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People v. Klytta

NOVEMBER 27, 1974.




APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ARTHUR L. DUNNE and the Hon. ROBERT J. COLLINS, Judges, presiding.


At a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County the defendant, Robert Klytta, was charged with the offenses of burglary, theft and criminal trespass to a vehicle. The jury found him not guilty of theft and burglary, but guilty of criminal trespass to a vehicle. As a result of this conviction the defendant's probation, granted in a prior case, was revoked. He now appeals from both the conviction and the revocation of his probation.

The issues for review are whether the defendant was deprived of a fair trial because the prosecutor's remarks during closing arguments were inflammatory and prejudicial; whether he was proved guilty of performing the acts alleged in the indictment knowingly and intentionally; whether the sentence imposed was excessive; and whether he should be given credit on his prison sentence for time served on probation.

Police officer Harvey Hirsch testified he received a call on his radio in the early morning hours of October 28, 1970, and proceeded to 5650 North Western Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. In the alley at the rear of the building he saw a man he identified as the defendant peering around the side of the building. Several moments later a vehicle sped out of the alley and a 4-mile high-speed chase followed. Eventually, the car which the defendant was driving hit a tree, and he was placed under arrest.

Mr. Rakic Miloje testified through an interpreter that the car was his, and he had not given the defendant permission to use it.

Mr. Jerome Hoffman testified that he was president of H.P.C. Incorporated, located at 5650 North Western Avenue, Chicago, and that he received a call at about 5 A.M. on the day in question from the ADT security service. He went to his factory where he observed that both the front and rear doors had been tampered with. He made a check of his inventory but was unable to find anything missing.

The defendant testified that at the time of the incident he was taking approximately 600 milligrams of methamphetamines (speed) a day. He stated he remembered driving the car and being involved in the chase as well as things after he wrecked the car, but to the best of his knowledge he never was inside the building at 5650 North Western Avenue. He did not remember how he got into the car.

Dr. Richard Rappaport, a psychiatrist, testified in response to a hypothetical question that a person who took the quantity of drugs testified to by the defendant would be irritable, aggressive, impulsive, talkative, suspicious and suffering from some forms of physical exhaustion, and that the person's family, social, ethical and moral values would be altered.

The State's first rebuttal witness, Carl Sharnett, director of programs for Gateway Housing Foundation and an ex-drug user, testified that a typical speed user would consume approximately 100 milligrams a day. He stated that while using amphetamines he never lost his sense of right and wrong, and that while he was using 150 milligrams a day he would not have been able to control an automobile.

Ernest Ursitti, an investigator with the Chicago Police Department, testified he was present at the scene where the defendant had his accident and had a chance to observe him in the hospital and in the police station. In his opinion the defendant was not intoxicated in any way.

Officer Hirsch also testified as a rebuttal witness for the State. He had a conversation with the defendant after the arrest and saw the defendant walk into the police station. He stated the defendant appeared to be normal.

The jury found him guilty of criminal trespass to a vehicle, and after a hearing in aggravation and mitigation the defendant was sentenced to a term of one year in the County Jail.

On October 15, 1970, the defendant had pleaded guilty to the offense of burglary and was placed on probation for a period of 5 years. As a result on May 1, 1973, a hearing was held on a rule to show cause why the defendant's probation should not be revoked. After the hearing his probation was revoked, and he was sentenced to the Illinois State Penitentiary for a term of 2 to 6 years, the sentence to run concurrently with the 1-year term.

The defendant first argues the prosecutor's remarks during his closing argument were prejudicial and were a material factor in the jury finding him guilty of criminal trespass to a vehicle. The ...

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