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In Re Santiago





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. PETER F. COSTA, Judge, presiding.


Miquel Santiago, Steven Wistafke, and Robert Casillas were charged in separate delinquency petitions with murder and aggravated battery. All were found delinquent and committed to the Juvenile Division of the Illinois Department of Corrections. Santiago and Wistafke appeal. On appeal, respondents argue that they were not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

We affirm.

On June 22, 1977, an altercation occurred near the entrance of Holy Trinity High School in Chicago. Joseph Serences was fatally shot and Michael Andros received two bullet wounds in his back.

Four of the witnesses called by the State, namely Clemon Pacini, Scott Wiginton, Anthony Fiori, and Mark Pisano, were attending a summer session at Holy Trinity, which began June 20, 1977. Pacini, Wiginton, and Fiori attended the same class and testified that their classmates Casillas and Santiago had made provocative, gang-related comments to them on the first three days of class. The witnesses also testified that on June 22, 1977, Santiago obtained keys from Casillas and left the classroom at approximately 11 a.m. When the three boys left school at noon, they and several of their friends were attacked by a group of Latinos, many of whom carried bats or sticks.

Pacini testified that he observed a group of people waiting outside as he was leaving the building. Santiago, dressed in a hooded red jacket, was standing across the street. As Pacini started through the doorway, Casillas began hitting and kicking him. Although Pacini stated that he saw Santiago fighting, he testified on cross-examination that he did not see Wistafke or Santiago during the fight. He also heard shooting from two different locations.

Wiginton testified that the fighting began when Casillas struck Pacini. Shortly after the altercation began, Wiginton heard 8 to 10 gunshots and observed Wistafke firing in his direction approximately five feet away from where he later found Serences' body. Further testimony revealed that Wiginton identified Wistafke in a lineup as the person he saw firing a gun and Casillas as one of the persons who participated in the fight. Wiginton also stated that two people were firing guns.

Peter Pup testified that on June 22, 1977, he drove to Holy Trinity High School with Mike Andros, Innocenzo Costanzo, and Joseph Serences to pick up Pacini, Wiginton and Fiori. While waiting in the parking lot across the street from the school, he observed a boy in a red jacket and pants get out of a car and place something in his belt. Pup heard approximately 10 gunshots but did not see the gunman. He identified Wistafke and Casillas as two of the boys involved in the fight but did not identify Santiago as the person with the gun.

Mark Pisano testified that after he left school on the day in question, he was walking through the parking lot and observed a boy in a red hooded sweater place a gun in his pants. He identified this boy as Miquel Santiago. Shortly thereafter, a fight erupted. Pisano heard 10 to 15 gunshots and saw Steven Wistafke firing a black revolver. Pisano also testified that he identified Wistafke in a lineup as the person who fired a black revolver and Santiago as the boy who placed the silver gun in his pants.

Innocenzo Costanzo testified that after he arrived at Holy Trinity at noon on the day in question, he saw Wistafke and Santiago near a car in the parking lot across from the school. He noticed Santiago trying to hide something in his pants. After the fight began he saw Santiago fire a silver gun.

Michael Andros testified that he saw Joe Serences fall to the ground after the first shot was fired. He later saw Santiago, dressed in a red sweatshirt, firing a silver gun. As Santiago aimed the gun at Andros, Andros tried to hide behind a car, but was shot in the back. Further testimony revealed that Andros did not inform the police of his assailant's identity.

Jack Chamness testified that he saw an individual in a red jacket run to a car and return to the fight with a knife. He also observed a person whom he identified as Steven Wistafke fire five shots from the parking lot. One of the shots hit Joseph Serences in the head. Chamness did not tell the youth officer who questioned him that he saw the gunman.

Among the witnesses called to testify on behalf of respondents were Officers Michael Pease and Thomas McCarthy, Margarita Guttierez, the girl friend of Santiago, and Martha Sanchez. Guttierez and Sanchez witnessed the altercation. Respondent Wistafke also testified.

According to the testimony of police officers, neither Wiginton nor Pisano identified the gunman in the lineup. However, McCarthy testified that his report of his conversations with the witnesses was reduced to a minimum and did not contain all the details regarding the lineup. McCarthy's partner had also prepared a report concerning the ...

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