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People v. Crusoe

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 28, 1979.

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

v.

PRENTICE CRUSOE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. LAWRENCE I. GENESEN, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE O'CONNOR DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant, Prentice Crusoe, was charged by indictment with the crimes of deviate sexual assault, robbery and attempt robbery. Following a jury trial, defendant was convicted of each charge. He was subsequently sentenced to concurrent terms of 10 to 30 years for deviate sexual assault, 3 to 9 years for robbery and 3 to 9 years for attempt robbery. Defendant appeals the judgment of conviction.

Defendant raises two contentions on appeal: (1) that the State's questioning of the arresting officer elicited hearsay evidence in contravention of his sixth amendment right to confrontation; and (2) that defendant's fifth amendment right against self-incrimination was violated by the State's closing arguments concerning his failure to testify or call his mother on his behalf.

Because defendant does not contest the sufficiency of the evidence, only a brief account of the facts is necessary.

At about 10:45 a.m. on February 7, 1977, Joanne Jamerson and Callie Cunningham got off a Rapid Transit Authority-Congress Line elevated train at the Cicero Avenue station. They proceeded to walk up the Lavergne Avenue exit ramp. Near the top of the ramp, they were confronted by two men. The taller man was subsequently identified as defendant, Prentice Crusoe, and the shorter man was Michael Harris. Defendant threatened to kill Jamerson and Cunningham, forced them to undress and repeatedly struck both women. Jamerson was forced to perform oral sex upon defendant, while Harris rummaged through the women's purses and took $165 from Cunningham's purse.

Defendant and Harris then fled, heading north on Lavergne Avenue. Jamerson chased after the assailants. She asked the driver of a parked bus to call the police and continued pursuit. The assailants had not left her sight since leaving the R.T.A. station.

Jamerson saw Officers Stephen Strezepek and Michael Meka at the corner of Harrison and Lavergne. She told them she had been robbed and assaulted and pointed out her assailants, who were walking quickly in the opposite direction. Jamerson got into the officers' squad car and the officers pursued the assailants. The assailants began to run, splitting up as they ran between two buildings. Harris was eventually apprehended, arrested and searched. He was carrying $75 in cash. The officers then returned to the R.T.A. station to check the condition of Cunningham.

While Harris was being transported from the R.T.A. station to police headquarters, Strezepek stopped an unmarked tactical unit car driven by Officer Tobin. Tobin had a conversation with Harris and then proceeded to 5253 West Congress, 4 1/2 blocks from the scene of the crime. Tobin arrived at about noon and rang the doorbell marked Crusoe. Defendant's mother answered the door and Tobin and the other officers entered the premises. Tobin then observed defendant come out of his bedroom. Defendant was breathing heavily and appeared nervous. Tobin placed defendant under arrest.

Officer Strezepek positively identified defendant at trial as one of the men he chased. Jamerson and Cunningham identified defendant as one of their assailants at a lineup and in court. The defense rested without presenting any evidence. The jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts and the trial court entered judgment on the verdicts.

• 1 Defendant contends that he was denied his sixth amendment right to confront a prosecution witness by the State's introduction of hearsay evidence. The State asserts that this issue is waived because it was not specifically included in defendant's motion for a new trial. Ordinarily this waives the issue on review. (People v. Pickett (1973), 54 Ill.2d 280, 296 N.E.2d 856.) However, even assuming the issue was not waived, we find no hearsay violation.

During the State's direct examination of Officer Stephen Strezepek, the following colloquy took place:

"Q. Did you have a conversation with Michael Harris at that time?

A. On our route back to the station, we had a conversation with him [Michael Harris], and he said —

MR. GREEN: Objection.

THE COURT: Sustained.

By MR. McDONALD:

Q. After that conversation, what if anything did you do?

A. Well, we ascertained —

MR. GREEN: Objection.

THE COURT: Objection will be ...


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