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People v. Carter

OPINION FILED JUNE 1, 1979.

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

v.

REGINALD CARTER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. THOMAS P. CAWLEY, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE LORENZ DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Following a bench trial defendant was convicted of robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 18-1) and sentenced to a term of one to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. On appeal, he contends that he was denied a fair trial where (1) the trial court considered a prior theft conviction in which defendant was not represented by counsel for impeachment purposes and in imposing sentence, (2) the trial court refused to admit into evidence a police report which allegedly impeached the testimony of the complaining witness, (3) the State knowingly used perjured testimony.

The following pertinent facts were adduced at trial.

For the State

Armer Crawford

At approximately 8:30 p.m. or 9 p.m. on July 11, 1976, he drove to the Birdcage Lounge where he had one drink. He left approximately 35 to 40 minutes later and drove directly to his residence at 9640 South Clyde, Chicago. He lived on the second floor of a large courtyard apartment building. He arrived at the building at about 10 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. and was about to open the outside door when he noticed a man approaching him. The man was wearing a blue coat, blue pants, and a gray hat. He identified this man as defendant. He had seen defendant in the neighborhood "many times" prior to July 11, 1976, but did not know him by name. Defendant struck him in the face, took his tote bag, ring and watch, and proceeded to run south on Clyde to 70th Street.

About one month prior to the attack, defendant visited the store where Crawford worked and asked him about the watch and ring he was wearing. When he told defendant they were "costume jewelry" defendant replied, "I know better than that." In May 1977 defendant again visited his store and asked him not to appear in court on this matter. Defendant offered to "take care of my loss," and stated he did not know why he attacked Crawford.

On cross-examination he denied seeing defendant in the Birdcage Lounge on July 11, 1976. Defendant did not drive him home from the lounge that night. He had scars on his finger and wrist as a result of the ring and watch being removed during the incident. He first reported the robbery to the police that same night, "shortly after it happened," but could not recall when he was first interviewed by the police. He did not wait until the next day to call the police. He admitted that on two occasions he had told the police that defendant appeared to be accompanied by a second person but he did not actually see this second person.

For the Defendant

Raymond Bykowski, Chicago Police Officer

He did not recall whether he interviewed Armer Crawford on July 12, 1976, and did not recall preparing a police report shown to him by defense counsel, although some of the handwriting on the report appeared to be his.

James Green, Chicago Police Investigator

On July 14, 1976, he was assigned to investigate a robbery reported by Armer Crawford. He interviewed Crawford on that date. Crawford stated that he was approached by one person who struck him and took objects from him. The assailant was joined by a second person, but Crawford "did not get a good look at him because he [Crawford] was struck in the face." Crawford did not recall if this second ...


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