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People v. Morris

OPINION FILED OCTOBER 2, 1978.

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

v.

MIKE MORRIS, A/K/A MICHAEL MORRIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. VINCENT BENTIVINGA, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE MCGLOON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant was charged with attempt murder, three counts of aggravated battery, and armed robbery. After a jury trial, defendant was found guilty on all the above charges. The trial court entered judgment on the verdicts and sentenced defendant to concurrent sentences of five to eight years in the Illinois State Penitentiary.

Defendant now appeals and makes the following contentions: (1) that the court erred in refusing to strike certain identification testimony; (2) that the court erred in not permitting the defendant to introduce into evidence a police report; (3) that the court's refusal to grant a continuance so that witnesses might be produced for the defense was error; and (4) that the accumulation of alleged errors operated to deny the defendant a fair trial.

We affirm.

The first witness to testify at trial was the victim, Philip Williams, who indicated that at about 7:45 p.m. the evening of September 28, 1976, he left his girl friend's apartment at 2111 West Lake Street in Chicago to visit a friend. Upon leaving the apartment he heard an individual named Wayne call out to him. Williams stopped to speak with Wayne. The area was well lighted and Williams noticed the defendant and three other males standing about 10 feet away. Two of the four men, the defendant and a man named Sims, approached Williams. The defendant came very close to the side of Williams. Sims approached on the other side, searched Williams, and took his jacket and $20. During the search, the defendant trained a gun on Williams. The men who robbed Williams then ran into a building at 124 North Hoyne. Wayne told Williams that he had been robbed by "Rick," "Monkey" and Mike, but did not say who was whom. Williams further indicated that he knew none of the men who robbed him.

After the robbery, Williams returned to his girl friend's house and called the police. While waiting in front of his girl friend's house for the police, Williams saw the same men who had robbed him. The defendant, who was approximately 15 feet from Williams, pulled out a gun and started shooting. One of the bullets struck Williams in the thigh.

Williams started to run, spotted a detective car, and told the detectives he had been shot. At this time, Williams noticed that Chicago Housing Authority guards were chasing the defendant and his group. More police arrived and Williams told an officer the names that Wayne had told him. Williams described the man who shot him as 5 feet, 6 inches tall and wearing brown pants and a dark leather jacket. When asked if the jacket was black or brown, Mr. Williams stated, "I was looking more at his face and at a gun." Williams also testified that one of the men was wearing a dark jacket with an insignia in the shape of an "eagle" or a "large white bird" on the back. He told the police officers that the man who shot him had a "brownish-red" streak in his hair. The police took Mr. Williams to Cook County Hospital where he identified Arthur Sims as one of the men who had robbed him.

The following day, the police conducted a lineup in Williams' hospital room. Williams identified the third man in the five-man lineup, the defendant Morris, as one of his assailants. Williams testified that at the time of the lineup the red streak had been removed from the defendant's hair.

The next witness called by the State was Officer Patrick Logan who testified that at approximately 8:30 p.m. on September 28, 1976, he received a radio message informing him of a robbery victim at 2111 West Lake Street. Officer Logan arrived at the scene and observed that Williams had lost a lot of blood and was going into a state of shock.

Officer Logan interviewed the victim for a few seconds and took notes on a scratch pad. Williams told him that he had been accosted by four individuals. On cross-examination, after examining his police report, Officer Logan stated that he numbered the four individuals for purposes of that report, as "one," "two," "three" and "four." He stated that according to his report, number "one" was chased by the CHA guards. He also stated that he did not have an independent recollection as to whether number "one" was the individual who Mr. Williams said had shot him. One of the individuals, whom Officer Logan labeled as number "two" had a brown streak in his hair. The officer stated that he recalled from the case report that the name "Rick" was ascribed to individual number "one." "Rick" was described as having black hair. The victim told him that $20 and a jacket had been taken from him.

Alfonso Rollins, a Chicago Housing Authority guard, testified that at approximately 8:30 p.m. on September 28, 1976, he was patrolling the CHA buildings near Hoyne and Lake Streets when he heard several shots and saw a young man bleeding from the right leg running toward him. At the time the lighting conditions were good and Rollins also saw four young men, one of whom had an object in his hand, running in a westerly direction. A squad car arrived and Rollins and one of the officers chased the four youths. During the chase, Rollins closed to within 20 feet of the men and had a chance to see their faces. One of the four men had a brownish-red streak in his hair and was wearing a dark brown leather jacket with an emblem on the back of it. Although Rollins did not know the name of the man with the streak in his hair, he had seen him around the 2245 building numerous times prior to the date of the incident. Rollins also testified that he saw the defendant's face during the chase. He identified the defendant, Mike Morris, as the individual he saw that evening with the brownish-red streak in his hair. Rollins also indicated that the defendant was the man who had the object in his hand.

Rollins knew one of the individuals, Arthur Sims, by name, informed the police of this fact, and went with them to arrest Sims. They went to Sims' house at 2245 West Lake and Rollins noticed a black leather coat in Sims' apartment. Rollins testified that Sims was wearing a black leather coat during the chase.

The next witness called by the State was Officer William Kobart who testified that at approximately 8:30 p.m. the night of the shooting he arrived at the scene and encountered Williams bleeding. Williams told Officer Kobart that he had been robbed and shot and that his assailants had fled in a westerly direction. Officer Kobart ran in a westerly direction and encountered two CHA guards and a police officer coming toward him. At Mr. Rollins' direction, Officer Kobart, his partner, two other police officers, and the two CHA guards went to 2245 Lake Street. They informed an elderly lady there that they were looking for Arthur Sims. The police encountered Sims upstairs. They also found a leather jacket with some embroidery work on the back. Sims was taken to the emergency ward at Cook County Hospital where he was identified by Williams as one of his assailants. Then Officer Kobart and his partner went to 1218 West Hastings in an unsuccessful attempt to locate the defendant Morris. They returned to the same address the following day. The defendant's mother answered the door, admitted the officers, and called to her son who came downstairs.

Officer Kobart indicated that at the time of the defendant's arrest there was no streak in his hair. However, at the time of his arrest, the defendant stated ...


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