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People v. Egan

OPINION FILED OCTOBER 13, 1978.

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

v.

RONALD EGAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JOHN HECHINGER, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE LORENZ DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Following a bench trial, defendant was convicted of attempt murder, aggravated battery, and unlawful restraint (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, pars. 8-4, 12-4 and 10-3), and was sentenced to a term of 8 to 20 years. On appeal he contends that the evidence adduced at trial was insufficient to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and that the trial court erred when it: (1) permitted testimony concerning a picture of defendant and a coat he allegedly owned, (2) permitted cross-examination of a defense witness and of defendant on irrelevant matters which exceeded the scope of direct examination, (3) allowed hearsay testimony into evidence, and (4) allowed irrelevant rebuttal testimony into evidence.

The following pertinent evidence was adduced at trial.

For the State

Donna Jean White

On December 25, 1975, at approximately 12:30 a.m. she was a passenger on a northbound Kedzie Avenue C.T.A. bus. When the bus stopped at 59th Street to pick up a passenger, she noticed a man running to board it. After he boarded, she looked at him while he paid his fare and walked past her to the rear of the bus. The lighting conditions on the bus were very good and she observed that the man's nose was very red. When she got off at 56th Street and started to walk towards her home, she noticed that the man had also exited and had started walking down the street on the opposite side. When she reached the alley between Sawyer and Kedzie the man came up to her and grabbed her with his left hand. He had a gun in his right hand. He began to pull her into the alley which was well lighted. She was face to face with him and begged him to let her go. He pulled her into the alley with his arm around her neck while she cried "very loudly," refusing to respond to his directions to "shut up." The man then shot her twice in the chest from a distance of two or three feet and ran away down the alley in a northerly direction. She lost consciousness and, after being revived by Michael Frye, was taken to Holy Cross Hospital. One hour after being shot she described her assailant as a white male, 23 or 24 years of age, five feet and six or seven inches tall, with shoulder length greasy blond hair, blue eyes, a scar on the right side of his face near his mouth and wearing a black or dark brown leather jacket. Approximately one hour later, while awaiting surgery, the police showed her about eight photographs. The photograph she selected as that of her assailant was that of defendant, Ronald Egan. She again identified Ronald Egan in court as her assailant.

On cross-examination she admitted that although she did not know whether she received any medication prior to viewing the photographs, she had received oxygen through a mask for an hour and had been dizzy and in intense pain. She admitted that Egan did not attempt to take any of her money or molest her, and that although his eyes were very glassy, she did not smell the odor of alcohol on him.

Michael Frye

At approximately 1 a.m. on December 25, 1975, he left a tavern on 55th Street between Kedzie and Sawyer Avenues when he heard two loud noises coming from somewhere in front of him. He then saw, by very bright street lighting, a man whom he identified in court as Ronald Egan run from the alley onto Sawyer, past him and then into a gangway. He continued walking and heard a woman in the alley behind his house screaming, "I have been shot, help me." He went to this woman, who was Donna White, and later went to Holy Cross Hospital where she was taken by the police. The police there showed him approximately 100 photographs, and he chose one of Ronald Egan as being the man he had seen earlier running on Sawyer Avenue.

On cross-examination he admitted that between 10:30 p.m. and 1 a.m. on the night of the incident he consumed four 12 ounce bottles of beer. He acknowledged that the man who ran past him on Sawyer Avenue wore a dark brown or black leather jacket, had blond hair slightly longer than collar and ear length, and was approximately five feet six inches tall and of slender build.

Kenneth Smith, Chicago Police Officer

At approximately 1:10 a.m. on December 25, 1975, he and his partner Dennis Heenan responded to a call to go to the alley at 56th and Kedzie where they found Donna White, who had been shot twice in the chest. After she was removed in a squadrol, he observed footprints in the snow leading north from the alley. He and his partner followed the footprints for several blocks until they ended next to a set of tire tracks in a parking lot. He observed an identical set of footprints leading from this spot to a bus stop on 59th and Kedzie. He went to the bus stop on 56th and Kedzie where he noticed similar footprints leading from there to the alley where he had found Donna White.

On cross-examination he admitted that he made no attempt to measure or take any impressions of the footprints which he observed. He acknowledged that his own shoe size was nine and a half, and that the shoe prints in the snow were approximately an inch and a half smaller than his own. He also acknowledged that he observed ...


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