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People v. Bibbs





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. FRANK WILSON, Judge, presiding.


After a jury trial, defendant, Earl Bibbs, was convicted of rape (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 11-1), armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 18-2), and burglary (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 38, par. 19-1). He was sentenced to 25 to 50 years for rape and armed robbery and 5 to 15 years for burglary, said sentences to run concurrently.

On appeal, defendant presents the following issues for review: (1) whether he was proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) whether the prosecutor's arguments were improper and inflammatory; (3) whether the trial court abused its discretion by refusing the jury's three requests for a transcript of the complainant's description of her assailant and by giving an improper and coercive instruction to the deadlocked jury.

We affirm.

It was stipulated at trial that the vaginal smears taken from the victim and the sheet taken from the bed contained human spermatozoa.

The testimony at trial was as follows. Chicago police officer Paul Ruther stated that on August 4, 1976, he received a call that a burglary had just occurred, and at 3:30 a.m., he arrived at the scene. After conversing with the complainant, he made a visual check of the entire apartment and found that the telephone wire had been cut and a purse had been emptied on the couch. The apartment was well lit. Officer Ruther transported the victim to Edgewater Hospital. Ruther also testified that he gave a description of the offender over the radio which indicated the person was a male Negro, approximately 25 to 30 years old with a thin build, and wearing wire-rimmed glasses and a light-colored sweatshirt. On cross-examination, the officer stated that he prepared a report with regard to the incident. He did not ask the victim about the height, complexion, or physical deformities of the offender.

The complainant testified that she fell asleep reading on the night of August 3, 1976. She awoke around 3 a.m. and began calling her cat. She heard footsteps; thereafter she heard a male voice call from her hallway, "Lady, lady, can you hear me? If you hear me, say yes. Don't do anything." The witness was wearing a T-shirt and cotton briefs. She replied that she could hear him. The intruder instructed her to lie face down on the bed. A man then entered her bedroom and she looked at him. He was dressed in a light-colored T-shirt or sweatshirt, wore sunglasses, and carried a knife with a fairly long blade angled at the end. He told her not to look at him and that he needed money. She looked at him. He again told her not to look; she turned her head. He cut the bedding with the knife, using the strips to tie her feet, gag her, and blindfold her.

The complainant further testified that when the offender led her from the bedroom into the living room, she could still see through her blindfold. He asked her about money, saw her handbag and emptied it. He led her back into the bedroom and instructed her to lie face down on the bed again; he then cut the telephone wire and again asked about money, saying, "There has to be some money here." He asked whether she had a television set. She told him yes and he proceeded into the living room to get it, warning her not to do anything or he would hang her in her apartment. Upon returning to the bedroom with the television set, he told her they were going to have "a little fun." The witness identified defendant as the offender. She stated that defendant ordered her to get on her knees with her head down and her hands behind her. He asked whether she wanted to perform fellatio or have sexual intercourse. She stated neither. Then he put the knife in front of her face so that she could see it from under the blindfold. She said she would have intercourse and she pulled down the briefs she was wearing. Defendant took the bottle of Vaseline intensive care lotion and applied it to her genitals. Defendant then inserted his penis into her vagina. When defendant stopped, he said he "had to get going," and wiped the fingerprints from the bottle. Next, defendant asked her about the keys to the back door and she explained to him where they were. He brought the keys to her and she pointed out the back door key. He said he was leaving with the television set and would return for the stereo.

The witness stated that after defendant left, she waited for a few minutes and then went across the hall to the neighbors' apartment. She told them who she was and that someone had been in her apartment. After the police were called, she telephoned her sister. When the police arrived, she returned to her apartment. The television set was gone and $7 was missing from her purse. A window in the dining room was opened. She moved out of her apartment that night.

The victim had bruises on her wrists and slight vaginal bleeding. She talked with Detective Klein and later with Sergeant Stankowicz. Stankowicz showed her some mug shots; she could see a similarity in one of the photos but she did not identify anyone. In mid-September 1976, she went to the police station and viewed a lineup where she identified defendant as the person who was in her apartment and further recognized defendant through voice identification.

On cross-examination, the victim's testimony substantiated what she stated on direct examination. She indicated that a description of defendant's facial characteristics was given to Detective Klein. The victim did not remember whether she told Klein defendant had a moustache or goatee, but she did tell him that the offender was very articulate, tall, and thin.

Detective Walter Klein testified that he was an investigator for the Chicago Police Department. On August 4, 1976, he went to Edgewater Hospital to investigate a rape. He had a conversation with the victim. He arrested defendant Bibbs at his apartment, which was approximately 150 yards from the victim's residence.

On cross-examination, Detective Klein stated he prepared a police report relating to his conversation with the complainant concerning the rape. Klein's report indicated that the victim said she awoke around 3 a.m. and got up to see where her cat was. As she walked down the hall in her apartment, she heard a voice say, "Don't scream and I won't hurt you." She observed the offender walking toward her but could not see him clearly. The offender then led her back to the bedroom. The report did not give a description of the offender's length of hair or his complexion.

In his testimony, Klein stated that he remembered defendant had been arrested around August 11, 1976, in connection with another rape not far from where the incident took place. Klein interviewed Bibbs, who stated he was at home with his girlfriend during that time. After verifying this with the girlfriend and Bibbs' co-worker, who had talked to Bibbs while he was at home, defendant was released.

On redirect examination, Klein stated that although the victim of the August 11 rape viewed a lineup in which Bibbs participated, she did not identify Bibbs. Defendant was arrested ...

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