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People v. Bares





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Kane County; the Hon. JOSEPH M. McCARTHY, Judge, presiding.


The defendants, Thomas H. Bares and James R. Edwards, were jointly tried and found guilty of the offenses of armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 18-2) and robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 18-1) in a jury trial in the circuit court of Kane County. Upon denial of their post-trial motions, and after vacating the judgments of conviction for the lesser-included offense of robbery, the trial court conducted a sentencing hearing and sentenced Bares to six years' imprisonment and Edwards to 26 years' imprisonment. Defendant Bares appeals from the denial of his pretrial motion to quash his arrest, alleging it was effectuated inside his apartment without an arrest warrant and absent exigent circumstances. Defendant Edwards appeals only his sentence, contending it was excessive compared with that of his co-defendant, and asks us to reduce that sentence.

At the evidentiary hearing conducted on the motion to quash the arrest, the following pertinent testimony was introduced. Detective Joseph Donahoe of the Carpentersville Police Department stated that on July 15, 1979, there was an armed robbery of a Carpentersville 7-Eleven store. After talking to an informant, Donahoe contacted Detectives Ryan and Baker of the Chicago Police Department since he had reason to believe that one of the offenders lived in the area of Seeley Avenue in Chicago. Donahoe also had learned from the witnesses that two white males in their twenties were involved in the holdup and that the vehicle they were driving was a yellow Chevrolet Monte Carlo with license plates which began with the letters "U.S." Donahoe drove to Chicago the next evening and discussed the case with the Chicago detectives, who gave him seven photographs of possible suspects. Donahoe returned to Carpentersville with the photos and showed them to the store clerks who were working at the time of the robbery. The two clerks who were operating the cash register at the time both identified defendant Bares as one of the participants. After this photo identification of Bares, Donahoe contacted a Kane County assistant state's attorney who "authorized a warrant for the arrest of Thomas Bares for armed robbery." The Chicago police were then notified that Bares had been identified as one of the assailants. Bares was arrested that evening by Chicago police officers; the arrest warrant was not issued until the following morning.

Detectives Ryan and Baker testified regarding being contacted by Donahoe in reference to the armed robbery. They indicated that Donahoe gave them a description of the suspects, the weapons used and the automobile involved (a yellow Monte Carlo with license plates beginning with "US 42 ___"). After checking the U.S. 4200 series, the officers found no plates registered to a yellow Monte Carlo. Baker and Ryan then met with Donahoe and another Carpentersville officer and went to the area of Wilson and Damen avenues in Chicago since they had information that a third suspect, a juvenile, was involved and lived in that neighborhood. That trip proved to be fruitless, but the two Chicago officers later returned by themselves to that vicinity and spotted a yellow Monte Carlo double parked at approximately 4524 North Seeley. Baker and Ryan ran a check on the license plates, YJ 2199, which came back registered to Thomas Bares with an Elk Grove Village address.

A photo of Mr. Bares was obtained from police records and given to Carpentersville police. After a positive identification had been made, Donahoe called the Chicago officers and informed them of the identification and of the fact that he was in the process of obtaining a warrant. A short time after this conversation, at approximately 10:45 p.m., Ryan and Baker, along with two other Chicago detectives, drove to the area of Damen and Wilson in an attempt to locate the vehicle again. The officers spotted the vehicle with four occupants proceeding northbound on Seeley Avenue.

After spotting the vehicle, the Chicago detectives pursued it for approximately a quarter of a block with the headlights of their unmarked car flashing. When the Monte Carlo stopped, Detectives Baker and Ryan said they exited their vehicle, Ryan with a shotgun and Baker with a sidearm. Baker then said: "Police. Get out of the car." According to Ryan and Baker, the Monte Carlo then sped off at a high rate of speed. Ryan then fired one round from the shotgun at the lower right rear side of the vehicle "in an attempt to disable the vehicle." The vehicle immediately stopped and defendant Edwards exited from the driver's seat and was taken into custody, along with the other three occupants of the vehicle. A loaded .32-caliber revolver was found underneath the front seat by the driver's side. In response to questioning by Ryan, Edwards told the officers that the vehicle belonged to Thomas Bares and indicated that Bares was in an apartment building off to the side of the street.

Detective Ryan, along with another detective and a uniformed officer, went to the front of the building at 4525 North Seeley Avenue, while Detective Baker went to the rear of the building with another detective and a uniformed officer. As Ryan approached the building, he met the landlady of the building who told him that Bares lived on the first floor. While she went off to find a key to Bares' apartment, the police knocked on his door. After approximately five minutes of knocking, the landlady had not returned with a key so, according to Ryan, the officers entered Bares' apartment through an unlocked window. After Bares was secured, the other officers were let in through the front door. As the officers entered through the window, one of the uniformed men yelled, "Police." Defendant Bares was found lying on a mattress in one of the bedrooms and was subsequently arrested at gun point, taken into custody, and a gun and money seized.

Rose Marie Hoffman, defendant's landlady, testified at the hearing that on July 16, 1979, she was watching television in her home when she heard a gunshot. She went outside and saw that two detectives' cars had pinned in Bares' Monte Carlo, which had seven gunshot holes in it. After back-up police arrived, Detective Ryan said, "Let's get Bares." She testified that the following conversation then took place:

"RYAN: Is Mr. Bares inside?

HOFFMAN: I don't know; I don't think so.

RYAN: Do you have a key?

HOFFMAN: I don't know.

RYAN: Well, I want Bares. Get me a key.

HOFFMAN: I'll look."

When she returned to tell the officers that she couldn't find a key, she observed that they had removed a screen to Bares' apartment window. After the police left, she went in and "closed up" Bares' apartment.

Diane Abdelkoui testified that on July 16, 1979, at approximately 10:15 p.m. she was riding in a Monte Carlo with James Edwards, Michael Abdelkoui and Betty Dunn. As Edwards was preparing to park the vehicle, Michael Abdelkoui looked back to see if the car would fit into the parking space, and yelled, "Everybody duck, someone's going to shoot at us." Then, a shot was fired at their vehicle and they were ordered to come out. Abdelkoui said that, prior to the gunshot, they were given no warning to stop. After the shot, she said Edwards "floored the car" but stopped after travelling approximately 10 yards.

Betty Dunn's testimony corroborated that of Abdelkoui regarding the events leading up to, and just after, the car was struck with gunfire. She said that at the time the shot was fired, Edwards was actually backing the car up and that after the shot was fired the car went forward for several inches before stopping. Both Dunn and Abdelkoui ...

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