APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. DANIEL
WHITE, Judge, presiding.
MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE SULLIVAN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
This appeal is from the conviction of the armed robbery of one person and the attempt armed robbery of another and the concurrent sentences of six years and four years respectively. Questions are raised as to whether defendant was prejudiced by comments made in the State's closing argument and as to the propriety of the sentences for attempt armed robbery.
Since defendant makes no contention on appeal that his guilt was not proved beyond a reasonable doubt, and because his motion for directed verdict was granted as to an additional charge of murder, we will set forth only the evidence concerning the charges for which he was convicted.
In this regard, it appears from the testimony of Antonio Ortega that he and Jesus Paredes had left a restaurant and were walking home when they were approached by two men — the shorter of whom he later identified as defendant. When the taller man demanded money and displayed a knife, Ortega gave money to him and told Paredes to do likewise. Defendant, who was holding Paredes, then ripped or cut his pants — at which point Ortega and his companion ran from the scene and returned to the restaurant. Shortly thereafter, Paredes and others ran back to the scene of the robbery. Ortega followed in a car and, when he arrived, found a wounded Paredes who died en route to the hospital where an autopsy disclosed two stab wounds to have been the cause of death.
Police officer Bahr testified that he was at the hospital when a car arrived with four male Mexican passengers, one of whom was covered with blood. After receiving information from them concerning the occurrence, Bahr went with Guadalupe Soto (the English-speaking member of the group) to the scene, and there observed a pool of blood where Paredes had been picked up. Then, while driving around the area with Soto, the officer saw two teenage Mexican males who fit the description previously given him of the offenders. Defendant was one of them, and when the officer inquired about fresh bloodstains on the shirt, hands, and jacket, defendant said they came from a cut on his hand which was covered by a bandage. However, when the officer examined the area under the bandage and saw that a scab had already formed, he "frisked" defendant — finding a switchblade knife which was bloody from the handle to the end of the blade.
Police investigator Gonzales testified that he and another investigator spoke with defendant who, after being advised of his constitutional rights, said that he and Marcos Nunez (a co-defendant) had earlier robbed two people who then returned a short time later with a group of others and, when they attacked him, he stabbed the person in front of him and ran away.
Defendant initially contends that he was denied a fair trial by a number of remarks made by the prosecutor during closing argument.
He first argues that comments made by the prosecutor in rebuttal argument improperly "encouraged the jury to believe that the entire trial had been unfair to the State" and, in support thereof, directs us to numerous references made by the prosecutor to "fundamental fairness." Whether language used by a prosecutor requires reversal depends upon the facts of each case (People v. Walsh (1980), 80 Ill. App.3d 754, 400 N.E.2d 587; People v. Bigsby (1977), 52 Ill. App.3d 277, 367 N.E.2d 358), and it is clear that an accused cannot complain of statements made in rebuttal by the prosecutor which were invited by remarks of the defense counsel (People v. Vriner (1978), 74 Ill.2d 329, 385 N.E.2d 671, cert. denied (1979), 442 U.S. 929, 61 L.Ed.2d 296, 99 S.Ct. 2858).
• 1 At various times during his closing argument, defense counsel referred to the fact that while Gonzales had testified defendant told him he had robbed two people, he later testified that defendant said only that "we took some money." In referring to the unreliability of this testimony, defendant made comments in his closing argument implying that Gonzales was influenced by something he termed "power," as follows:
"That's power, you see. That's power, because you place it in the opinion of somebody that somebody is robbed.
That's power, when you can get on a witness stand and say that. That's power.
That's power, Ladies and Gentlemen. That's raw power.
That's power. Then you get into the question of just being ...