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People v. Walker

OPINION FILED SEPTEMBER 28, 1979.

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

v.

JERRY WALKER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. BRIAN DUFF, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE WILSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

After a bench trial, defendant was convicted of armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 18-2) and burglary (par. 19-1) and sentenced to concurrent terms of 6 to 24 years and 3 years mandatory parole for the armed robbery and 2 to 6 years for the burglary. On appeal, he raises several issues concerning the trial and the trial court's resolution of his petition for a determination of competency. We affirm on all points raised.

I

Defendant first contends that he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The State's evidence indicates that the crimes with which defendant was charged were committed during a 15- or 20-minute period of time on June 17, 1975, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Glen Church.

Mr. Church testified that during the evening he and his wife were sitting in the living room of their home at 14209 South Cicero. The living room was well lighted, having three working lamps, two having 200-watt bulbs and one having a 100-watt bulb. The living room had a fireplace on the east wall and a large mirror above it. The south wall was fully covered with a mirror. At about 9:50 p.m., two men, one of whom Mr. and Mrs. Church later identified as defendant both after the incident and in court, entered the front door to the Churches' home, announced a holdup, and ordered both Mr. Church and his wife to get up against the east wall with their hands raised and faces turned toward the wall. Although Mr. Church said he was not an expert with guns, he stated that defendant was holding a shotgun-type weapon and his partner was holding a smaller gun throughout the evening. Mr. Church was grabbed by the hand and taken to the east wall. As he walked to the wall he could clearly see the faces of defendant and his partner in the mirror above the fireplace. When he reached the wall, defendant's partner demanded $10,000 from the Churches. Mr. Church told him that all he had was $40 and that it was in his billfold. Later in the evening, he discovered that the $40 was missing from his billfold.

Sometime after Mr. Church had told them about the money in his billfold, his dog came into the room and started barking and biting at defendant. Defendant told Mr. Church to shut him up or he would shoot the dog. Mr. Church then turned around, faced defendant who was about a foot away, and then bent down to quiet the dog. After doing so, he stood up and turned around to face the mirror again. Mr. Church testified that he had an opportunity to observe defendant when he first turned around.

After the dog had been quieted, defendant's partner ordered defendant to take Mrs. Church to get her purse. Defendant followed her into the bedroom where she thought she had left the purse. While they were in the bedroom defendant's partner ordered Mr. Church to sit beside him on the couch. After awhile, Mrs. Church came out of the bedroom and went into the kitchen, with defendant still following her. Soon, they came out of the kitchen with defendant carrying her purse. Defendant's partner then told defendant to give him the purse and ordered the Churches to go back to the fireplace.

Once the Churches had returned to the fireplace, defendant's partner again asked for $10,000. Mr. Church testified that by looking through the mirror, he could see defendant standing behind him with gun in hand. Defendant told Mr. Church that it was too late and then "unracked" his gun. Defendant's partner told the Churches to "get your head down between your legs, this is it." At that point the doorbell rang.

Defendant's partner told defendant to take Mr. Church to the door and warned Mr. Church not to try anything or his wife would get it. Mr. Church and defendant walked to the back door. When they got there, Mr. Church ran through the back door and saw his son and daughter-in-law standing at the door. He then ran around to the front door and saw defendant and his partner fleeing.

The police arrived on the scene within five minutes. Mr. Church gave one of the officers, Sergeant Foster, a description of defendant. He told him that defendant was short, weighed 130 pounds, and wore a loud sports shirt, brown pants, a black sports cap, and dark shoes with high heels. Within minutes Foster received a call on his radio directing him to 144th Street and Kenton, about two or three blocks from the Church residence. After Foster and Mr. Church had arrived at that address, three or four policemen brought a man before the flashing lights of a squad car. Mr. Church identified the man as defendant. This identification occurred approximately 15 minutes after Mr. Church had seen defendant and his partner running from his house.

Mrs. Church testified to many of the same facts as her husband. She confirmed that the lights were on in the living room when defendant and his partner entered their home, and she also stated that the fluorescent ceiling lights were on in the kitchen when she handed her purse to defendant. She said that she was able to see at least a part of defendant all during the evening. While she was standing at the fireplace facing the east wall, she could not see defendant through the mirror on that wall because it was placed at a height beyond her eyesight, but she could see him standing behind her and her husband through the mirror on the south wall. When her husband turned to quiet their dog, she also turned and stood about a foot away from defendant. When she found her purse, she turned towards defendant and handed him the purse. She described defendant as being a little under 5 feet 2 inches tall, and as wearing a loud shirt, brown pants, black cap, and black shoes. She did not notice that defendant had any physical deformities and said that he firmly held the shotgun-type gun throughout the evening.

Sometime after the incident, the police drove Mrs. Church to the stationhouse to identify defendant. When she arrived, she saw defendant sitting at a desk and making a phone call. After identifying defendant to the police, she went home and discovered that a silver dollar and an autographed dollar bill were missing from her purse.

Sergeant John Foster, a village of Crestwood police officer, testified that he arrived at the Church residence at about 10:10 p.m. About 10 or 15 minutes later he went to 144th Street and Kenton. When he arrived, he saw a man later identified as defendant, standing with 10 other policemen. Defendant was wearing a loud sport shirt, brown pants, and brown shoes with about 2-inch heels. Two police officers took defendant in front of a squad car and there he was identified by Mr. Church. A "whole bunch" of police officers were standing by the squad car when defendant was identified. When Foster arrested defendant, he had no more than 17¢ on him. Foster never recovered the gun which defendant allegedly used during the armed robbery and burglary. He admitted that in his police report he had stated that defendant used a submachine gun during the incident. He stated that although a footprint had been found on the rug in the Church residence, he was unable to identify it. Also, he stated that later at the ...


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