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People v. Mulcahey

OPINION FILED JULY 5, 1977.

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

v.

JOHN EDWARD MULCAHEY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Macon County; the Hon. DONALD W. MORTHLAND, Judge, presiding. MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE STENGEL DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied August 10, 1977.

Defendant, John Edward Mulcahey, was convicted of aggravated kidnapping and attempt (armed robbery) after a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Macon County. He was sentenced to concurrent terms of 20 to 60 years for aggravated kidnapping and 5 to 15 years for attempt.

Defendant's statement to the FBI, which was admitted into evidence and read to the jury without objection, reveals that due to family, personal, and financial problems, he decided to extort ransom from a randomly selected bank president by holding his wife as a hostage. With this scheme in mind, Mulcahey engaged a companion to drive him from Rochester, Minnesota, to Decatur, Illinois, on March 24, 1975. Mulcahey's companion was unaware of the true purpose of the trip. Through telephone calls and visits to a number of Decatur banks Mulcahey obtained the names and home addresses of several bank presidents, including John Luttrell. On March 26, 1975, Mulcahey went to the Luttrell residence and, when Mrs. Luttrell answered the door, gained entry at gunpoint. Defendant asked whether she was home alone, and after searching the upstairs for other persons, forced her to phone her husband at the bank. Defendant informed John Luttrell that his wife was a hostage, and instructed him to leave $25,000 at a nearby restaurant in one-half hour. Defendant then taped Mrs. Luttrell to a chair, took her car and proceeded to the drop point to wait for the money. At the drop point, Luttrell mistook Mulcahey for one of the detectives waiting to seize the kidnapper and told Mulcahey that Mrs. Luttrell had escaped. He then tried to force the victim's husband into the car at gunpoint, but Luttrell ran away. Defendant sped off in the auto but was apprehended by detectives in the vicinity of the restaurant a short time later.

Joann and John Luttrell testified for the State. Both witnesses stated that defendant told John Luttrell over the phone that he was going to take Mrs. Luttrell "on a trip" and had warned him not to contact the police. John testified that he immediately informed the police of his conversation with the defendant and that plainclothes detectives were dispatched to the restaurant. Joann testified that she freed herself immediately after defendant left and then called her husband and the police. John testified that at first he thought the defendant, whom he observed in Joann's car, was one of the plainclothes detectives. John, Joann and several police officers positively identified the defendant in court. Items connected with the crimes, such as the gun used by the defendant and certain pieces of his clothing, were also identified at trial. At the conclusion of the State's case the defense rested without presenting evidence.

Defendant first contends that he was not proved guilty of aggravated kidnapping beyond a reasonable doubt because the State failed to show either that he transported his victim or that he secretly confined her. Defendant was indicted under section 10-2(a)(1) of the Criminal Code of 1961, which provides:

"(a) A kidnapper within the definition of paragraph (a) of Section 10-1 is guilty of the offense of aggravated kidnapping when he:

(1) Kidnaps for the purpose of obtaining ransom from the person kidnapped or from any other person * * *." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 10-2(a)(1).)

Section 10-1(a) provides:

"(a) Kidnapping occurs when a person knowingly:

(1) And secretly confines another against his will, or

(2) By force or threat of imminent force carries another from one place to another with intent secretly to confine him against his will, or

(3) By deceit or enticement induces another to go from one place to another with intent secretly to confine him against his will." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 10-1(a).

The Committee Comments to section 10-1(a) indicate that "the three subsections of 10-1(a) are designed to cover the three methods usually employed in kidnapping. Both (2) and (3) involve the carrying from one place to another, or inducing to go from one place to another * * *." (Ill. Ann. Stat., ch. 38, par. 10-1, at 276-77 (Smith-Hurd 1972).) Thus, there is no indication, either on the face of the statute or in the Committee Comments, that asportation of the victim is an essential element of kidnapping under subsection (1) of section 10-1(a).

Defendant nevertheless maintains that asportation is required under section 10-1(a) because every reported Illinois kidnapping case has involved the transportation of the victim by the kidnapper. While our research, too, has failed to turn up any Illinois cases involving what might be referred to as a "stand still" kidnapping, we fail to see how this fact limits the apparent scope of the kidnapping statute. In People v. Macinnes (1973), 30 Cal.App.3d 838, 106 Cal.Rptr. 589, the court held that a California aggravated kidnapping statute was violated where ...


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