APPEAL from the Circuit Court of McLean County; the Hon.
WILLIAM DeCARDY, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE WEBBER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Mr. JUSTICE WEBBER delivered the opinion of the court:
T.E., the minor respondent, was adjudicated delinquent by reason of having committed the offense of theft and made a ward of the court by order of the circuit court of McLean County on June 6, 1978. He was then placed temporarily in the custody of a shelter care facility of the Department of Children and Family Services of the State of Illinois located in Bloomington. Before a dispositional hearing could be held, a motion for detention was filed alleging that T.E. had been involved in three offenses of burglary. On order of the trial court he was then detained at the Ottawa detention facility.
Following a dispositional hearing on October 30, 1978, the minor was placed on probation for an indefinite term and remanded into the custody of the shelter care facility. No appeal was taken from this order.
On December 7, 1978, a petition to revoke probation was filed alleging that T.E. had committed the offense of attempt burglary. A dispositional hearing was held on March 21, 1979. The trial court found that the allegations of the petition were proved beyond a reasonable doubt and committed the minor to the Department of Corrections, Juvenile Division. This appeal ensued.
The minor raises three issues: (1) Whether the State proved his guilt by a preponderance of the evidence; (2) whether the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enter the order of revocation; and (3) whether the trial court abused its discretion in committing him to the Department of Corrections.
The evidence at trial showed, in summary form, the following: the complaining witness who lived in an apartment house in unit 6 across the street from the shelter care facility was awakened at 11 a.m. on December 1, 1978, and found a juvenile prying a side panel off the door to her apartment. Upon confrontation by her the juvenile dropped a putty knife and ran away. She was unable to identify T.E. as the perpetrator but stated that the juvenile was "heavy set and very short." Such a physical description matched T.E.
A caseworker at the shelter care home testified that T.E. was absent from the home from 9:50 a.m. to 10:25 a.m. on the date in question. He was certain of the times. He identified a putty knife which had been taken at the scene as similar to one belonging to the home.
A police officer testified that he had interviewed T.E. on the date of the offense and that T.E. had admitted to him that he had attempted to "burglarize" apartment 5 in the complaining witness' building.
T.E. testified in his own behalf and stated that he went to the apartment house to visit a friend but the friend was not at home, so after stopping at another friend's house, not in the apartment building, he returned to the shelter care home. He admitted talking to the police officer but denied telling him that he had attempted to burglarize the apartment.
The caseworker testified in behalf of T.E. and stated that T.E. often went to the apartment house to visit friends and had done baby-sitting there for his friend's daughter. He stated that T.E. had told him that he went there on December 1 to visit the friend and denied any involvement in the offense.
At the conclusion of the testimony the trial court stated that T.E. was guilty not only by a preponderance of the evidence but also beyond a reasonable doubt.
On appeal the minor points to several inconsistencies and discrepancies in the testimony as establishing the failure of the necessary degree of proof. In brief these are the inability of the complaining witness to make a positive identification, the discrepancy between the apartment numbers in the testimony of the officer and the alibi testimony of the minor.
1 While each of these factors alone and in combination might cast some shadow across the record, it was primarily the function of the trial court to reconcile them and to arrive at the proper conclusion. The proof was essentially circumstantial but adequate, and we will not substitute our judgment for ...