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People v. Taylor

OPINION FILED JULY 31, 1981.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

KELVIN TAYLOR, A/K/A CALVIN TAYLOR, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ROBERT J. SULSKI, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE MEJDA DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendants, Kelvin Taylor and Delores Fenner, were tried by a jury and found guilty of armed robbery. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 18-2.) Taylor was sentenced to a term of 6 to 9 years and Fenner to a term of 4 years to 4 years and one day.

On appeal, defendants contend that: (1) the admission of their pretrial and in-court identification denied them due process of law; (2) it was an abuse of discretion to deny the jury's request to review the testimony; and (3) they were not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We affirm.

Prior to trial Taylor filed a motion to suppress in-court identification. The basis of this motion arose out of a "one man show-up" resulting in the victim's identification of defendants at the scene shortly after the armed robbery.

At the hearing on the motion, Fenner testified. On July 28, 1977, at approximately 10 p.m. near the intersection of Ashland and Division, she was approached by a Chicago police officer as she was getting into the passenger side of an automobile. She was instructed to get in the back seat of a police squad car where another officer was waiting. Shortly thereafter, Taylor approached the officer and inquired as to the trouble. Taylor admitted that the license number which the officer had copied from the car Fenner had been getting into was his. Whereupon Taylor was also placed in the back seat of the squad car. Both defendants were handcuffed.

Fenner further testified that they were driven several blocks stopping at three bars. One of the officers entered each of the taverns. While the officer returned alone from the first two, on his return from the third he was accompanied by two individuals. She described the area as being dark, but stated that she was able to see the faces of these individuals as they came out of the tavern and determined that one was short and old and the other in his middle thirties. The older one peered through the squad car window from a distance of 20 feet and identified defendants as his assailants. Thereafter, defendants were arrested for armed robbery and transported to the police station.

It was stipulated that defendant's seizure took place within a relatively short period of time after the commission of the armed robbery. Thereafter, defendants' motion to suppress was denied.

At trial the victim testified through an interpreter. On July 26, 1977, at approximately 10 p.m. he was walking northbound on Ashland Avenue when three individuals — two men and a woman — robbed him of his money. One man grabbed his neck from behind as Taylor approached him from the front with a 12-inch knife and as Fenner reached into his pocket and removed $450. The victim was then dragged to the ground and his assailants fled to an automobile 10 feet away. The victim noted the car's license plate numbers 5066. After the robbery the victim went to his son's house and summoned the police. He admitted that when he identified defendants in the squad car he was nervous, excited and angry about being robbed.

Officer Smith testified that approximately 10 p.m. on the evening of July 26, 1977, he received a radio dispatch concerning a robbery victim. Smith proceeded to Ashland Avenue where he met the victim. The victim informed him that three individuals robbed him and that one of them grabbed him around the neck, another put a knife to his neck, and the third individual, a female, went through his pockets and took his money. He described his assailants' automobile as dark with a partial license plate number 5066. The victim also indicated that the female assailant was wearing a blue jacket and a bluejean outfit and the individual with a knife was taller than he was. Thereafter Officer Smith and his partner toured the area and observed a dark automobile with the license number HL 5066 at the corner of Ashland and Division. Upon approaching the vehicle, Smith observed Fenner sitting on the passenger side and requested that she alight from the car. She was handcuffed and placed in the squad car. At this point Taylor approached and asked Smith what he was doing. After Taylor acknowledged that he owned the car, he was searched and placed in the squad car.

The officers first drove defendants to the victim's home, where they learned that the victim had returned to the scene of the crime. Defendants were then taken to the scene of the crime. The victim approached the squad car and identified defendants as his assailants. While the victim testified that he identified Fenner a second time at the police station, Smith indicated that at the station the victim was not sure about Fenner's identification. However, when arrested, Fenner was wearing a blue jacket and a bluejean outfit. Finally, Smith apprehended defendants approximately 15 minutes after speaking with the victim and the on-the-scene identification occurred within 30 minutes of the robbery.

Fenner testified that between 8 and 9 p.m. on the evening of July 26, 1977, she and Taylor were having dinner at a restaurant located at Division and Ashland. As defendants left the restaurant to go to a tavern down the street, a friend of Taylor's whom Fenner had never seen asked to use Taylor's car. Taylor gave him the keys and defendants proceeded to the tavern where they stayed until 9:45 p.m. Defendants went back to the restaurant to see if the car had been returned and another individual named George Lindsey gave the keys to Taylor outside the restaurant. While Lindsey and Taylor continued their conversation, Fenner walked down the street. As she approached Taylor's car, a police officer pulled up and instructed her to get in the squad car. Taylor walked up and inquired as to the trouble. After informing the officer that the car was his, Taylor was placed in the back of the squad car. While in the squad car, both defendants were handcuffed. Defendants then were driven several blocks stopping at three taverns. One of the officers entered each tavern. On his return from the third, he was accompanied by two individuals — one old, the other middle-aged. When the victim looked in the squad car at her, he nodded in a negative fashion and when he looked at Taylor he nodded in a positive fashion.

George Lindsey, a casual acquaintance of Taylor's, testified that the exchange of keys between Taylor and Willie Ramsey occurred inside the restaurant. Afterwards Taylor went to the bar next door and Ramsey and his girlfriend left with Taylor's car. Thirty minutes later Ramsey returned to the restaurant and gave Taylor's car keys to him. He subsequently returned the keys to Taylor. Lindsey described Ramsey as having a light complexion and facial hair but could not recall what the girl who accompanied Ramsey looked like. Although he knew Taylor was in trouble because of this incident, he never reported the exchange of keys to the police or anyone else. Finally, Lindsey testified that while the incident occurred in 1977, he did not recall the day or month, "perhaps it was June of July."

Thereafter, the jury was instructed as to the law and retired for deliberations. Approximately 2 1/2 hours later, the jury requested the testimony of Fenner and Lindsey. The court denied this request. Thereafter the jury returned a verdict of guilty as charged as to both defendants. Taylor was sentenced to a term of 6 to ...


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