APPEAL from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County; the Hon.
KENNETH J. JUEN, Judge, presiding.
MME JUSTICE SPOMER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Defendant-appellant Larry Gray was convicted of robbery after a jury trial in the Circuit Court of St. Clair County. He was sentenced to 90 days' confinement in the county jail and to probation for four years. On appeal, the defendant contends that the evidence was insufficient to prove the offense of robbery as the record demonstrates no use of force, and that the trial court erred in improperly instructing the jury that his statement to the police constituted a confession to the crime charged.
Fannie Boykin, the complainant, testified for the State that while she was waiting for the bus on a street corner in East St. Louis, the defendant approached. While he engaged her in conversation, another young male, later identified as Robert James, ran from behind and grabbed her purse, which was resting on her left arm near the elbow. Both men then fled, were subsequently found by the police and arrested. Defendant was charged with and convicted of robbery under an accountability theory. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, pars. 5-2, 18-1.
The only evidence at the trial relating to the extent of force used to take the purse was the testimony of Mrs. Boykin. She was asked the following questions by the prosecutor on direct examination:
"Q. Now, Fannie, so that the jury can understand, did the other man come from behind you? Would you show the jury what the man who this defendant was with, did? Just what he did that particular day? Just what did the man do the defendant was with?
A. He got my purse. See, I
Q. Did he pull it from your person?
A. You see, I just had it out like this and I had my card and he just got it over that way.
A. He did it just like that and he went on about his business, and Lord have mercy.
Q. Now, after the other man took the purse, what did the man who took your purse do?
A. Say, when he took the purse?
Q. After he jerked it out of ...