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People v. White

DECEMBER 27, 1974.

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

v.

JAMES WHITE, A/K/A JIMMIE CLAGGETTE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ROBERT J. COLLINS, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE BARRETT DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant was convicted after a jury trial of unlawful use of weapons. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 38, par. 24-1(a)(4).

Defendant raises three contentions on appeal: (1) that references to unrelated charges of armed robbery and burglary, appearing in the testimony of the arresting officer and in the State's opening statement, were prejudicial; (2) that the trial court erred in allowing the State to reopen its case at the conclusion of defense counsel's closing argument; and (3) that the State's closing and rebuttal arguments were improper and prejudicial.

The record shows that Sergeant Frank J. Hughes of the Chicago Police Department testified. He was a criminal investigator for area 4 robbery and on July 9, 1971, he interviewed Leola Sims. On July 11, he showed her a photograph of defendant. Thereafter, he accompanied her when she appeared before Judge Sulski, who issued a warrant for defendant's arrest. After searching for defendant at four different residences, on July 13, in the company of Investigators O'Connor and Piekarski, he observed defendant crossing the street in the area of Madison and Oakley. He left his car and placed defendant under arrest, calling him Claggette. Defendant stated that his name was Terry White, not Claggette. A search of defendant revealed a .38-caliber revolver with five live rounds of ammunition hidden in the small of his back underneath his jacket.

On cross-examination, he stated that the arrest warrant was for a charge of robbery for which defendant had not been convicted, and that the gun recovered from defendant had been stolen from a Mr. Holland in the burglary of his home.

On redirect examination, he testified that the home that had been burglarized was three blocks from where he arrested defendant, and that he knew that defendant had used the name Terry White before because the name was on his arrest record.

On recross, he testified that Miss Sims had given him the name of Jimmie Claggette as the man who robbed her.

Investigator Thomas Piekarski of the Chicago Police Department testified as follows:

On July 13, 1971, he and Investigator O'Connor accompanied Sergeant Hughes in a search for defendant. In the area of Madison and Western Avenues, he observed defendant crossing the street and immediately notified Hughes, who placed defendant under arrest. A crowd had gathered at the scene, and at the time Hughes was arresting defendant, the witness was watching the crowd. When he brought defendant back to the squad car, Hughes was holding a gun in his hand that was different from the two that he was previously carrying.

The gun, the bullets, and the arrest warrant were entered into evidence.

After both sides rested and made their closing arguments, the State, over defense objections, was granted leave to open its case and called Leola Sims as a witness.

Leola Sims testified as follows:

On July 9, 1971, she was at the beauty parlor that she owns and was robbed by defendant, who was armed with a gun smaller than the gun that was the subject of the unlawful-use-of-weapons charge. She has seen defendant for several years in the neighborhood and knew his name to be Jimmie. On July 9, she spoke with Investigator Hughes regarding the robbery. On July 11, she identified defendant's photograph as that of the ...


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