Flynn ordered Duffy to "[k]ill him." Duffy picked up a pillow off a nearby bed and moved toward where the witness sat by a window on the dining room floor. When the gun was cocked and raised toward his head, he bolted running full force through the window, breaking it, a storm window and the screen. He landed on the ground, 22 to 25 feet below, in a dazed condition. Crawling over to the trash cans on the other side of the building, he hid until he saw Duffy run past him with a drawn gun. He then went to a nearby home to summon the police, who on their arrival accompanied him back to his building where he found his wife and child in the landlady's first floor apartment. He was thereafter taken to the hospital where he received treatment for cuts and bruises on his face, hands and legs and a brace for a chipped bone in his wrist.

On cross-examination, King testified that he knew Duffy for about 6 years and Flynn for 10 to 15 years, that he would see and speak to them on the street occasionally, but that he did not socialize with them. He did not offer defendants a drink, but they did make themselves one. He was left alone in the dining room for 5 or 10 minutes while defendants were in the kitchen with his wife. He could not tell what defendants were doing. Defendants kept going back and forth from the front rooms to the back rooms where his wife and child were. Duffy came into the dining room and held a gun on him while Flynn guarded his wife. He at first denied belonging to any organizations, but then admitted belonging to an organization called "The Blacks." He denied having a conversation with Duffy concerning a plan to rob the Drake Hotel or of being given money to purchase uniforms to impersonate employees of the hotel although he admitted that on November 4, 1971, as he was returning from work at the Drake Hotel, Flynn and two companions approached him to suggest such a plan He refused to be part of the plan and reported this incident the next day to the chief officer at the hotel. On the night of the robbery, after returning from the hospital, he moved his family to his mother's house at 624 West Division. He was unaware that Flynn lived at 524 West Division. He did not see either defendant on the street after the incident nor has he spoken to them since that time. Because he moved out of his apartment he missed the detectives who came calling at his apartment. He was in contact with the police and did sign a complaint 2 weeks later. He denied ever taking any narcotics and exhibited his arms to show that he had no injection scars. The witness identified a .32-caliber gun that Duffy used the night of the robbery.

Richard Wedgbury testified for the State.

He is a Chicago police officer and that on November 20, 1971, at approximately 12:30 A.M. he arrested Flynn as he was sitting in a taxicab. He recovered a .32-caliber gun that defendant had taken out of his pants and slipped underneath the front seat.

Irving Duffy testified on his own behalf.

He and Flynn had gone to King's home on the night in question to get some money that they had given him a few days before. It was King's idea to purchase uniforms, pose as employees of the Drake Hotel, and rob the cashier's office of the hotel. King told them that they would have to wait. He did not know King too well and did not trust him. He and King started pushing and shoving each other around while Flynn and Dolly King were in the kitchen making drinks. King was acting kind of crazy, and when he turned around King jumped out the window. He and Flynn went downstairs where they saw King hopping along the alley. They walked over to their automobile and drove away. He further testified that neither he nor Flynn had a gun that night, that he did not take any money from King and that they did not ransack the apartment.

Alonzo Flynn testified on his own behalf.

He had known King for 10 to 15 years, that he attended grade school with both King and his wife Dolly, that he used to live across the street from him, that Dolly used to like him, that he had been invited to their home several times, that he and King belong to the Black Family Youth Organization and used to drink and take heroin together. He corroborated Duffy's testimony regarding King's robbery plan and further testified that King took him and Carl Colston to work to show them the layout of the hotel. On the date in question he and Duffy went to King's apartment to get their money back because they decided not to go through with the plan. King started acting funny and refused to give back the money. He was in the kitchen with Dolly when he heard a crash. He did not take any money nor did he ...

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