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People v. Munoz





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. WAYNE W. OLSON, Judge, presiding.


Rehearing denied April 17, 1979.

Defendant, Julio Munoz, was charged with the armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 18-2) and murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 9-1) of Peter Mobiles. Defendant was tried on both charges by a jury and found guilty. Defendant was sentenced to the Illinois Department of Corrections for the consecutive terms of not less than 8 years nor more than 16 years for armed robbery and not less than 75 years nor more than 150 years for murder.

Defendant presents for our review issues concerning (1) the alleged erroneous admission into evidence of a letter and (2) whether the evidence adduced at trial was sufficient to prove defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Prior to discussing the issues presented for review, we will summarize the evidence.

Eugene Krupa testified that he resides at 1713 N. Campbell, Chicago, Illinois, with his mother and sister. He resided there on December 16 and 17 of 1975.

Krupa stated that on the morning of December 17, 1975, his niece entered his dwelling to inform him that an automobile was obstructing the driveway. Krupa exited his home and approached the automobile which he described as a white, two-door Oldsmobile Cutlass. Krupa observed some blood, a sock and a shoe underneath the automobile. Upon looking into the automobile, Krupa observed a body lying across the front seat. Krupa immediately returned to his home and called the Chicago Police Department. Subsequently, a squad car arrived at Krupa's home.

Ronald Grimes, an officer with the Chicago Police Department, next testified. Grimes was assigned to the Shakespeare District and was on uniformed duty the morning of December 17, 1975. Grimes was patrolling in a marked squad car.

Grimes received an assignment indicating that an injured man was located in an automobile at 1713 N. Campbell, Chicago, Illinois. Grimes arrived at that address and observed a white, two-door 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass parked at 1713 N. Campbell. The automobile was obstructing the driveway. Grimes observed a man lying across the front seat of the automobile. The body was clothed in undershorts and an undershirt. The individual's head was toward the passenger side. Grimes further observed a large quantity of blood in the automobile near the individual and noticed a sock and shoe outside the automobile.

Grimes testified that a door to the automobile was ajar. He opened the door and felt the pulse of the individual inside the car. There was no pulse and the flesh of the individual was cold.

Grimes then called the mobile crime laboratory and homicide investigators. The crime lab arrived and conducted an investigation. The lab fingerprinted the body and photographed the vehicle and the surrounding area. Grimes stated that the lab then "processed" the body and collected the shoe and sock. These items were photographed, placed into plastic bags and inventoried.

James Kosmides, the owner of a coffee shop at 2615 W. Lawrence, Chicago, Illinois, also testified. He stated that Peter Mobiles, the victim, was in Kosmides' establishment on December 16 and 17 of 1975.

Kosmides, Mobiles and Louis Katsoginanis were in Kosmides' coffee shop from midnight December 16 until 3 a.m. December 17, 1975. At that time a young blonde woman appeared outside the window of the shop. The three men exited the shop upon observing the woman. Kosmides stated that Katsoginanis spoke with the woman in a nearby hallway concerning sexual activities and prices.

Kosmides indicated that Mobiles brought his automobile to the side door. Mobiles drove a white Cutlass Supreme. Mobiles, Katsoginanis and the woman, together in the automobile, departed the area of the coffee shop.

Kosmides stated that on December 16 and 17 of 1975, Peter Mobiles was in good health. At 8 a.m. on December 17, 1975, two police officers spoke with Kosmides and told him that Peter Mobiles was dead.

Deborah Schak, defendant's accomplice, next testified, detailing the activities preceding, during and following the robbery and murder of Peter Mobiles. Schak was charged by information with armed robbery and murder. She had been incarcerated since the end of December 1975.

Schak stated that she began living with defendant in October of 1975. While living with defendant until mid-December, 1975, she had used heroin. During October of 1975 she was participating in a methadone program. Schak and defendant lived together at 1737 N. Maplewood, Chicago, Illinois.

