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People v. Acevedo

OPINION FILED JUNE 25, 1976.

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

v.

VICTOR P. ACEVEDO, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



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

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE LORENZ DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Following a jury trial, defendant was convicted of the murder of Wolfgang Ulrich and the voluntary manslaughter of Karl Ulrich, and was sentenced to terms of 14 to 30 years for the murder and 5 to 15 years for the voluntary manslaughter, the sentences to run concurrently. On appeal, he contends that the trial court erred when it (1) admitted palm print cards and a lift impression photograph into evidence; (2) adjudged him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (3) allowed the State to make prejudicial closing and rebuttal arguments, and (4) accepted the jury's inconsistent verdicts of murder and voluntary manslaughter.

The following pertinent evidence was adduced at trial.

For the State

Manfred Ulrich

He is the brother of Karl and Wolfgang Ulrich. Karl was about five feet seven inches tall and weighed 195 pounds; Wolfgang was about five feet nine inches tall and weighed 160 pounds. On March 16, 1973, at about 2 a.m. he and his two brothers were walking northward on the west side of the 3700 block on North Clark Street in Chicago. As they passed the Grand Slam Lounge at 3740 they were assaulted by between five and seven men emerging from the lounge. A man wearing an orange coat grabbed him from behind, knocked him down and pounced on him. The man was between five feet seven and five feet eight inches tall. Wolfgang came to Manfred's aid and kicked the man with the orange jacket away from Manfred. Then a Spanish man a little over five feet tall fired four or five shots. Manfred did not see the man's face. Immediately thereafter, the police arrived on the scene. Wolfgang was found lying on the ground in front of the lounge, while Karl was found in front of the doorway just south of the lounge. Both subsequently died of the wounds they received during the incident. At the police station, Manfred identified the man in the orange coat in a lineup. Neither he nor his brothers accosted or grabbed anyone in the doorway to the lounge while they were passing.

Santo Valez

He left the lounge at 1:55 a.m. with Jose Rosado, a friend, and crossed Clark Street to enter Rosado's car. There were seven persons, including defendant, left in the lounge. About five minutes later, he saw Juan Chaparro, the manager of the lounge, locking the lounge's front door. The three Ulrich brothers approached and one of them asked Chaparro for a drink. Another, whom Valez identified as the only present survivor of the three, grabbed Chaparro by the shoulder, turned him around, and attempted to take the bag of money that he had with him. When someone screamed for help Valez got out of the car and recrossed Clark Street. As he reached the other side, he saw the Ulrichs start to fight with Angel Sanchez and Manuel Mendoza whom he had previously seen inside the lounge. The Ulrichs then started to push and hit defendant, who had been standing in front of the lounge watching the fight. Valez did not see any of the Ulrichs with a gun in his hand. Defendant fired three or four shots with a gun, hitting Wolfgang Ulrich who was fighting with Sanchez and Mendosa, and then hitting Karl Ulrich who was fighting with defendant. After the shooting defendant crossed the street and ran south.

Juan Chaparro

He was the manager of the Grand Slam Lounge. Shortly before 2 a.m. he announced that the lounge was closing. Jose Rosado, Santo Valez, defendant, and two others then left. As Chaparro attempted to lock the front door of the lounge, a man approached him and asked if the lounge was closing. When Chaparro replied that it was, the man screamed something incomprehensible. Chaparro pulled the door shut, and the man left. No one touched Chaparro as he attempted to lock the front door, nor did anyone attempt to take the bag of money that he had with him. He heard a number of shots, but before he had a chance to turn around and see what had happened, the police arrived on the scene.

Jose Rosado

He left the Grand Slam Lounge with Santo Valez on March 16, 1973. After he had entered his car, he saw some people arguing in front of the lounge. He did not hear any shots. He saw defendant walk quickly past his car and turn south.

Patrick Walsh

He had been a Chicago police officer for four years. As he and his partner, Officer James Clarke, approached the Grand Slam Lounge at approximately 2 a.m. he saw a group of people standing in front of the lounge. He heard shots but he did not see who fired them. He ...


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