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People v. Boyd

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 9, 1978.

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

v.

CORNELL BOYD ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ROBERT L. MASSEY, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE LORENZ DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Following a jury trial, defendants were convicted of armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 18-2) and sentenced to terms of 4 to 12 years. On appeal, they contend that the trial court erred in: (1) refusing to accept a negotiated plea of guilty to a reduced charge of simple robbery; (2) permitting the State to introduce the prior consistent statement of an occurrence witness that he accurately described defendants after the robbery, and (3) permitting the State to introduce computer printouts into evidence.

At trial the following pertinent evidence was adduced.

For the State

Miguel Gomez

At approximately 7:15 or 7:20 p.m. on December 22, 1973, he was at the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) station at 69th Street. The "el" platform where he waited was well lit and he observed two other persons "far ahead of me." He testified that "[t]hose two people robbed me" and identified them in court as defendants Raymond Williams and Cornell Boyd. At the time of the robbery Boyd was wearing a blue jacket and Williams was wearing an army jacket. Defendants hit him above the right eye, on the back of the head and in the chest. Boyd was carrying a knife and "was trying to hit me with the knife while the other was hitting me on the head." Williams then held Gomez's hand while Boyd removed his watch. After defendants ran away, he remained there for approximately 15 minutes until the police arrived and took him to the squad car just outside the 69th Street CTA station. When he approached the police car he observed the two men who had robbed him seated in the back seat.

On cross-examination he testified that he first observed defendants as they came down the stairs to the "el" platform, approximately 15 feet from where he was standing. He admitted that he did not see defendants' faces at first. They continued to walk about 15 feet past him, then "sort of did a half turn," and started to attack him. Although he did not attempt to fight defendants, he did hold his hands out so that they would not "pierce me with the knife" and was able to observe their faces. When he subsequently observed defendants in the police car he said, "those people there, are the ones who hit me" and told the officers "they took my watch."

Claude Fields

He is employed by United States Steel as an electric crane operator. At 7:15 or 7:20 p.m. on December 22, 1973, he was at the "el" station at 69th Street. He was about to go down the stairs to the platform when he observed "two male Negroes, one with a knife, with a male Mexican between the two of them." He later learned that this Mexican was Miguel Gomez. He identified defendants as the "two male Negroes." He was about 25 feet away from the three men and the lighting was "very bright." Boyd held a knife while Williams struck Gomez on the back of the head. Williams then grabbed Gomez by the arm and Boyd "wrestled his watch from him." Defendants then ran past him, up the stairs from the platform to the street level, and southwest on Vincennes Avenue. He was able to observe defendants' faces for about half a minute. After defendants fled, he ran to the street, stopped a police car, and told the two officers in the car that he had just seen a male Mexican get robbed by two male Negroes who fled southwest on Vincennes Avenue. He then got into the back seat of the squad car which proceeded southwest on Vincennes, the direction in which he had seen defendants run. A few minutes later he observed defendants on 70th Street, between Vincennes and Wentworth, walking west, and said "those are the two men." As the police officers approached defendants and informed them they were under arrest, he saw someone "pitch" a knife toward the street. After defendants were taken into custody he returned with the police in the squad car to the CTA station. Defendants were seated in the back seat of the squad car. When they arrived at the CTA station, Gomez approached the police car and "pointed in the back of the car twice" and toward his left wrist.

On cross-examination he admitted that during the course of the robbery he had only observed the face of each defendant for approximately 15 seconds. At no time did he have a conversation with Gomez.

Robert Konrath, a Chicago Police Officer

On December 22, 1973, at approximately 7:25 p.m. he and his partner, William Kidd, were on patrol in a marked police car near 69th and State Streets when a man identified as "Clyde" Fields "flagged us down." After a conversation with Fields, the officers placed him in the squad car and commenced touring the area. Approximately a block and a half or two blocks from the CTA station at 69th Street they observed two male Negroes identified as defendants, walking west on 70th Street. Defendant Boyd was wearing a long blue overcoat while Williams was wearing an army field jacket. When he stopped the car near defendants, he observed Williams throwing a knife, which he later recovered, into the snow. The officers then handcuffed defendants and placed them in the back seat of the squad car. Approximately two or three minutes had elapsed since Fields had originally hailed the officers. After returning to the CTA station, he "went down to the platform to look for a victim of a robbery," and found Gomez, who had a cut over his eye and several bruises on his face. He then accompanied Gomez to the street where Gomez "started pointing to the back of the squad car" in which the defendants were seated. The officers then took defendants to the police station.

On cross-examination he stated that when he brought Gomez to the squad car he "asked [Gomez] if these were the men that had robbed him" and Gomez replied, "Si."

William Kidd, a Chicago Police Officer and Officer Konrath's partner

He substantially corroborated Konrath's testimony. After transporting defendants to the police station, he searched the back seat of the squad car and found a carving knife and a watch. He had previously searched the back seat at 3 p.m. that day prior to the arrest, without finding anything.

On cross-examination he admitted that he had searched Williams prior to placing him in the squad car, but did not find a knife or a watch.

At the close of the State's case in chief the parties stipulated that Raymond Williams was 26 years old and ...


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