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People v. Ford

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 2, 1976.

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

v.

JIMMIE LEE FORD, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Champaign County; the Hon. BIRCH E. MORGAN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE REARDON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The defendant in a consolidated bench trial was convicted of various offenses as follows: (a) murder of Mary Hoffman in violation of section 9-1 of the Criminal Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 9-1); (b) attempt murder (two counts) of Elizabeth Ann Delaney in violation of section 8-4 of the Criminal Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 8-4); (c) aggravated kidnaping (two counts) of Ms. Delaney in violation of section 10-2 of the Criminal Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 10-2); (d) rape of Ms. Delaney in violation of section 11-1 of the Criminal Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 11-1); and (e) aggravated battery of Ms. Delaney in violation of section 12-4 of the Criminal Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 12-4). For the offense of murder described in "(a)" above the defendant was sentenced to the Department of Corrections for an indeterminate term with the minimum sentence fixed at 25 years and the maximum sentence fixed at 75 years; for the attempt murder offenses, described in "(b)" above, indeterminate sentences were imposed with minimums fixed at 25 years and maximums fixed at 75 years; for the aggravated kidnaping offenses, described in "(c)" above, an indeterminate sentence was imposed and the court fixed 10 years as the minimum and 30 years as the maximum; for the rape offense, described in "(d)" above, an indeterminate sentence was imposed with a minimum fixed at 15 years and a maximum fixed at 45 years; and for the aggravated battery offense, described in "(e)" above no sentence was imposed. All sentences were to run concurrently.

On April 27, 1973, defendant forced Mary Hoffman to go to Crystal Lake Park in Urbana, Illinois, where he had intercourse with her and thereafter drowned her in a park lagoon.

Shortly after midnight, July 9, 1973, Elizabeth Ann Delaney, 28, enroute from Chicago to her home in Champaign, stopped at an all-night cafe for cigarettes. Returning to her car, she was abducted at gunpoint by defendant, who forced her into his truck. Defendant took Ms. Delaney to a deserted countryside location and raped her. They then went to Crystal Lake Park where defendant raped Ms. Delaney again, choked her unconscious, and threw her in a lake. The victim regained consciousness in the water, called for help and returned to the shore where she was met by defendant who struck her on the head with a long-handled hoe. Ms. Delaney fell back in the water and was left there by defendant. The victim managed to survive and was able to seek assistance at a nearby residence.

Defendant was arrested on July 9, 1973, and on that day gave police two statements confessing to the crimes perpetrated against Ms. Hoffman and Ms. Delaney. Prior to trial, following lengthy hearings, the court denied defendant's motion to suppress these statements.

At trial, defendant preserved two legal defenses: (1) the trial court's denial of the defense motion to suppress statements; (2) the trial court's denial of defendant's motion for leave to file a sexually dangerous petition. Counsel for the parties stipulated to the State's evidence and agreed that no witnesses would be called during the trial. Parts of that evidence were defendant's confessions, and the transcript of the proceedings at the hearing on the motion to suppress. After the State offered the stipulated evidence, the following colloquy took place:

"THE COURT: Mr. Cramer, is this stipulation, as to the exhibits that may be admitted in this case, acceptable to the defendant?

[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Yes, Your Honor.

THE COURT: And is the stipulation as to what the testimony would be, I don't believe it was quite stated that it was a stipulation, being what The People would prove, it is stipulated by you that The People would prove those things as the State's Attorney has enumerated?

[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Well, with regard to, for example, People's Exhibit Number 10, which is the transcript of the testimony, our stipulation there would be that the witnesses would testify to the same things that they testified to before the Court previously.

THE COURT: Well, maybe it should be stated a little different way. It is stipulated, so far as the witnesses for The State are concerned, any place where the State's Attorney has said The State would prove, it is stipulated that those witnesses would testify in accordance with what the State's Attorney has stated?

[DEFENSE COUNSEL]: Yes, that is the nature of our stipulation, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Is there anything ...


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