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In Re Young





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JOHN P. McGURY, Judge, presiding.


Respondent appeals from an adjudication of wardship after a finding of delinquency for the offense of aggravated battery. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 12-4(a).) On appeal, respondent contends that: (1) the alleged offense was not established beyond a reasonable doubt; and (2) the State failed to prove he committed the offense before his 17th birthday. We affirm. The pertinent facts follow.

A petition for adjudication of wardship was filed on June 21, 1976, alleging that respondent had committed aggravated battery on a Chicago police sergeant. The petition also alleged respondent was born on July 15, 1960. In his first court appearance respondent told the judge that he was 15 years old. The State sought a section 2-7 transfer (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 37, par. 702-7) to permit prosecution of respondent as an adult. At the hearing on this motion, the judge stated respondent was 15 years old and no objection was made to this statement. After a hearing, the court denied the State's motion to transfer respondent for criminal prosecution.

The following pertinent testimony was adduced at the adjudicatory hearing.

For the State

Chicago police sergeant James Malcotte testified. At about 3:05 a.m. on June 17, 1976, he was stopped in a marked squad car westbound on Washington at Oakley Street when he heard what he believed to be two gunshots. He radioed the police department, reported what he heard, and proceeded to investigate. He went north on Oakley to an alley, and then east down the alley which was behind 2245 West Lake Street. He stopped in the rear of a building and exited the squad car. He walked east and went around the corner of the building where he was confronted by two male Negroes who were a foot or two from him. He observed that the taller wore a dark green jacket, dark pants, had short hair, and was 5'8" to 5'10" tall. The other was 5'7" to 5'8", wore dark clothing and had short hair. He observed their faces for "a second" before he was shot in the middle right thigh by the taller one. At trial, he indicated that respondent looked like the man who shot him.

After being shot, he fell around the corner of the building, got up, and pursued the two assailants who were running towards a building at 2245 West Lake Street. They turned and fired at him, and he returned fire. After firing his third shot, Sergeant Malcotte saw the taller assailant fall. He was unable to continue pursuit and radioed that he had been shot. He also gave descriptions of the attackers. He was taken to a hospital where he remained a week. On June 20, 1976, while in the hospital, he viewed a lineup. He identified respondent as the taller of his assailants and another person as the other.

On cross-examination Sergeant Malcotte admitted that there was some doubt in his mind that respondent was his attacker and that there was doubt when he identified respondent at the lineup. On redirect, he testified that he was sure that respondent looked like the person who shot him.

Jose Williams testified. He was in his girlfriend's apartment, number 1208 in the building at 2245 West Lake, shortly after 3 a.m. on June 17, 1976, when he heard a loud noise. He looked out the window towards the alley and saw "Curtis Young and Ricky shooting." He identified respondent as the person he saw shooting. There were two lights in the alley and two more on the side of a gymnasium. Williams at first stated he observed respondent from a distance of about 200 yards but then corrected himself and said about 200 feet.

When he looked out his window he saw an unmarked police car pull into the alley. He could see only the front end of the police car since the back end was behind the gymnasium. He saw a police officer jump out and shout "Help, police." Ricky and Curtis were about 10 feet from the officer. The officer came around the corner of a building and was shot by Curtis. The officer fell face down and Ricky and Curtis ran away, firing at the officer as they ran. They disappeared into the building at 2245 West Lake between apartments 101 and 102.

The next morning at about 9 a.m. Ricky and Curtis came to Williams' girlfriend's apartment and told him "Be careful * * *. We shot a police officer last night. And if anybody asks you anything, you ain't heard nothing, seen nothing."

Williams had known respondent for about seven months, having seen him in his building every day. He had also "got high" three times with respondent.

On cross-examination Williams testified that he had not had anything to drink from 6 p.m. until 3 a.m. on June 16-17, 1976. That night he had stopped by apartment 102 where a Mr. Price lived. He had a can of beer and maybe some wine before he left at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Price accompanied him upstairs.

Williams spoke to the police the next day and said that he heard shots and saw two Negroes running but he did not know who they were. Later in a signed statement, he told police that a third individual named Danny was standing in the hallway with a sawed-off gun. He denied being told that his fingerprints had been found on a gun.

He testified that when the officer got out of the car he had a gun in his hand and was about 6 feet from the two men. They began running and fired back at the officer and he fell. The officer fired back but Williams did not see anyone fall. The two men ran into the ...

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