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People v. Monaghan

OPINION FILED JULY 12, 1976.

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

v.

ROBERT MONAGHAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. PHILIP ROMITI, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE SIMON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant, Robert Monaghan, was indicted along with James Kemper for an armed robbery of a desk clerk at a hotel on the north side of Chicago in the early morning hours of December 1, 1973. Kemper was found unfit to stand trial. In his trial before a jury, defendant did not dispute that he had taken part in the robbery, but claimed that Kemper had compelled him to participate. Defendant was found guilty of armed robbery and sentenced to a term of 6 to 18 years. Because the defendant's conviction is being reversed on the ground that trial errors deprived him of his constitutional right to due process and the case is being remanded for a new trial, it is inappropriate for this court to express an opinion as to defendant's guilt or to analyze or set forth the evidence in greater detail than necessary to resolve the issues dealt with in this opinion. People v. Cook (1965), 33 Ill.2d 363, 211 N.E.2d 374; People v. Wright (1975), 32 Ill. App.3d 736, 738, 746, 336 N.E.2d 18; People v. Trotter (1975), 27 Ill. App.3d 136, 326 N.E.2d 524; People v. McKinney (1970), 126 Ill. App.2d 339, 348, 261 N.E.2d 797.

The defendant testified that he was in an apartment on the north side of Chicago in the early morning hours of December 1, 1973, when Kemper arrived. Kemper commenced arguing with another occupant of the apartment (Thomas Brown), saying that he wanted to go out and get some money. Kemper fired a shot at Brown, but missed. He then ordered the defendant to go out with him to get some money, and shot at the defendant, narrowly missing. At this point defendant left the apartment with Kemper and they walked around for a period of time. During their walk, Kemper drew his gun a few times and warned the defendant to do as he said. Defendant took part in the armed robbery and returned to the apartment with Kemper.

Brenda Galaviz, who was Kemper's sister, and who was occupying the apartment with Brown, testified that after Kemper and the defendant left she called the police to report a disturbance in the apartment.

Chicago Police Officer Posselt testified that he received a radio communication regarding the robbery and proceeded to the hotel where he obtained a description of the robbers. This information was transmitted to other police cars in the area. Chicago Police Officer Yunker testified that after receiving a general flash radio message about the robbery and the description of the robbers, he received a report of a disturbance at the apartment occupied by Brown and Galaviz and was directed to investigate. When Officer Yunker arrived at the apartment, Galaviz admitted him, and the officer had a brief conversation with her and Brown. Galaviz told the officer that Kemper had fired two shots. Yunker saw the defendant and Kemper, who by that time had returned to the apartment, sitting in the front room. After the officer recovered a gun from the bedroom and started to interview those present in the apartment, he noted that Kemper and the defendant fit the description of the robbers in the flash message concerning the robbery. Officer Yunker placed the two men under arrest and they were transported to the police station. Officer Yunker testified he informed the defendant of his rights. The defendant made no statement to Officer Yunker, and the record does not show the defendant made any statements at the police station.

The defendant contends that the State improperly drew attention to his failure to inform the police that he had been compelled to commit the robbery. During cross-examination, the Assistant State's Attorney asked defendant the following questions:

"Q. What did you do when the police told you they were taking you to the police station with Kemper?

Defense counsel: Object.

Q. What did you do?

Defense counsel: Asked and answered.

The Court: Proceed.

A. What did I do when they told me they were taking me to the police station?

Q. Right.

A. I didn't say ...


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