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People v. Tillman





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. LOUIS WEXLER, Judge, presiding. MR. JUSTICE JOHNSON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

A jury found defendant, Edward Tillman, guilty of attempt murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 8-4), and two counts each of aggravated battery and aggravated battery by use of a deadly weapon (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, pars. 12-4(a), 12-4(b)(1)). Defendant was sentenced to 10 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the attempt murder of Ida Cooper and 5 years on one count for the aggravated battery of Keya Cooper, the sentences to run concurrently.

In his appeal to this court, defendant asserts he was denied due process when he was not permitted a continuance to bring a witness before the court, and when he was subjected to an improper hospital show-up. Defendant further contends he was denied a fair and impartial trial when the court requested that defendant read his list of witnesses to the jury. Additionally, defendant claims the State failed to prove him guilty of attempt murder beyond a reasonable doubt.

We affirm the trial court.

On April 18, 1977, at approximately 12:30 a.m., Ida Cooper and her young daughter, Keya, were seated in a car at 79th Street and Coles Avenue, in Chicago, across the street from their residence. Ida Cooper turned off the ignition and prepared to get out of the car when she saw a man standing nearby, holding a gun. The illumination of the street light located in front of her car enabled her to determine the gun was of a .38-caliber make, and she could see the gun was pointed at her head. The man, without speaking, then fired the gun twice, and she and Keya immediately fell to the floor of the car. She heard the gun fire four more times. Ida Cooper was shot in the face under her left eye, in her left elbow, and in her right hand. The child, Keya, was shot in her left knee and right shoulder.

After the shots were fired, an off-duty policeman approached the car, spoke briefly to Ida Cooper and her daughter, then ran in pursuit of the man. Uniformed policemen arrived shortly thereafter and transported them to the hospital where Ida Cooper was taken directly into the intensive care unit and Keya was treated in the emergency room.

According to the evidence, Officer Tim Hardy arrived at the scene to investigate the shooting. He examined the car and discovered four bullet holes in the front windshield, the driver's window completely shattered, and blood on the front seat. He went to the hospital and talked with Keya in the emergency room. She told Officer Hardy she and her mother had been shot by Edward Tillman, whom they knew. She informed the police officer that at the time of the shooting Edward Tillman was wearing a multicolored vest. She also described the type car Tillman drove and the area he often frequented.

Officer Hardy then went to 724 East 79th Street where he saw a man wearing a multicolored vest and black clothing. The police officer approached the man and asked his name; the man identified himself as Edward Tillman. Officer Hardy arrested Tillman and later identified him in court as the defendant. A search of defendant's person and car did not reveal a weapon. Defendant was immediately taken to the hospital where Keya identified him as her and her mother's assailant.

Ida Cooper and defendant had known each other for approximately 5 years prior to the incident. They had dated each other for most of that time, but the relationship was discontinued about 1 year prior to that incident. During that year, defendant persisted in following Ida Cooper from work, often made threatening phone calls to her, and was seen on several occasions parked outside her parents' home. Late in 1976, defendant called Ida Cooper and told her he wanted to continue their relationship, but she declined his invitation. Defendant thereupon made certain remarks which Ida Cooper interpreted to be a threat upon her life. Thereafter, she called the police and, subsequently, through police court procedures, defendant executed a peace bond, assuring that he would not interfere with Ida Cooper. On the Monday before the incident, Ida Cooper saw defendant in his car not far from her apartment. She reported this to the police by telephone.

At trial, by way of alibi, defendant testified he and his brother, Leonard Tillman, were attending a birthday party on April 17, 1977, at the home of their parents. Defendant was there from 2 p.m. until 11:15 p.m. He took his date home and went to the El Continental Lounge. The bartender at the lounge saw him arrive at 11:45 p.m. Defendant was to meet his friend, Clarence Boatman, at the lounge. Boatman did not arrive until 12:30 a.m., April 18. Defendant and Boatman had a drink and left the lounge together. While the two stood outside the lounge, the police arrived and arrested defendant. Defendant testified he was wearing a black shirt, black trousers, and a multicolored vest at the time of his arrest. He also indicated his height to be 6 feet 2 inches and his weight to be 170 pounds.

Defendant further testified that Ida Cooper was his girlfriend and was employed, describing her employment as "something like a call girl." According to defendant, Ida Cooper gave him 50 percent of the money she made from prostitution, but he had not had anything to do with her activities except to provide her transportation.

According to defendant, in 1976 he and Ida Cooper went to a hotel and after they left he noticed $200 missing from his pocket. When he questioned her, she denied taking the money. He also testified about a disagreement they had over money withdrawn from a joint checking account.

Officer Paul Williams of the Chicago police department testified he had a conversation with Norman Roberson, a Cook County sheriff's police officer, who was off duty and happened to be near the scene of the shooting. As a result of the conversation, Officer Williams sent a message over the radio, describing the suspect as a dark-complected male Negro, about 35 years old, approximately 5 feet 9 inches in height, weighing 130 pounds, and wearing a short haircut.

After hearing all of the evidence at trial, the jury deliberated and returned verdicts of guilty of attempt murder of Ida Cooper, two counts of aggravated battery of Ida Cooper and two counts of aggravated battery of Keya Cooper.

Defendant challenges the court's denial of his motion for continuance in order for him to locate a witness listed but not called by the State. The need for the witness, it is contended by defendant, is based on the fact that Officer Paul Williams, who arrived at the Cooper car shortly after the shooting, gave a description of the assailant ...

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