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People v. Wallace





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. MARK E. JONES, Judge, presiding.


After a bench trial, Raynard Wallace, otherwise known as Raymond Wallace (defendant), was convicted of intimidation (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 12-6(a)(1)). He was sentenced to two years, and he appeals.

Sandra Corbin testified that on March 29, 1978, she was working as a waitress in the S & F Restaurant. She was taking a woman's order and some people "came up and stood behind the woman." The witness went to the back of the restaurant and heard "kids hollering, `Let my mama's purse go. Let my mama's purse go.'" She returned and saw someone with a gun. The people knocked the woman out and took her purse. She identified defendant as one of the robbers.

Sandra Corbin also testified she was a State's witness in a resulting and then pending armed robbery case againt defendant. On May 5, 1978, she stopped in at the same restaurant. She was not working there at the time. Defendant "came in the restaurant." He said "his family was mad because they had to pay out nine hundred * * * some dollars for bail." The witness also testified:

"Then he [defendant] said he should — he['s] going to have somebody kill me or he should have someone else kill me or do something. Then he said he ought to beat my ass. Then he looked like he was walking out the door and he turned around and came back and reached for something."

The witness also said, "He [defendant] unbuttoned his coat and looked like he was reaching for something. I don't know what it was * * * and I wasn't going to stand up there and find out. I broke and ran to the back." She was nervous, upset, and frightened. She then called Investigator Joseph Strotter.

Investigator Strotter testified that on May 5, 1978, he received a phone call from Sandra Corbin. She sounded "very excited" and "frightened." On May 6, he arrested defendant. He had previously arrested him around April 11 for the robbery in the restaurant. In connection with that robbery, defendant was put in a lineup and identified by Sandra Corbin. He also testified Sandra Corbin appeared at the preliminary hearing with regard to the robbery.

Leonard Wojtecki testified he was an assistant State's Attorney on May 6, 1978. He talked to defendant who initially said it was his brother who was present at the restaurant and they looked alike. Defendant told him he was not even at the scene at the time Sandra Corbin said the defendant had threatened her. Defendant "indicated that his brother used to baby-sit for the victim," "that his brother was having an affair with her," and "that her husband subsequently found out about this and threatened him." These matters were denied by Sandra Corbin in her testimony. Defendant said later he was in the restaurant and had an argument with the victim. During the argument, he threatened to beat her up for lying. He said she was lying about his participation in this armed robbery because of the mistaken identity between his brother and him.

Anthony Wallace, the brother of defendant, testified he was a baby-sitter for Sandra Corbin one time at his mother's house. Sandra Corbin picked up the child in the presence of his mother. Ruth Wallace, mother of defendant, testified she saw Sandra Corbin come to her apartment and pick up the baby.

Defendant testified that on March 29, 1978, on the date of the alleged armed robbery, he was not at the restaurant and therefore could not have seen Sandra Corbin then. He stated he did not know if his brother was there or not. When he was arrested for the armed robbery, he was taken to the police station and put in a lineup. He saw Sandra Corbin, but "she did not identify" him. He said the police did not tell him what he was arrested for because she was not sure it was the defendant. At one point he said he knew Sandra Corbin was there to identify him. He also said he did not know she was a witness to the robbery and he "was surprised to see her."

Defendant testified Sandra Corbin was not present at a session of the court in the instant case held May 5, 1978, and "she wasn't a witness against me." But, defendant also testified he saw Sandra Corbin in court before the same judge on May 5, 1978. He also said, "I didn't see her." He added, "All I seen is her sitting down, and the next thing I know she was gone."

On that day, on his way home, he saw Sandra Corbin. He said she was in front of the restaurant on the sidewalk. He asked her, "`Can't you see that I'm all messed up here, that my parents paid out a whole lot of money for something that I didn't even do? And you know I didn't do it * * *.'" He said she told Officer Strotter he was not the one. He asked her why she changed that. They "started getting loud" and "cussing at each other." Then "she said she didn't want to talk about it anymore," so he "left it at that." She went into the restaurant.

Defendant testified he "did not threaten her." He said, "I was trying to get her to stop doing something * * * lying." He said, "I was trying to get her to cool her boyfriend down." Her boyfriend ...

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