Not what you're
looking for? Try an advanced search.
Buy This Entire Record For
UNITED STATES EX REL. BACON v. DEROBERTIS
October 29, 1982
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA EX REL. THEODORE BACON, PETITIONER,
RICHARD DEROBERTIS, RESPONDENT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Theodore Bacon ("Bacon"), a prisoner at Stateville Correctional
Center in Joliet, Illinois, brings this habeas corpus proceeding
against Stateville Warden Richard DeRobertis ("DeRobertis"). With
no disagreement on the underlying facts, both sides have moved
for summary judgment on Count II, the remaining claim in Bacon's
petition.*fn1 For the reasons contained in this memorandum opinion
and order, DeRobertis' motion is granted and Bacon's is denied.
Bacon challenges his conviction of having murdered his
girlfriend, Josie Brown ("Brown"), in April 1976. At the trial
Bacon's court-reporter-transcribed (though unsigned) statement to
an Assistant State's Attorney and a police investigating officer
(given about 1 1/2 years after the event and about 2 years before
the trial) was introduced into evidence. It contained the
following version of events:
1. Bacon and Brown had become embroiled in a long
heated argument in the apartment they shared. It
escalated into a physical altercation.
2. Bacon slapped Brown several times with an open
hand, while Brown flung various objects at Bacon and
scratched him several times.
3. During the physical struggle, Brown asked Bacon
to stop hitting her and at one point tried
unsuccessfully to escape from the apartment.
4. Their fight ended tragically when Brown fell and
hit her head on the television set.
5. Thinking she was only unconscious, Bacon placed
her on the couch and tried to revive her.
6. After realizing Brown had died, he wrapped the
body in a rug and put it behind a couch in the
7. Three days later he carried the body out to his
car, put it in the trunk, drove around for two or
three hours and eventually placed the body under a
Bacon testified to a different story at the trial. He did
acknowledge the physical struggle that ended with Brown hitting
her head on either the television set or the table. But in total
contrast to his pre-trial statement, Bacon testified Brown was
not only alive but also conscious and active afterwards. Indeed,
Bacon said when he then went to take a bath he heard Brown
throwing things and knocking things over, then heard a door slam
— and when he came out of the bathroom, she was gone.
Two of Brown's neighbors testified they heard:*fn2
1) a man and a woman in Bacon's apartment begin
swearing at one another and then start fighting;
2) loud noises during the fight, sounding as though
objects were being tossed around the room and "licks
[were] being passed";
3) the female at one point asking the male to stop
hitting her; and
4) the male at the end of the 1 1/2 hour fight
saying "get up, get up."
One of Bacon's friends testified to a conversation with Bacon a
few days after the fight, in which Bacon was crying and said ...
Buy This Entire Record For