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People v. Toolate

OPINION FILED MARCH 23, 1984.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,

v.

LARRY TOOLATE, APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Fourth District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Adams County, the Hon. Alfred L. Pezman, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE SIMON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The defendant was convicted of residential burglary with intent to commit rape after a jury trial in the circuit court of Adams County. The conviction was affirmed on appeal by a divided court (115 Ill. App.3d 13), and the defendant's petition for leave to appeal to this court was allowed (87 Ill.2d R. 315).

The issue in this appeal is whether the evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant, Larry Toolate, was guilty of the offense with which he was charged. Its resolution is complicated because the evidence is scant.

The defendant broke into the home of the complaining witness (Debbie Sue) in Quincy at about 3 a.m. Debbie Sue was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom with her two daughters, ages five and two; she was on the side of the bed closest to the wall and farthest from the door, and was awakened by a pull on her left side. Discovering that a lamp which she had left burning was no longer on, she got out of bed on the opposite side from where she had been asleep, switched on a bedroom light and the bathroom light and then turned around to look into the bedroom. She saw a man looking over the side of the bed, and as she moved back into the bedroom she saw that he was wearing a dark blue baseball jacket and a pair of white pants. Debbie Sue said, "I knew somebody else was in there with us." The man replied, "That makes two of us that know that now, doesn't it?" When she then yelled, "You get out of here, you get out of our apartment now," the man said, "I'm going, I'm going, I'm gone," jumped over the bed, ran down the stairs with Debbie Sue in pursuit and out of the apartment through the kitchen door. Debbie Sue went to a neighbor's apartment to call the police, who arrested the defendant within an hour. Returning to her own home, Debbie Sue discovered that the defendant had gained entry by cutting a window screen and opening the front door. Upstairs she saw that the defendant had unplugged her bedroom lamp and had moved a hope chest from the foot of the bed and an end table from beneath the window to a space between the foot of the bed and the wall. The furniture formed an enclosure to the side of the bed on which Debbie Sue was sleeping and on which she first felt someone touch her and first saw the defendant.

On cross-examination Debbie Sue testified:

"Q. Other than the time that you felt the hand on your body, did this person touch you in any way?

A. No, sir.

Q. At no time after that did the person touch you?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did he make any threats to your children?

A. No, sir.

Q. Did he make any threats to you?

A. No.

Q. Did he attempt to grab you at ...


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