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People v. Terranova

OPINION FILED MAY 20, 1977.

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

v.

JOHN TERRANOVA ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. RUSSELL R. DEBOW, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE LORENZ DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Following a bench trial, defendants were each convicted of the offense of aggravated battery and sentenced to serve five years probation conditioned upon serving a one-year term of periodic imprisonment. They contend it was error to exclude evidence on the bias of the State's witnesses, to admit evidence of other offenses, and to impose conditions of one year periodic imprisonment upon their sentences.

The following pertinent evidence was adduced at trial.

For the State

Henry Pascual

On January 24, 1974, at approximately 6:51 p.m. he was standing at the southeast corner of Palmer Street and Drake Avenue and his friend, Gregory Buenfil, was standing near the southwest corner. Although it was nighttime, the intersection was well lighted by the city street lights and a tavern sign. A blue 1966 Chevrolet, with defendant Steven Hanley as the driver and another man in dark clothes as the passenger, approached from the east travelling west on Palmer Street. Hanley was wearing a tan hat. The automobile turned south on Drake and stopped approximately 30 feet from the intersection and 14 feet from where he was standing. Three shots were fired from the car and one of these was in his direction. He did not see if Hanley or the passenger fired the shots. After the car left, he saw George Von Liski lying on the ground and carried Von Liski to the sidewalk. When the police arrived he told them that defendants had shot Von Liski.

On cross-examination he admitted his brother Victor was arrested and incarcerated for assaulting Hanley's brother Ricky. The State objected to a question concerning whether Pascual had been in court during his brother's assault trial. Defendant's counsel offered to prove the existence of a vendetta between the State's witnesses and defendants. However, before the trial court ruled on the motion defense counsel stated "* * * we will proceed and I will stay away from this aspect of it until later in my cross examination."

He admitted that he saw the car for less than one minute and that he ducked when the first shot was fired at him. Hanley wanted to shoot him because Hanley's brother had been hurt. His own brother Victor had gone to jail as a result of that incident. Buenfil told him Terranova's name before the police arrived.

Gregory Buenfil

He was standing on the southwest corner of the intersection which was well lighted by the street lights and by a grocery store's and a tavern's signs. He recognized Hanley, whom he had known approximately five months, as the driver of the automobile. He identified Hanley's tan hat. Terranova, whom he had known approximately one year, was a passenger in the car. Terranova was wearing sunglasses and dark clothing. When the car stopped, Terranova stuck his right arm out the front seat passenger's window, bent it around the car's front windshield, and fired a shot in the direction of the southeast corner of the intersection. Terranova then straightened his arm and fired two more shots at Buenfil. He did not see Pascual until after the shooting.

On cross-examination, the State's objection to defendants' question "In fact you shot him [Hanley] in the leg, didn't you, and pleaded guilty, didn't you?" — was sustained. However, he later admitted that he was committed by the Juvenile Division for shooting Hanley in the knee.

He was not friendly with Hanley or Terranova. He was able to see defendants that evening despite the fact that he was standing 40 feet from the car and that he was not wearing the glasses prescribed for his one bad eye.

George Von Liski

As he approached his apartment building's front door at 2156 North Drake on that evening, he was shot from behind through the right leg and creased on the left leg. He did not see who fired the shots. In addition, he substantially corroborated the testimony of the prior State witnesses ...


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