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People v. Parrott

OPINION FILED JULY 12, 1976.

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

v.

JACK E. PARROTT, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. EARL ARKISS, Judge, presiding.

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

Jack E. Parrott (defendant) was tried before a jury for unlawful use of weapons (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 24-1(a)(7)). The indictment charged that, "he knowingly possessed and sold a shotgun with a barrel less than eighteen inches in length * * *." After a verdict of guilty, he was sentenced to 1 to 3 years. He appeals.

In this court defendant urges that he was denied the right of confrontation of witnesses by the repeated use of improper hearsay testimony; he was prejudiced and denied a fair trial by repeated testimony that he was engaged in planning miscellaneous robberies and distribution of large quantities of weapons and that he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The People respond that the testimony attacked as hearsay was proper and relevant to show the motive, knowledge and intent of the arresting officers; defendant has waived the right to object to the remaining allegedly prejudicial testimony because he pursued, emphasized and further developed testimony as to the same matters on cross-examination of police witnesses; and, finally, that defendant was proved guilty by positive and credible evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

We reverse the judgment and remand the cause. Since under our view the defendant must be tried again, we will refrain from expressing any opinion regarding defendant's guilt and we will not analyze the evidence in detail. (See People v. Trotter (1975), 27 Ill. App.3d 136, 140, 326 N.E.2d 524, leave to appeal denied, 60 Ill.2d 600; also People v. McKinney (1970), 126 Ill. App.2d 339, 348, 261 N.E.2d 797, and cases there cited.) It seems extremely unlikely that the situation presented by this record will be duplicated in event of another trial. We therefore consider only the first contention raised by defendant which will, in our opinion, be dispositive of the appeal.

The testimony in behalf of the State was given by two arresting police officers. The first of these witnesses testified that on June 14, 1973, he received a department memorandum from the Intelligence Division of the Chicago Police Department. The trial counsel for defendant stated, "Objection." This general objection was overruled; the witness answered and the testimony continued as follows:

"A. On that date we received a department memorandum stating that firearms were being sold to street gangs on the northwest side of the City.

Q. When you received the memorandum, Investigator, were you given any specific instructions as to what to do?

A. Yes, sir, we were told to conduct a covert investigation to determine if there were said firearms being sold to street gangs.

Q. Were you told at any time to make any purchases of weapons if you could, Investigator?

A. We were told to make purchases if we could, yes, sir."

At this point, the State's attorney tendered a document to the witness. Counsel for defendant objected to the contents of the memorandum other than the fact that the witness had received it. The trial court stated that the document was merely being marked for identification. Trial counsel for defendant then stated that he wished a continuing objection on this point. The questioning and the responses continued as follows:

"Q. Ask you to examine that document and tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury whether or not you recognize that document, Investigator?

A. Yes, sir, this is the memorandum that I received on the ...


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