APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. PHILIP
ROMITI, Judge, presiding.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE LORENZ DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
After a bench trial, defendants were convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to 4 to 12 years' imprisonment. On appeal, they contend that: (1) their counsel's motion for a continuance should have been granted despite their demand for an immediate trial, (2) a shotgun allegedly used in the robbery was erroneously admitted into evidence, and (3) they were not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Defendants were arrested for the armed robbery of a Shop-Rite grocery store at 1981 West 111th Street on June 14, 1973. The record shows that they agreed to a continuance on July 31, 1973. On November 20, 1973, when their case came on for trial, their counsel indicated that, although defendants demanded an immediate trial, he desired to file a motion to suppress their identifications and certain physical evidence, a motion to quash their arrests, and a motion for discharge under the Four Term Act. Thereupon, the trial judge repeated the motions to defendants and advised them that, while they controlled their own defense, it was generally more prudent to heed their counsel's advice. After these admonitions, all three defendants stated that they wished to proceed to trial immediately. Thereupon, the trial judge denied defense counsel's motions. Defense counsel then requested a continuance which the trial judge denied after again verifying from defendants that they desired to proceed to trial.
The following pertinent evidence was adduced at trial.
He is part owner of the Shop-Rite grocery store at 1981 West 111th Street. On June 14, 1973, at approximately 11:45 a.m. he saw the defendants enter and walk through the store and then leave without purchasing any groceries. One of the defendants was wearing a long black coat. At noon, Margaret Curtis, a cashier, began work with a bank of four five-dollar bills and 25 one-dollar bills, plus some loose change. Shortly thereafter, the defendants re-entered the store. Mack Jones pointed a shotgun at him and said, "step back or I'll blow your head out." Woody Williams took the cashier to the rear of the store. Michael Bob stepped behind the cash register and withdrew the money therein. The defendants then left the store and headed towards the east. At 2 p.m. he identified the defendants in a lineup at the police station. He identified a shotgun as the same weapon used in the robbery by Mack Jones.
On cross-examination, he admitted that none of the three robbers had a mustache or a beard. He recalled describing the three robbers to the police.
He is a Chicago policeman with six years' service. On June 14, 1973, at approximately noon, he responded to a radio call regarding an armed robbery. While enroute, he observed two parked buses in a loading zone at Vincennes and Chelsea Place (11050 South) approximately five blocks east of the grocery store. Defendants were standing at the rear of the second bus. He exited his vehicle and apprehended the defendants at the first bus. He recovered the hand grip of a shotgun from Mack Jones's waistband. The stock and the barrel of the shotgun were under the second bus. He also recovered $49 from Michael Bob in denominations of four five-dollar bills and 29 one-dollar bills.
On cross-examination, he admitted that his original police report did not indicate that he had recovered the hand grip from Mack Jones.
When recalled he testified that the shotgun he recovered bore serial number 697976. His original police report included that same number although at one point in a duplicate copy he erroneously hand copied the number as 69791.