APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon.
LAWRENCE I. GENESEN, Judge, presiding.
MR. JUSTICE MCGLOON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Timothy Turner and Darryl Bell were charged with murder and attempt armed robbery. After denial of motions for severance, Bell and Turner were tried before a jury. Defendants were found guilty on both charges. Turner was sentenced to a term of 25 to 50 years on the charge of murder, and 2 to 8 years, concurrently, on the charge of attempt armed robbery. Bell was sentenced to a term of 18 to 40 years on the charge of murder, and 2 to 8 years, concurrently, on the charge of attempt armed robbery. Defendants appealed individually and their cases were consolidated on the motion of the State.
On appeal defendants contend that: (1) the trial court erred in rejecting the tendered instruction on accomplice testimony, and; (2) the prosecutor's remarks during closing argument deprived defendants of a fair trial. Defendant Turner additionally argues that: (3) the trial court erred in allowing a witness to testify to a conversation in which one co-defendant implicated the second co-defendant in the commission of the offenses charged, and; (4) the defendant was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Timothy Turner and Darryl Bell were charged with the murder and attempt armed robbery of Robert Crawford.
Johnny Rogers testified that he had been employed at the Standard Oil gas station located at 76th and Cottage Grove in Chicago. On the night of October 25, 1974, Rogers was driving around the neighborhood drinking port wine and Kool-Aid. At approximately 10:15 p.m., as he was driving past his place of employment, he observed Robert Crawford inside the gas station and two men whom he identified as Timothy Turner and Darryl Bell walking toward the station. Rogers circled around the block at 5-10 miles per hour. As he embarked on his second journey around the block he heard a gunshot. Seconds later, he saw Bell and Turner running out of an alley next to the station and toward his car. They flagged down Rogers and Rogers allowed them to get into the car.
As defendants got into the back seat, Bell put his hands over the seat and said that he had been shot and needed to go to the hospital. When Rogers asked the men what had happened, defendant Bell answered that Turner had shot him in the hand while they were trying to rob Robert Crawford. Rogers drove the men 10 to 12 miles away to Cook County Hospital where Bell was later treated for a gun shot wound of the left hand. Turner gave Rogers some money and Rogers then went home.
Three days later, Rogers ran into Turner at a liquor store. When Rogers inquired about the gas station incident, Turner said that he mistakenly had shot Bell while they were trying to rob Crawford at the filling station.
On cross-examination, Rogers admitted that he failed to promptly report the incident to the police because he was "kind of scared" of the defendants. Additionally, he testified that although he was friendly with the victim and still an employee of the gas station when the shooting occurred, he never returned to the station for work or to see what had happened to Crawford.
Philip Daily testified that at about 10:30 p.m. on October 25, 1974, he drove into the Standard Oil gas station to buy some gas. As he drove up to the pump, he heard a gunshot. He then saw three men struggling in the doorway of the station. All three fell toward the ground. One of them lay there and the other two ran. Daily stated that one of the men who ran was tall with light skin and the other was shorter and darker. He thought that the taller of the two men had a gun in his hand. He was unable to identify the two defendants as the men he had seen in the gas station.
Odessa Smith, who lived across the street from the Standard station testified that at about 10:15 p.m. on October 25, 1974, she was looking out her window when she saw two men enter the service station and begin talking to and pushing Crawford. She described one of the men as tall, thin and light complected, and the other as a little shorter and dark. She called the police. She then observed the three men coming out of the station "all huddled together," the tall, light skinned man in front of Crawford, and the darker one in back. She then heard a gun shot and saw Crawford and the man behind him fall. Both men then started running toward the alley. She also was unable to identify defendants as the two men she saw in the service station on the night of the incident.
Crawford died on October 27, 1974 of a bullet wound in the neck and upper chest area. Both Turner and Bell were found guilty of murder and attempt armed robbery.
Defendants each appealed and their cases were consolidated on the State's motion.
First, we must consider defendants' contention that the trial court erred in rejecting a jury instruction on accomplice witness testimony. At the conference on jury instructions, defense counsel tendered to the court Illinois Pattern Jury ...