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In Re Sanders

OPINION FILED FEBRUARY 15, 1980.

IN RE JACQUES SANDERS, A MINOR. — (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,

v.

JACQUES SANDERS, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.)



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

MR. JUSTICE LORENZ DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

A petition for adjudication of wardship was filed against the respondent, charging him with attempt armed robbery, murder and felony murder. Following an adjudicatory hearing, the trial judge entered a finding for the respondent on the attempt armed robbery and murder counts. There was a finding of delinquency on the felony murder count (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)(3)), and respondent was committed to the Department of Corrections. On appeal, he raises the following issues: (1) that the trial court erred in entering legally inconsistent findings, by entering a finding for respondent on the underlying felony of attempt armed robbery, while finding the respondent guilty of felony murder; (2) that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty of attempt armed robbery; (3) that the trial court abused its discretion by committing him to the Department of Corrections; and (4) that the State failed to prove the age of the minor.

The following pertinent facts were adduced at the adjudicatory hearing.

For the State

Leona Mae Reynolds

She is the wife of the deceased. On February 22, 1976, between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m., she was at home with her husband and their daughter Nancy. While she and Nancy were in the living room watching television, Mr. Reynolds was in the kitchen. She heard a shot inside the house and then heard a door slam. She ran to the kitchen door and looked outside, but saw no one. As she turned, she saw Mr. Reynolds lying on his side between a chair and a table. Her husband did not respond when she called his name. She then returned to the living room and collapsed on the floor.

On cross-examination she stated that she saw no one with a gun when she heard the shot.

Nancy Reynolds

She is the 16-year-old daughter of the deceased. On the evening of February 22, 1976, she heard a shot from the kitchen, where her father was "closing up" his candy store. She immediately jumped up and called the police. She went next door to the neighbor's house until the police arrived.

On cross-examination she testified that she heard the shot, but did not see anyone with a gun.

Johnny Sanders

He is a 13-year-old boy who went to the Reynolds' candy store on the evening of February 22, 1976, with his brother, David, and his cousin, Gary Washington, to buy candy. He entered the store and purchased a "Suzy Cue." He saw no one else in the store. As he walked out, he saw the respondent and Frank Lockett. He was a friend of the respondent and had known him for over four years.

He was the first one to leave Reynolds' store. As he was leaving, the respondent asked him who was in the kitchen. Johnny replied, "Mr. Reynolds." As he walked away, Gary joined him, while David was still in the store. As David walked out the door, he turned and saw the respondent, about five feet away from him, pull a nylon stocking over his face and walk toward Mr. Reynolds' door. As he ran to the corner, he heard Frank say, "Move," and then saw him push his brother down into the grass. When he reached the corner, about 40 feet from the Reynolds' door, he heard a shot. He did not see anyone with a gun. He, David and Gary then ran home.

When he arrived home at about 8:15 p.m., he received a phone call from the respondent. The respondent told him not to tell anybody what had happened, and in return for his silence, Frank agreed to give him some money. He declined the money, but agreed to remain silent because he was afraid.

The following day, the respondent talked to him again at the respondent's home. The respondent asked him if he knew that Mr. Reynolds was dead. He said he did, because his mother told him so. The respondent then told him that if he told the police what happened "They were going to put Frank away for a long time," because Frank was on probation. The respondent said he would probably "get out real early because he didn't shoot Mr. Reynolds." He then said, "All right" and went home.

On cross-examination, he said that no one else was in Mr. Reynolds' store besides Mr. Reynolds, himself, his brother and his cousin. He saw no one with a gun, and he never ...


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