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People v. Shepard





Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Robert Sklodowski, Judge, presiding.


After a jury trial, Roland Shepard (defendant) was convicted of rape, armed robbery, two counts of home invasion, attempted murder, and three counts of aggravated battery. Defendant was sentenced to 60 years' imprisonment for each offense, all to run concurrently. He appeals.

Complainant testified that on June 16, 1981, a man she identified as defendant came to her door. He was wearing a yellow hard hat, a white shirt and black pants. Defendant told her he had been sent by her husband to look at the gas meter. She let him in. He grabbed a flashlight she was holding and hit her on the side of her face. He demanded money. She gave him $55 or $60. He pushed her into the bedroom, undressed her and raped her. Defendant told her he had a gun. After the rape, defendant demanded guns. He took two shotguns, a pistol, and shotgun shells and left. This took about half an hour.

Complainant's father-in-law testified he was working in the garage. Complainant ran out from the apartment. She was crying and pale. She had a bruise on her face. She told him she had been raped and that the assailant went toward North Avenue. They went inside the building and called the police.

Michael Goy testified that on the afternoon in question at 1 to 1:30, he was driving on Keeler Avenue crossing North Avenue. He noticed a man, whom he identified as defendant, wearing a yellow hat, white shirt, and black pants. Defendant was carrying a long parcel from which a gun butt protruded. The witness was eight to 10 feet from defendant. He watched defendant walk into a gangway. The witness drove down an alley and saw defendant "come out" of the gangway without the parcel and without the hard hat. The witness then walked into the gangway. He saw two guns up against a wall. He identified two shotguns in court as the guns he recovered in the gangway. Complainant identified these guns as the property of her husband. An "old tablecloth" was wrapped around the guns. The witness rewrapped the guns and put them in his car. He saw squad cars in the area. He turned the guns over to the police.

Police officer John Scheckells testified he talked to complainant and put out a "flash message" describing the offender. The officer then "toured the area." He observed Mr. Goy flagging down a police car. He stopped and Mr. Goy gave him the shotguns. The witness found the yellow hard hat in the gangway where Mr. Goy had found the guns. He identified a hat as the hat he found in the gangway.

Chicago police officer John Amoroso testified he was called to search for the offender. He observed defendant driving a blue Mercury. He followed defendant into a gas station. The officer demanded defendant's driver's license. While he was observing the license, defendant knocked him to the ground and pulled out the officer's revolver. Defendant told the officer, "I'm going to kill you. You're not taking me in for nothing." As they struggled for the gun, more police officers arrived and pulled defendant off the witness. The witness was so enraged he hit the defendant twice before being restrained by the other officers. The witness saw a .22-caliber revolver in defendant's car. This gun was identified as belonging to complainant's husband.

Chicago police officer Korhonen testified he was touring the area searching for the offender. He saw Officer Amoroso wrestling with defendant at a gas station with the officer's gun out of its holster. Defendant was holding the handle of the gun and Officer Amoroso had his hands on the cylinder. The gun was pointed at the face of Officer Amoroso. Officer Korhonen got on top of the two men and wedged his hand against the hammer to prevent the gun from firing. The trigger was pulled but the hammer struck the witness in the web of the right hand. The hammer did not hit the firing pin. Defendant was subdued and arrested.

Defendant testified he has never had a yellow hard hat. On the day of the rape, defendant was visiting his ex-wife and stopped for a couple of hours at a factory where he formerly worked. He stopped at the gas station because his car became overheated. Officer Amoroso asked him for his driver's license. As he gave the officer his license, he noticed his car begin to roll. He tried to jump in and put it in park. Officer Amoroso pulled out his gun and struck defendant in the back of the head. Defendant grabbed the officer's arm and they began to wrestle. During the scuffle another officer came and knocked defendant unconscious. After a few seconds he awoke to find himself handcuffed and being beaten. He was taken to the police station where he was questioned and beaten some more. Defendant was admitted to the hospital. He remained there from three to five days.

Defendant denied raping the complainant, trying to kill Officer Amoroso, or having a gun in his car. On cross-examination defendant admitted having been convicted of rape and deviate sexual assault in 1975.

On rebuttal, Detective Michael Heridogt testified he interviewed defendant on June 16, 1981, at the 14th District lockup. After advising defendant of his Miranda rights, defendant told the detective he had visited a woman whom he knew as "Delores." Defendant gave the detective "Delores'" address which was complainant's address. Defendant told the detective he had intercourse with "Delores" on numerous occasions. "Delores" told defendant she was having some problems with her husband and asked him to take the guns out of the house. Defendant took the guns and secreted them in a gangway.

The jury had no obligation to believe the defendant's alibi which was uncorroborated and discredited by contrary evidence. (People v. Tennant (1976), 65 Ill.2d 401, 412, 358 N.E.2d 1116, cert. denied (1977), 431 U.S. 918, 53 L.Ed.2d 229, 97 S.Ct. 2184.) In our opinion the evidence proves defendant's guilt beyond reasonable doubt and to an overwhelming degree. No point is made by defendant regarding proof beyond a reasonable doubt.


• 1 Defendant complains of improper final arguments by ...

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