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People v. Christy

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 12, 1976.

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

v.

ROBERT CHRISTY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. BENJAMIN S. MACKOFF, Judge, presiding.

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

Defendant, following a jury trial, was convicted of robbery in violation of section 18-1 of the Criminal Code. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 18-1.) He was sentenced to a term of 2 to 10 years. On appeal, he contends that remarks by a prosecution witness referring to criminal activity by him, other than that for which he was on trial constituted reversible error.

At trial the following pertinent facts were adduced.

For the State

Dennis Clegg — Chicago Police Officer

On June 18, 1973, at about 1:30 a.m. he and his partner, Officer McFadden, responded to a call from a fire station at Racine and Wilson where they found Wilma Weston sobbing, crying, screaming and excited. She was extremely nervous and her clothes were in disarray. The whole right side of her body was covered with dirt. They made an investigation and took her statement. The fire station is across the street from Andy's Lounge. The robbery took place at the alley right at the end of the firehouse where there are six lights.

Wilma Weston

She is the complainant. On June 17, 1973, about midnight, she sat at the bar in Andy's Lounge drinking beer and talking to a girl friend. After about one hour, she spoke to defendant whom she knew as "Harold" and had known for two or three years. After 15 or 20 minutes she announced she was going home. As she got up to leave, defendant offered to walk her home. She refused his offer and left. He got up and followed her west on Wilson Avenue. As she crossed Racine, he grabbed her right shoulder. She looked around and saw it was defendant. Defendant said, "Wilma, I have been after you a long time. I'm going to get you." He was standing in front of her. He hit her in the jaw, knocked her down on her right side and dragged her. He grabbed her watch and purse and ran. She screamed and a fireman came to help. She had a $50 check, $20 cash, some change in a change purse, house keys together with her medical, social security cards and some other papers in the purse. She told the police "Harold" did it and that he was wearing dark pants and a striped shirt.

Robert Lee King

He is the manager of Andy's Lounge. He corroborated the fact that complainant, whom he has known for six years, was in the tavern on the evening in question. At about 1:15 a.m. she said goodbye and started toward the door where defendant was standing. She opened the door and walked out. Defendant followed her.

Although he did not know defendant's name, he had seen him many times over the last three or four years.

On cross-examination the following colloquy concerning defendant occurred:

"Q. Did you ever have a conversation with him?

A. Yes, sir, I had a short conversation one time. I was about to ...


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