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People v. Carradine





Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Adam N. Stillo, Judge, presiding.


Following a jury trial, defendant was convicted of attempted murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, pars. 8-4, 9-1), aggravated battery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 12-4) and armed violence (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, pars. 33A-2, 12-4(b)(1)) and sentenced to a six-year term for attempted murder, and a three-year-consecutive sentence for armed violence in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Defendant appeals, alleging prejudicial error in (1) his impeachment as a witness by cross-examination regarding his prior arrests, (2) the trial court's misstatement of law concerning the credibility of a witness, and (3) the trial court's denial of a defense motion to reopen its case in chief to present a witness.

The following pertinent evidence was adduced at trial.

Steven Davis testified for the State that on the evening of September 5, 1980, he went to the Garage Disco on 66th Street and King Drive in Chicago, Illinois, and was dancing with Tyesha Martin when defendant bumped into him and walked in between them. An exchange of words followed, and when Martin asked the two men to "cool all this out," Davis walked away. Subsequently, defendant approached Davis in the washroom and stated that he had a "violation" against him which Davis stated was a street term meaning "that I had something coming to me."

Davis further testified that he had seen and talked to his girlfriend, Kumar Spencer, in the disco, and decided to leave with her at about 1:25 a.m. As he left the building, he encountered defendant who again said that he had a "violation" against him, and, as they started to argue, a security guard for the disco told them to move across the street. They proceeded to cross the street onto a small embankment in a parking lot where a fist fight ensued. Defendant pulled a pearly white object out of his pocket, swung at him, and ran across the street where he was grabbed by the security guards. Davis noticed his jacket had been ripped and then saw his intestines were hanging out of his abdomen. He screamed, "I've been cut, I'm stabbed," and he went back across the street to the disco seeking help. He was taken to the emergency room of Billings Hospital where he underwent surgery, remained hospitalized for four days, and subsequently received treatment for approximately a month following his injury.

Tyesha Martin testified for the defense that she went to the disco that evening with defendant's sister, Rene Carradine, and danced with both defendant and Davis. As she first danced with defendant, Davis interrupted and asked her where defendant's sister was. After she responded, defendant told Davis that it was not polite to interrupt their dance. Davis retorted that he was not talking to him but to the young lady, and left. Later on in the evening, defendant came up behind Davis as he was dancing with her, and briefly argued with him until Martin asked them to stop and Davis walked away.

Defendant testified on his own behalf that he went to the disco with Charles and Daniel Hilson, and as was customary, they were searched by security guards before being allowed to enter the building. The search was a full pat down body search and the guards found nothing on them. Once inside, he argued with Davis when he interrupted his dance with Tyesha Martin, but denied that any argument between them occurred in the bathroom.

He further testified that subsequent to his dance with Martin, various young men approached him several times to ask him what gang he was in, and when he told them he was not in a gang they indicated by gesture that they were with the Disciples street gang.

Defendant explained that he decided to leave after being approached by the Disciples, and walked outside the disco with Charles Hilson to wait for his sister who was to join them on their return home. While Hilson and several other young men gathered around them, Davis came outside the disco and defendant began to argue with him. Both men accused each other of having a "violation" and they crossed the street to continue the argument with most of the other 15 to 20 young men following them.

Defendant further testified that he pushed Davis down and ran from the group that was on the hill back to the disco to seek protection from Davis and the crowd, and that he did not stab Davis.

On direct examination, defendant testified that he spoke with a State's Attorney at the police station who asked him, inter alia, what his address was "and have I ever been locked up before. I said no."

On re-cross-examination the following colloquy ensued:

"STATE'S ATTORNEY: Mr. Carradine, you say when you talked to the State's Attorney you tried to answer his ...

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