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In Re Hatfield





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. PETER F. COSTA, Judge, presiding.


Rehearing denied June 13, 1979.

A petition for adjudication of wardship was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, alleging that the minor respondent, Jack Hatfield, was delinquent in that he had committed the offenses of armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 18-2) and burglary (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 19-1). At the conclusion of an adjudicatory hearing, respondent was found guilty of both robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 19-1) and burglary and adjudged a ward of the court. Following a dispositional hearing, respondent was committed to the Juvenile Division of the Department of Corrections.

Respondent appeals, contending: (1) that the trial court erred: (a) in permitting the introduction of hearsay testimony; and (b) in admitting evidence of other crimes; (2) that his acts of delinquency were not proved beyond a reasonable doubt; (3) that he was denied due process of law when the State failed to disclose to him certain physical evidence before trial, and (4) that the trial court abused its discretion in committing him to the Department of Corrections.

We affirm the trial court.

At the hearing on the delinquency petition, Walo Yuk testified through an interpreter. Yuk stated that on April 22, 1977, he lived in a second-floor apartment located at 1047 West Leland Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. At approximately 11:45 p.m. that night, a boy, later identified as the respondent, broke down the front door of the apartment building. When respondent was unable to open the door to Yuk's apartment, he went outside, climbed the wall to Yuk's apartment window, broke the glass and entered the bedroom. Yuk was questioned further:

"Q. * * * [D]o you see the person who climbed in the window.

A. Yes.

Q. Mr. Yuk would you point to the person who climbed in the window.

A. Look like him [pointing to respondent].

Q. Mr. Yuk, is that the man who climbed in the window?

A. Yes."

Yuk testified that as respondent was climbing up the outside wall of the building, two boys standing on the grgund below were urging respondent to come down. Respondent was wearing a cap and a light colored jacket the night of the incident.

After gaining access to the bedroom, respondent took $45 from Yuk and exited through the front door. Yuk testified, over defense counsel's objection, that respondent had robbed him five to six times before.

On cross-examination, Yuk described respondent's clothing on the night of the robbery as a light-blue shirt, light-brown jacket and a yellow-white "cap" with a 2-3 inch brim. Yuk stated further that just prior to the incident he was sitting at a table eating and drinking coffee with the apartment lights out.

Yuk testified that his bedroom has two windows which face Leland Avenue. A "little bit" of light enters these windows from two nearby lamps. In addition, the light fixture in the hall, outside Yuk's apartment, is on at night and is located about four to five feet from Yuk's front door. Yuk testified that he was 62 years old at the time of trial, that he had never worn glasses in his life and that he had his eyes checked in 1976. Yuk stated that the first time he saw respondent following the robbery was two weeks later.

On re-direct examination, Yuk identified People's Exhibit No. 1 as the cap worn by respondent the night of the robbery. Defense counsel objected to the admission of this exhibit into evidence on the basis that it had not been produced by the State pursuant to discovery. The trial court overruled the objection.

Rose Keeler testified that she lives in a third-floor apartment at 1047 West Leland Avenue. She knows Yuk and can see his apartment from her window. On the evening of April 22, 1977, Ms. Keeler was sitting in her living room with a friend, Ruth Monini. At approximately 11:45 p.m., Ms. Keeler heard a "loud banging" noise. She walked to her bedroom and looked out an opened window to see what was going on. Ms. Keeler saw a boy "coming out of the front door [of the building], * * * walking down to the corner * * *, stopping, turning around, * * * coming back and looking up at the windows." Ms. Keeler identified respondent in court as this boy. She stated further that she had known respondent "for many years."

Ms. Keeler testified that after glancing at the windows, respondent began climbing up the wall. She was questioned further on this point:

"Q. Miss Keeler, is it possible to climb a wall of a building like that?

A. It has little things where you put toehold on and you climb —

Q. Have you seen people climb this wall before?

A. Yes."

When respondent reached Yuk's second floor apartment he used some type of object to break the window. Ms. Keller immediately went to a nearby desk to phone police. Upon concluding the call, she walked back to the window and saw respondent run out the front door of the building, fall and drop his hat. Ms. Keeler identified People's Exhibit No. 1 as this hat. Respondent climbed to his feet and ran around the corner of the building into an alley.

Approximately five minutes after seeing respondent run out of the building, Ms. Keeler arrived at Yuk's apartment. Ms. Monini, Mr. Matthews and a Chicago police officer were already there. Ms. Keeler stated that Yuk appeared "very, very upset." Ms. Keeler also testified, over defense counsel's hearsay objection, that Yuk told her the boy "Jack" had robbed him again. Ms. Keeler accompanied Yuk to the police station where a complaint was signed. She admitted talking to a police officer at the station but denied telling anyone she saw respondent jump out of Yuk's apartment window.

On cross-examination, Ms. Keeler stated that when she first saw Yuk in the apartment she asked if he was hurt. Yuk said he was all right. She then asked if respondent had robbed him. Yuk answered that "yes, [respondent] had robbed him again."

Ms. Keeler testified that she had called her friend, Ms. Monini, to the bedroom window when she saw respondent climbing up the outside wall. There were times when Ms. Keeler and Ms. Monini looked out the bedroom window together, and times when they looked out the window separately. Ms. Keeler testified that respondent was wearing a tan or brown coat the night of the robbery. Ms. Keeler also stated that the day after the robbery she saw Randy Sturgill wearing this same jacket. Later, however, Ms. Keeler recanted this testimony and stated that Sturgill was not wearing the jacket. Rather, Sturgill had told her that he had given his tan jacket to respondent the day of the robbery.

Ms. Keeler stated that she harbored no ill feelings toward respondent. She denied having an argument with respondent's mother over money or missing groceries. While she had a vague recollection of a dispute between her son and respondent, that occurred "years ago" and "the boys settled it between themselves."

Ruth Monini testified that on April 22, 1977, she was sitting in Ms. Keeler's living room watching television and drinking coffee. At approximately 11:45 p.m., they heard a loud knocking and banging noise. It sounded like somebody was trying to "break a door in." When the noise stopped, Ms. Keeler went to her bedroom window and looked out. Ms. Monini, meanwhile, reached the window just as Ms. Keeler had grabbed the phone on a nearby desk to call police.

As Ms. Monini looked out the open window, she observed two boys standing on the ground below. She asked them why they had torn off her window screen, "not thinking that it was Mr. Yook's [sic] screen." The boys responded: "[L]ady, please don't call the police." After ...

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