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People v. Bullock

OPINION FILED JULY 22, 1977.

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

v.

MELVIN BULLOCK, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JAMES C. MURRAY, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE LORENZ DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Following a jury trial defendant was convicted of armed robbery in violation of section 18-2 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 18-2) and sentenced to two years of periodic imprisonment. On appeal he contends: (1) he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and (2) he was denied effective assistance of counsel.

Bobby R. Flowers was tried and convicted along with defendant, however, his case is not on appeal. At trial the following pertinent evidence was adduced.

For the State:

Nelson J. Dowell

He is a bus driver for the Chicago Transit Authority. On September 28, 1973, at about 9 p.m., defendant and Flowers boarded his bus at the intersection of Homan and Franklin. Defendant carried a shotgun and wore a black knee length coat, platform shoes, a large black hat, and blue "shades." Flowers carried a pistol and wore a tan leather jacket and a blue tam. His hair was braided up under the tam. The men wore nothing to hide their faces.

Defendant demanded his money. He gave him his wallet which contained his identification, but no money. Meanwhile, two unidentified men, who Flowers let in through the rear door, "ransacked" the other passengers. After about five minutes the men exited and ran east on Franklin.

He flagged down a police car about four blocks away and described the offenders to the officers. Ten to 15 minutes later the police returned with defendant and Flowers, both of whom he identified.

On cross-examination he admitted that when questioned three days earlier he could not recall what defendant wore other than a black hat and blue shades. Further, he acknowledged that he identified defendant and Flowers through the window of a squad car, illuminated by a street light. However, on redirect examination he said he had no trouble seeing their faces.

John Schwartz — Chicago Police Officer

At about 9 p.m. on September 28, 1973, he was stopped by Dowell. After talking with Dowell, he proceeded south on Homan Avenue. At the Franklin Street intersection (500 North) he observed four black males walking eastbound on Franklin, approximately 100 feet east of Homan. In the process of making a U-turn south of Franklin he lost sight of the men for a few seconds. Going east on Franklin he spotted defendant and Flowers at the intersection of Spaulding and Franklin. They were approximately 75 yards from where he had just seen the four men. Defendant wore a long dark coat, sunglasses, and a black and white brim hat. Flowers' hair was braided up. He stopped and frisked them. Neither man had a weapon.

Later at the police station Dowell's wallet was found in Flowers' right back pocket.

On cross-examination he acknowledged that although he noted Dowell's description of the offenders on a piece of scratch paper he did not put it in his police report. He further admitted that the description in the police report does not indicate that either defendant or Flowers was wearing a brown leather coat, a blue tam, platform shoes, a black brim hat, a black coat or sunglasses.

He also acknowledged that he erroneously stated on direct examination that Dowell's wallet was found on Flowers. It was found on defendant.

He stated further that he lost sight of the four men he originally spotted for 30 to 60 seconds. He also admitted that he did not arrest defendant and Flowers at Franklin and Spaulding (500 North). Rather, as his police report reflects, he arrested them at 615 to 617 North Spaulding, a block and a half north of Franklin. Defendant and Flowers were walking down the street.

On redirect examination he testified that the description in the police report is of defendant and Flowers as they appeared in the police station after ...


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