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People v. Trimble

MARCH 25, 1975.




APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JAMES C. MURRAY, Judge, presiding.


Johnny Trimble, Jr., defendant, was charged with the offense of armed robbery in violation of section 18-2 of the Criminal Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1971, ch. 38, par. 18-2). At trial in February, 1974, the jury found defendant guilty and, after a hearing in aggravation and mitigation, the trial court sentenced him to a term of not less than 4 years nor more than 7 years in the State penitentiary. On appeal, defendant contends that it was reversible error to admit in evidence the testimony of the arresting officers to the effect that the complaining witness had identified defendant to them as the man who had robbed her and also that she had identified her keys; and that the prosecutor's closing argument was contrary to law in two respects and resulted in reversible error.

Mrs. Denora Parker, the complaining witness, testified on behalf of the State and said that at approximately 1:10 P.M. on June 12, 1973, she parked her car in the parking lot of Wieboldt's Department Store, 6320 South Peoria Street, Chicago; that as she was rolling up the window on the passenger side she bent over to pick up her purse and some shoes from the floor of the car when she felt a "sharp object" in her side; and that as she straightened up in her seat, she felt an arm slide around her neck and saw defendant, whom she identified in open court, standing next to her car. Mrs. Parker said he was dressed in a short-sleeved black shirt with white buttons, black trousers and dark shoes; and that he was accompanied by a man who stood beside defendant and who was wearing a maroon suit and a bright yellow turban.

Mrs. Parker further testified that defendant asked for some money; that she opened her purse and showed him a cigarette case in which she kept her money; that defendant and the other man both had their fingers in her purse, taking out money; and that defendant took $24 in currency and the other man took Mrs. Parker's change and a key. Mrs. Parker said defendant gave some money to the other man and he then tried to remove the keys from the ignition; that she struggled in an attempt to retain the keys, but was forced to release them; and that as defendant started to walk off with the keys, Mrs. Parker asked him to drop them.

Mrs. Parker said she got out of the car and as she looked over her shoulder she saw a marked squad car pull into the parking lot. She testified defendant began to run, with the other man running along with him; and that they ran toward 63rd Street, at which time she lost sight of them. Mrs. Parker said she saw the squad car back out of the parking lot, go down Peoria, turn on 63rd and head west.

Mrs. Parker said that approximately 5 minutes later the squad car returned with defendant sitting in the back seat; and that she ran to the squad car and told the police that defendant and another man had taken her money and keys. Mrs. Parker further testified defendant told her the keys were in the weeds. She said defendant and the police officers read a card to defendant; that the police officers put handcuffs on him; and that defendant helped them look for the keys in the weeds. Mrs. Parker said that at the time defendant was perspiring and his shirt was unbuttoned.

Mrs. Parker showed the police the knife defendant had thrown on the floor of the back seat of her car. She identified People's Exhibit No. 1 for Identification as the knife defendant had put to her side earlier that day and which was lying on the floor of the back seat of her car. Mrs. Parker said that she, the police officers, and some passersby looked for her keys; that a little boy found them in the weeds and gave them to her. Mrs. Parker identified People's Exhibit No. 2 for Identification as her keys.

Mrs. Parker said that at the time of the incident she was "awful nervous" and became angry when defendant took her keys. She also stated that she turned and looked into defendant's face as he was standing beside the car. Mrs. Parker told the police that defendant was 21 or 22 years old, approximately 6 feet tall, weighed between 155 to 170 pounds and was light skinned.