Early in the morning on December 17, 1975, at approximately 1 a.m., Schak, Victor Figueroa, Ralphie Munoz and defendant had a conversation wherein Schak stated that she needed money to pay her methadone program charges. She told defendant that she would steal or prostitute herself. If she found someone with money, she would bring him back and rob him.

Schak testified that defendant and she agreed on a plan. Defendant stated that a gun could be utilized. She and defendant departed defendant's residence and walked two blocks to Western Avenue. Schak then was driven from Western Avenue to the 2600 block of Lawrence Avenue. She exited the automobile and began walking. She subsequently met three men, two of whom were named Louis and Peter.

Schak told the men she needed money and they discussed the price for sexual activities. She, Louis and Peter proceeded to Louis' residence. She then engaged in sexual activities with Louis for money. Schak and Peter then discussed the possibility of spending the night together at Schak's sister's home. Peter agreed and was to pay Schak $100. Schak testified that Peter showed her a large sum of money and indicated that he could afford the fee.

Schak and Peter Mobiles then drove in Mobiles' automobile to Campbell and Wabansia streets. Mobiles then parked the automobile and at that point was approximately 1 1/2 blocks from defendant's residence.

Schak testified that she next told Mobiles that she would ask her sister if Mobiles and Schak could stay together. Schak entered defendant's residence and told defendant that she had somebody with money. Defendant descended some stairs with a gun in his possession. Schak entered the kitchen and obtained a knife which she placed in her waistband. Schak and defendant then exited defendant's residence and proceeded to Mobiles' automobile.

When Schak and defendant met Peter Mobiles he was standing outside of his automobile. Schak testified that she then asked Mobiles to give her friend (defendant) a ride to Foster and Sheridan.

Mobiles entered the automobile on the driver's side. Schak entered the back seat and defendant entered the front passenger seat. Defendant then placed his gun against Mobiles' head and directed Mobiles to give defendant money. Schak then placed her arm around Mobiles' neck and held her knife to Mobiles' throat. Mobiles then handed defendant approximately $20.

Schak stated that she told defendant that Mobiles had more money than the amount given to defendant. Defendant then directed Mobiles to remove his suit. Mobiles complied and defendant placed the clothing outside of the automobile on the passenger side.

Defendant then opened the passenger door and allowed Schak to exit the back seat. Schak testified that defendant directed Mobiles to lie down for 10 minutes. Schak exited the automobile after hearing defendant direct Mobiles to lie down. She then heard a gun shot. Schak testified that she turned and saw Mobiles' head hit the front of a seat and saw defendant holding a smoking gun. Defendant told her that the shooting of Mobiles was an accident.

Schak and defendant picked up the suit jacket and returned to 1737 N. Maplewood. At 4 a.m., Schak, Ralphie and defendant conversed. Ralphie asked defendant if defendant killed Mobiles and defendant shrugged his shoulders and looked at the gun in his waist.

Schak testified that she and defendant returned to Mobiles' automobile. Mobiles was making "gargling noises" and Schak, upon observing a large quantity of blood, shut the door of the automobile lightly. She picked up Mobiles' pants and with the sleeve of her jacket she wiped the door handle.

Schak and defendant then collected the remainder of Mobiles' clothing and returned to defendant's residence. Fifty dollars were found in the clothing. Schak and defendant exited defendant's residence and proceeded to an alley. There Schak placed Mobiles' clothing under a mattress and defendant placed the gun under some boards. Schak testified that she then told defendant that she believed Mobiles was dead. Defendant responded by stating that "it's probably better that way."

Schak then testified concerning a trip to the Illinois Training School for Boys at St. Charles, Illinois. Defendant, Ralphie, Victor, Schak and an unnamed driver took this trip on December 17, 1975, at 10 a.m. Prior to departing for St. Charles, defendant had retrieved his gun and placed it under the seat in the automobile. Defendant's son was a resident in St. Charles.

Defendant and Schak visited defendant's son. Conversations were had and defendant then told Schak, "Don't worry about it, they won't catch you." Schak testified that defendant ...

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