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People v. Gall

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 28, 1979.

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

v.

JOSEPH GALL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



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

MR. JUSTICE LORENZ DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Following a jury trial defendant was convicted of murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 9-1) and sentenced to a term of 20 to 35 years' imprisonment. On appeal, he contends that the trial court erred in preventing him from testifying as to his prior awareness of the deceased's manslaughter conviction and as to the deceased's reputation.

The following pertinent evidence was adduced at trial.

For the State

Ted Bugla

On the evening of December 21, 1976, he was riding with Lloyd Munoz in the latter's automobile. He was in the front passenger seat and Munoz was driving. As they drove in a northerly direction on the 2600 block of North Hoyne Avenue, Munoz slowed down, stating he knew the owners of a van parked on the east side of the street. Gilbert Molina and three other persons were standing on the west side of Hoyne, just north of the van. As Munoz stopped the car, Bugla heard Molina say, "Watch out. They got guns." Munoz quickly increased the speed. As they drove down the street, he heard three or four shots. The car stopped, then backed up 10 or 20 feet and hit a car on the east side of the street. Munoz appeared to be unconscious so he left the car, ran to a gas station and telephoned the police. As he ran away he heard three or four more shots. Neither he nor Munoz was armed at the time of the shooting.

On cross-examination he stated that Munoz had purchased a gun from Gilbert Molina earlier in the day. Munoz's car did not jump the curb at the time of the shooting.

Carlos Martinez

He was present at approximately 5 p.m. on December 21, 1976, when Walter Graf tried to sell a .22-caliber gun to Gilbert Molina. They drove in Graf's van to the apartment of Molina's friend, where Molina left the van "to sell the gun to one of his partners." Approximately five minutes later Molina returned and told them to wait in the alley until he received payment. Graf drove the van into the alley. Molina did not return with the money, so Graf went to find him. Returning alone, Graf stated that Molina and another man left in a car. Graf proceeded to drive around the area "looking for the guys that cut out with the gun."

Later that evening Graf and defendant came to his apartment at 2629 N. Hoyne. Graf was carrying a small automatic pistol, identified as people's exhibit No. 7. A loaded 9 mm gun identified as people's exhibit No. 8 was in the apartment at that time. He, Graf and defendant left the apartment to look for Molina. At approximately 6:30 p.m. they found Molina half a block from the apartment. Graf forced Molina at gunpoint to return to the apartment where Graf and Molina argued about the gun. Gall was playing with the 9 mm gun identified as people's exhibit No. 8. Thereafter, he, Molina, Gall and Graf left the apartment. Gall was carrying the loaded 9 mm gun. As they began walking north on the west side of Hoyne, he heard Graf's mother scream, "Here they come." He saw a car with two people who he did not know approaching. Graf, who had a .25 automatic pistol in his hand, "got in front of the car and tried to stop [it]." As the man in the passenger seat attempted to leave the car, a shot was fired. Defendant was standing in the middle of the street approximately 15 feet in back of the car and was pointing the 9 mm gun toward the car. After seeing defendant fire one shot, he ran home. He heard five or six more shots and a car crash. Graf and defendant also returned to his apartment. Defendant gave the 9 mm gun to Martinez's brother and "said to stash it." Defendant told him that if the police came he should explain that defendant was visiting.

On cross-examination he stated that he did not know the individual to whom Gilbert Molina sold the gun.

Eddie Martinez

He resides with his brother Carlos Martinez at 2639 N. Hoyne. When he arrived home at approximately 6:30 p.m. on December 21, 1976, his brother, Graf, and defendant were present, but left shortly thereafter. They returned approximately 10 minutes later with Gilbert Molina. Graf had a gun pointed at Molina's head. He heard Molina tell Graf that "he was going to pay him." Defendant agreed that "now we are going to kill them." Approximately an hour later Graf's mother arrived and said that she had just seen Munoz outside. Graf, Molina, Carlos and defendant immediately left. Graf and defendant were carrying guns. After hearing gun shots he looked outside and saw defendant shooting "plenty of times" at a car. As the car crashed defendant continued to shoot. ...


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