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People v. Fields

OPINION FILED MAY 4, 1979.

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

v.

ZACHARY FIELDS ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ALBERT GREEN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE MEJDA DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendants, Zachary Fields and Fred Davis, were charged by information with armed robbery and aggravated battery. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, pars. 18-2 and 12-4.) Following a jury trial Davis was found guilty of both charges while Fields was found guilty of only the armed robbery. Davis was sentenced to a term of 6 to 18 years and Fields received a sentence of 4 to 12 years. The sole issue on appeal is whether certain testimony was erroneously admitted into evidence under the excited utterance exception to the hearsay rule.

We affirm. The following pertinent evidence was adduced at trial.

For the State

Complainant, Linda Clark, testified. She was walking home on Beldon Avenue at about 7 p.m. on November 13, 1975. It was dark but street lights illuminated the area. A car slowly drove past in the same direction as she was walking and parked ahead of her. Two men got out, crossed to the opposite side of the street, and walked in the opposite direction. The complainant kept watching them over her shoulder and noticed they were watching her. They turned a corner and disappeared. She proceeded on her way when she heard someone running behind her. A man then grabbed her shoulder and said, "This is a holdup, honey, hand it over." She struggled with him for the handbag she was carrying until he drew a gun and hit her on the head with it. She then released the purse which contained about $34. She chased the man as he ran down the street. He jumped into a waiting car and she took cover behind a mailbox. As the car pulled away a taxicab was passing and the victim screamed to the driver. The cab driver blocked the escape of the car by slowly swerving from side to side. People began to come out of nearby buildings and complainant shouted to them to get the car's license number. Four or five people chased the car and shouted the number back and forth. Two shots were fired and everyone fell to the ground. A man near complainant wrote the number on a slip of paper which she gave to two policemen who arrived shortly. They interviewed complainant and then took her home. Later, while she was viewing photographs at a police station, a call informed her that an arrest had been made and requested her to view a lineup at another police station. She identified the two defendants at the lineup.

At trial, she testified that the struggle for the handbag took place under a street light. During the struggle she looked at her attacker and at trial gave a detailed description of him. She identified defendant Davis as this person. She also described the other man and identified defendant Fields as the accomplice.

On cross-examination complainant testified that she did not actually see the license number of the car which her attackers drove.

Chicago police officer Patrick Moran testified. On November 13, 1975, at about 7 p.m. he and his partner, Officer Rickher, received a robbery in progress call on the police radio. They went to the scene of the robbery, interviewed the complainant, and brought her to her apartment. At the scene, complainant told him that she had been robbed by two persons, one of whom displayed a handgun and took her purse. They left in a dark-colored four-door Oldsmobile and she told them that the license number was YK 8576, on a 1975 Illinois plate. He left complainant at about 8 p.m. and a subsequent check of the license number disclosed that the number was registered to Ella Davis who lived in the 4500 block of West 21st Street.

On cross-examination, the officer testified the complainant gave him a piece of paper with the license number and told him she had observed it herself.

Chicago police investigator Baker testified. He interviewed the complainant at her apartment. He received information regarding a license number and went to the home of Ella Davis at 4254 West 21st Street. As he approached the house he noticed a car parked in front matching the description of the getaway car and the license number given to him. After a conversation with Ella Davis, he found defendant Fields several blocks away and placed him under arrest. Defendant Davis was placed under arrest a short time later. A search of Fields revealed $34 in currency. Officer Baker further testified that Ella Davis is defendant Davis' mother.

On cross-examination he testified that complainant did not actually see the license plate but obtained the number from witnesses in the area.

At the close of the State's case, a certified copy of an automobile registration for 1975 Illinois license plate YK 8576, registered to Ella Davis, 4254 West 21st Street, Chicago, for a 1969 Oldsmobile was received into evidence without objection. It was also stipulated that at the time of the offense, defendants Fields and Davis were 17 and 22 and at time of trial 19 and 24, respectively.

Defendants made a motion for a directed verdict which was denied.

Defendant Fields testified. On November 13, 1975, he visited the Davis home between 4 and 7 p.m. He left alone at that time and walked home, arriving at 7:15 p.m. Davis also left at 7 p.m. but drove his mother's car. Fields left his home at 7:40 p.m., went to a store and then returned to the Davis home. He remained there until 8:35 p.m. when he left for home. He was arrested in front of his house. He testified that he was never in Mrs. Davis' car with Fred Davis, and denied ever seeing or robbing ...


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