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People v. Anderson





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JAMES M. BAILEY, Judge, presiding.


After a jury trial, Anthony Anderson and Ulysses Floyd (defendants) were found guilty on three counts of armed robbery. Each was sentenced to 10 to 30 years. Defendants have appealed.

In this court, defendants contend that reversible error resulted from the introduction in evidence of defendants' post-arrest silence in the face of accusations and from comment on this testimony during closing argument. Defendants also assert that they were denied a fair trial by the prosecutor's final argument that the testimony of a complaining witness had been consistent with his grand jury and preliminary hearing testimony and that the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to allow defendants a midtrial opportunity to interview State witnesses whose current addresses had been improperly listed in the State's answer to discovery. The State responds that the evidence of defendants' silence was properly received as tacit admissions of guilt; comment on prior consistent statements was invited by the defense final argument; the State's answer to discovery was proper and the court did not abuse its discretion in denying a continuance.

Defendants have not challenged the sufficiency of the evidence. However, a summary of the testimony is essential. Shirley Talley testified for the State that at 11 p.m. on December 5, 1974, she and Thomas Brock went to Carl Irving's apartment. Brock entered the building first and, after waiting several minutes, the witness also entered. She proceeded to the first floor landing where Irving's apartment was located. A man she identified in court as Anthony Anderson (defendant) came out of the apartment and ordered her inside at gunpoint. She fled downstairs with Anderson in pursuit and he pushed her so that she fell through the glass portion of the front door. Anderson ordered her into the apartment and then into the kitchen. When she entered the apartment she was told to drop her purse by one of the other men, which she did. She was then forced to lie face down on the kitchen floor with Brock, Carl Irving and another woman.

At the time she entered the apartment, her purse contained two rolls of quarters, $60 and other items. While lying on the floor, she heard people going in and out of the apartment and up and down the stairs. After the robbers had left, she discovered her empty purse in the hallway. The witness denied that she and Brock had gone to Irving's apartment to purchase narcotics.

Carl Irving testified that he lived at 8116 S. Ingleside on December 5, 1974. He had moved since then. At about 11 p.m. he was home with two friends, a young woman and Thomas Brock, when Laura Hedgeman, an acquaintance, arrived. She was accompanied by a man the witness identified in court as defendant Anderson. While Hedgeman was making a phone call in the bedroom, Anderson entered the kitchen and robbed Brock and Irving at gunpoint. Irving also testified that Anderson took his cash and keys and put the cash in his sock and rear pocket. On cross-examination, defense counsel demonstrated a discrepancy of $10 between the amount the witness said was taken from him ($35) and his testimony on the same point before the grand jury ($45).

Anderson then forced Irving and Brock onto the kitchen floor. While lying there, the witness heard the doorbell ring twice. The first time, Brock got up and admitted two people whom the witness did not know. Irving testified he heard drawers being pulled out in the apartment. When the bell rang again, Brock answered the door and the witness heard running on the stairs and then Shirley Talley was brought into the kitchen. He heard what sounded like equipment being moved out. After the robbers left, the witness heard running and saw a police car outside.

At a later date, Irving went to the police station and recovered the property he had found to be missing from his apartment. This included two television sets, recording tape, two "hi-fi's" and phonograph speakers, a movie camera, walking cane, electrical box and costume jewelry. The witness denied that Anderson had paid him $1200 for heroin prior to the offense in question.

Thomas Brock testified to the same version of events as had Irving and Talley. He admitted that at the time of trial he was serving time in a Federal honor camp for felony possession of a controlled substance. In addition, he testified that he had gone to Irving's apartment to repay a loan. He was carrying between $350 and $400 in cash, including a hundred dollar bill. Anderson took this money from him at gunpoint and put it in his sock and pocket. The witness further testified he was ordered to open the front door when the bell rang, and when he did so, two men entered. Each was carrying a revolver. He identified defendant Floyd in court as one of these men. The witness later observed Floyd carrying stereo equipment and television sets out of the apartment. While the property was being taken, Anderson "had the gun on everybody."

After the robbers left, Brock went out of the front door of the building and saw Anderson in custody beside a squad car. The witness testified that he then told the police that Anderson was "one of the guys that had just got through sticking us up." Brock also told the police that a second man they had brought to the car (defendant Floyd) "was the other man that was with him, in the green, with this guy [Anderson] sticking us up." Without defense objection, he testified that both Anderson and Floyd said nothing in response to these accusations. The witness identified People's Exhibit 4, a revolver, as the one Anderson had used during the robbery.

Patrolman Purtell testified that on December 5, 1974, at 11:45 p.m., he and his partner drove to 8116 S. Ingleside in response to a burglary in progress radio call. They got out of the car and observed three men run out of the gangway at the side of the building. The officers ordered the men to halt and they dropped their weapons. Upon being again told to halt, the men started running. The witness apprehended defendant Anderson and searched him. He had money in his front pocket and two rolls of quarters in his back pocket. The officer testified without objection that Brock came running out of the building yelling "You got them Officer, they just robbed me" and that Anderson said nothing. The other officer then brought defendant Floyd to the car. Floyd was the same man Officer Purtell had seen with Anderson running out of the gangway. The witness also testified to Brock's accusation of Floyd and that Floyd had said nothing. Defense counsel's objection and motion to strike were overruled and denied.

The officers then placed defendants in the car and went to the alley behind the apartment building. There they observed two other police officers, a squad car and an automobile with an open trunk. The witness saw stereo equipment, television sets, a radio and a cane inside the trunk. Laura Hedgeman was in the back seat of the other police car. Later, at the police station, the witness searched Anderson and inventoried the money found in his front and rear pockets and "stuffed in his stockings." The cash included a hundred dollar bill and house keys which were returned to Carl Irving.

Officer Hofer, Purtell's partner, testified to the same course of events. In particular, the witness testified that he had chased defendant Floyd through the gangway and up the back stairs. Once Floyd was brought to the squad car, Brock told Purtell that Anderson was one of the robbers and Anderson said nothing at the time. An objection to this testimony was overruled. The witness continued that Brock identified Floyd as one of the offenders. At the police station, the officer searched Floyd and recovered jewelry from the suspect's pockets. This jewelry was identified at trial by Carl Irving as having been usually kept in the apartment.

Defense witness Doris Robinson, defendant Anderson's fiancee, testified that between December 5, 1974, and the date of trial, July 1, 1975, she had spoken with Carl Irving about 20 times. She had given Irving money on several of these occasions beginning in March 1975, including four payments totaling $500. She also gave Brock $550. She denied that the money was in return for "dropping the charge." She testified that Brock told her he wanted the cash "because he had lost a lot of drugs, he wanted ...

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