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People v. Ilich

DECEMBER 20, 1974.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

ALLEN ILICH, A/K/A ALEX ILICH, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. RUDOLPH L. JANEGA, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DIERINGER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied January 28, 1975.

At a bench trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County on April 18, 1973, the defendant, Allen Ilich, was found guilty of the offenses of theft of property valued at less than $150, criminal damage to property, and driving without a license. He was sentenced to serve 90 days in the Cook County Jail and pay a fine of $100.

The issues presented for review are whether the court abused its discretion by failing to make further inquiry into newly discovered evidence alleged by the defense subsequent to trial; whether the prosecution had suppressed information favorable to the defense; whether the defendant was proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; and whether the sentence was excessive.

Officer George Dooling of the North Riverside Police Department testified that on August 16, 1972, he and his partner chained a 10-speed bicycle to a fence at the Korvette Plaza parking lot in North Riverside and proceeded to observe it from a distance of approximately 100 yards. There had been a large number of bicycle thefts there, and the police were on the alert for thieves.

The defendant drove up to the bicycle in an automobile, and the sole passenger in the car got out and stood in front of the bicycle. He then walked over to the cafeteria section of the Korvette store and looked in the window. He returned to the car, spoke to the defendant, and then took out a pair of diagonal cutters from his pocket and attempted to cut the chain on the bicycle. When some people came out of the store, he went back to the car and waited about 5 minutes. He then cut the chain and motioned to the defendant who had remained in the car. The defendant proceeded to drive out of the parking lot, and the other person got on the bicycle and followed the vehicle around the corner.

When the vehicle driven by the defendant got to the rear of the parking lot, the officers stopped the car. One of the officers attempted to apprehend the person on the bicycle, but he dropped the bike in the middle of Cermak Road and escaped across the Illinois Central railroad tracks.

The bicycle was recovered in a damaged condition. The chain was off the sprocket and the rear wheel was bent.

The defendant testified the person who stole the bicycle was a hitchhiker, named Mike, he had picked up about 10 minutes before arriving at the shopping center. Mike told him he was looking for a friend and that the bicycle staked out by the police belonged to his friend.

Several weeks after the defendant's conviction, the defense presented a motion for a new trial, and defense counsel made the following "offer of proof."

"I make an offer of proof, Your Honor, that I discovered after the trial that the party who actually stole the bike was discovered by the police. His name was discovered. It was furnished to the State's Attorney and it was never furnished to the defense pursuant to our code and pursuant to case law which requires that any witness favorable to the State must be furnished to the defense. That constitutes my offer of proof."

The court denied the motion for a new trial, and the defendant contends the court should have conducted a hearing to ascertain the accuracy of defense counsel's offer of proof. The defendant also contends he was denied due process because the prosecution failed to disclose the name of the person who actually took the bicycle pursuant to the motion filed by the defense: "To disclose the name and addresses of any individuals who would be favorable to the defense."

• 1 We find the arguments of the defendant on these points are not persuasive. In People v. Dukes (1960), 19 Ill.2d 532, 538-39, the court stated:

"Applications for new trials on the ground of newly discovered evidence are not regarded with favor and must be closely scrutinized. In order to justify a new trial the newly discovered testimony must be conclusive and not merely cumulative, and the evidence must appear to be of such conclusive character that it will probably change the ...


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