William R. Winters, a police officer for the city of Chicago, testified on behalf of the State and said that on June 12, 1973, at approximately 1:10 P.M., he and his partner, Police Officer Charles Imposino, were patrolling the mall area at 63rd and Halsted in a marked squad car; that he noticed two men on the driver's side of a small car; that one of the men had the upper part of his body inside the window and another man wearing a yellow turban was standing to his left, a little to the rear; that the man in the yellow turban looked at Winters; that defendant then pulled himself out of the car and they both started running north from the parking lot; that Winters got out of the squad car and started chasing them through a vacant lot; that when the men reached 63rd Street they turned to the left and went west on 63rd; that when Winters came round the corner of 63rd Street, he saw the two men and he pursued them down 63rd Street; and that "for maybe two seconds" he lost sight of them. Winters said that when the men got almost to Morgan Street, Police Officer Imposino pulled up in the squad car and Winters jumped in and they continued the chase west on 63rd; that the man in the yellow turban ran south on Morgan Street and defendant ran north on Morgan about 125 feet to the alley and then he turned left and ran west in the alley; that defendant then ran into Major Motors Garage and back out on 63rd Street, then he went west to Carpenter Street and south on Carpenter; that as defendant got under the "El" structure he took off his shirt and threw it in the weeds under the tracks; and that he then began to walk. Winters testified he got out of his squad car and began walking behind defendant and Imposino pulled the squad car up ahead of defendant and jumped out so that both Winters and Imposino were walking toward defendant in each direction. Winters said he asked defendant why he was running but defendant was so exhausted and out of breath he could not answer; that he was sweating profusely; and that the police officers took defendant back to the location of the shirt and told him to put the shirt on, which he did. Winters identified defendant in open court as the man he apprehended on Carpenter Street. Winters further testified that the police officers put defendant in the squad car and drove back to the parking lot at 6320 Peoria and parked a few car lengths behind a small car that was parked in the lot where Winters first observed defendant; and that a woman ran over to the car, very excited, started screaming at defendant and said he was the man that robbed her. Winters said defendant told Mrs. Parker that her keys were "over there in the weeds."

Winters further testified he told defendant to get out of the car; that he was under arrest; and that he handcuffed defendant and read him his rights. Winters said Mrs. Parker called him over to her automobile and pointed out a knife lying on the rear floor. They went into the vacant lot and defendant pointed to some bushes along the building as the spot he threw the keys; and that as they were searching, a little boy in the group found the keys and gave them to Mrs. Parker. On cross-examination, Winters said he searched defendant but found no money on him.

Police Officer Charles Imposino, testifying on behalf of the State, substantiated the testimony of Police Office Winters.

Defendant testified he did not rob Denora Parker with a weapon on June 12, 1973. He said that for the last 9 months he was employed by Southwestern Dodge, located in the 7300 block on South Western Avenue, as a porter and maintenance man. On cross-examination, defendant said that he was 22 years old; that on June 12, 1973, he was employed by Ed's Texaco, 5015 West Touhy Avenue, Lincolnwood. Defendant said that on June 12, 1973, at about 1:20 P.M., he was at the Major Motors pricing a radiator hose for a 1958 Oldsmobile. He said he was dressed in a long-sleeved black shirt, black slacks, and black shoes. Defendant further testified that the police officers stopped him on Carpenter Street, put him in the squad car and took him to a parking lot; that when they got to the parking lot, a lady looked in the car and said: "He got on black shirt and black pants. They look like the one." Defendant said the police officers took her over to her car and started to talk to her; that then the police officers took him out of the car and told him they were going to make him look for some car keys; that he was scared and said nothing; that the police officers took him to a big lot and told him to look for some car keys but defendant told the police he didn't know anything about any car keys; and that he did not see anybody find any keys.

Defendant testified that he did not order a radiator hose but just priced it. He said that at the time of the arrest his car was parked on 65th Street near Carpenter. Defendant said he told the police where the car was parked but they did not pay any attention and did not drive over there. Defendant said he got the car from 65th Street about a month later, after he got out of jail; and that his mother went with him when he got the car.

• 1 Defendant argues it was error for the arresting officers to testify that Mrs. Parker identified defendant as the man who robbed her and, also, that she identified a set of keys as those which defendant had taken from her. However, no objection to this testimony was made by defendant in the trial court, and, therefore, the issue has been waived for the purpose of appeal. The law is clear that one cannot on appeal raise the issue of the admissibility of evidence where there has not been an objection to its admission during the trial. (People v. Linus, 48 Ill.2d 349, 355, 270 N.E.2d 12; People v. Smith, 17 Ill. App.3d 494, 496, 308 ...

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