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People v. Gregory





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. FRED H. GEIGER, Judge, presiding.


Defendant Leonard Gregory was convicted of the offenses of aggravated assault and unlawful use of weapons. The Circuit Court of Lake County sentenced him to a term of 2 to 6 years for the unlawful use of weapons conviction and to a term of 6 months for the aggravated assault. He appeals contending that the court erred in imposing consecutive sentences.

On May 9, 1974, Michael David Medina, dealer in heroin, was approached by the defendant, whom he knew as `Rosco,' in front of his house about 4 p.m. Defendant asked him for $50, which Medina had "ripped off" from defendant's girlfriend. Medina stated that he had "ripped off" the girl, because she had ripped him off for $45 at an earlier date. Medina pulled out $150 to $200 and gave defendant $15. He told him to come back later for the rest.

Defendant came back to Medina's house about one-half hour later, and asked Medina to give him some heroin. Medina said he didn't have any but would see what he could do. Defendant then pulled out a silver gun with a pearl handle and said, "All right, give it to me, this is a rip off." Defendant put the gun to Medina's head and said, "I want your money." Medina gave him $35 which he had. Defendant asked where the rest of the money had gone, Medina said he had given it to Ceasar, his supplier. Defendant then said, "Well, take me by his house."

Medina got into his car with defendant, defendant's girl friend and another friend. Instead of driving to Ceasar's house, Medina went to the house next door to Ceasar's. The woman who answered the door pointed toward the next house. When Medina got back in the car, defendant said, "Well you try to play a funny one on me," and drove the car himself. He gave the gun to the man in the back seat and said, "Well, I'm going to take you somewhere and kill you." As they drove around the block, Medina said he would take them to Ceasar's house.

When they arrived at Ceasar's residence, defendant held the gun under his coat. Medina knocked on the door and tried to tell the woman who answered the door, in Spanish, not to let the man in because he had a gun. The woman, Emilia Garcia, heard Medina say to close the door, but because someone was behind him, did not do so. Medina tried to close the door, but defendant pushed it open. When Medina and defendant entered the kitchen, Ceasar's mother and sister, and four or five small children, were around the kitchen table. There were other people in the dining room. Mrs. Garcia called upstairs to Ceasar to come downstairs. Medina entered the dining room and tried to get under the table, while defendant had the gun pointed at him. When Ceasar came downstairs, Mrs. Garcia heard him say to Medina, "I told you don't bring nobody to my house." Ceasar went outside, expecting the two men to follow. When they didn't he came back to the kitchen and grabbed defendant by the arm. As they struggled, Medina came up behind Ceasar and threw an ash tray at defendant. Defendant fired the gun three times. He missed Ceasar, who slipped on the floor, and hit Medina in the shoulder. Defendant then ran from the house.

At trial, the State and the defendant stipulated that the defendant had been convicted of robbery on January 11, 1968, and had been released from the Illinois State Penitentiary on August 9, 1971, within 5 years of the date of the incident.

At the sentencing hearing on November 20, 1974, the trial court in imposing sentence, stated:

"* * * But there were two actions which took place at exactly the same time or within — What? Seconds?

MR. RADOSEVICH [State's Attorney]: Split seconds.

THE COURT: Split seconds of each other. It was all part of one continuous transaction, altercation or whatever.

With regard to the charge of aggravated assault and the verdict and judgment of guilty, the Court sentences the defendant to six months in the Lake County Jail.

With regard to the charge of the unauthorized possession of firearms the Court enters judgment to an indeterminate term of not less than 2 nor more than 6 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary, and he is hereby committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections of the State of Illinois to serve said term."

Later in the hearing, as the parties were leaving the courtroom, the court reporter asked the judge: "Judge, on that six months' County Jail sentence is he given credit for what he's had or anything." The following discussion then ensued:

"THE COURT: Oh. That's why I did it that way. Come back ...

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