Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

People v. Crater





Appeal from the Circuit Court of Mercer County; the Hon. Frederick P. Patton, Judge, presiding.


The defendant, James Crater, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief by the circuit court of Mercer County. Originally the defendant appealed his conviction and 30-year sentence for the offense of armed robbery to this court. The defendant's conviction and sentence were affirmed, and a petition for leave to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court was denied.

In this appeal, the defendant contends (1) that he was denied due process by the State's failure to disclose that witnesses to the armed robbery had given information regarding the robber's description which was subsequently used to create composite sketches of the robbery suspect and that an investigating police officer believed the composite drawings more closely resembled someone other than the defendant; (2) that he was denied his sixth amendment right to effective assistance of counsel where his court-appointed trial counsel failed to move to suppress defendant's confession on the ground that despite defendant's Miranda (Miranda v. Arizona (1966), 384 U.S. 436, 16 L.Ed.2d 694, 86 S.Ct. 1602) waiver of his right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning, the defendant was entitled, because he was in custody on an armed robbery charge, to Miranda warnings plus specific information that a charge had been filed against him; (3) that the defendant was denied effective assistance of appellate counsel where his attorney on direct appeal failed to raise issue (2).

The record indicates that on December 5, 1979, the defendant was charged by information with the armed robbery of the Farmer's State Bank of Sherrard.

Prior to trial, a motion to suppress defendant's confession was filed which alleged that statements made by the defendant on December 7, 1979, were involuntary. At the time the statements were made by the defendant to agents of the Illinois Department of Law Enforcement, he was recovering from injuries sustained in an automobile accident and under prescriptive medication in the hospital.

The defendant was in a Galesburg hospital after having been transferred there from a hospital in Quincy. The defendant was read and waived his Miranda rights prior to talking to the authorities. The agent who questioned the defendant testified that the defendant appeared to understand the questions asked of him and did not appear to be under the influence of any drugs. When the defendant was questioned about his activities on November 29, 1979, the day of the bank robbery, he replied that that day drew a blank with him. The defendant recalled he had been drinking, but that he wasn't drunk and that somehow the money just "appeared beside him" in the car he was driving, a blue 1966 Oldsmobile.

The defense motion to suppress was denied.

The evidence at trial established that on November 29, 1979, the Farmer's State Bank of Sherrard was robbed of over $6,000, including $200 in marked bills. Rosemary Hicks, a teller at the bank, testified that a man "resembling the defendant" came to her window and handed her a brown paper sack and told her to fill it up. The man was armed with a small handgun.

Karen Lee Parker, a customer of the bank, was present during the robbery and positively identified the defendant as the armed robber.

Harry Johannes testified that he was in the bank on the day of the robbery and saw a man who looked "like the very same person" as the defendant take the paper sack and walk out the door and drive off in a 1966 or 1967 bluish-green Oldsmobile.

The defendant was in an automobile accident near Quincy on December 1, 1979. While in the hospital, several items were removed by his family from the defendant's wrecked car which was subsequently searched by the police. A shoe box containing over $4,000 and a pen and pencil bearing the defendant's name were recovered from the trunk of the wrecked car. Serial numbers from four $20 bills found in the shoe box matched the serial numbers of marked bills taken in the robbery. When the defendant was taken to the hospital, he had over $200 and a receipt for a car purchased in Peoria on November 30, 1979, the day after the robbery.

With respect to the defendant's first claim of error, that he was denied due process when certain composite sketches of the bank robbery suspect which were prepared by a police sketch artist were not turned over to the defendant pursuant to his request for discovery, we note that this issue was not raised in either the defendant's original or amended petition for post-conviction relief. The defendant's failure to raise such an issue in the circuit court amounts to waiver of the issue on appeal. People v. Carmickle (1981), 97 Ill. App.3d 917, 424 N.E.2d 78.

The burden is on the defendant to allege and prove facts which demonstrate that he was denied his constitutional rights in a proceeding under the Post-Conviction Hearing Act. (People v. Hayes (1975), 29 Ill. App.3d 756, 331 N.E.2d 249; People v. Moore (1975), 60 Ill.2d 379, 327 N.E.2d 324, cert. denied (1975), 423 U.S. 938, 46 L.Ed.2d 270, 96 S.Ct. 298.) The defendant made no showing that the composite drawing was favorable to his case or material to the question of guilt or punishment. Brady v. Maryland (1963), 373 U.S. 83, 10 L.Ed.2d 215, 83 S.Ct. 1194; People v. Kosik (1982), 110 Ill. App.3d 930, 443 N.E.2d 238.

• 1 The evidence only established that a composite drawing was prepared based upon descriptions given of the bank robbery suspect. There was no showing that the witnesses to the robbery ever viewed the drawings based upon their descriptions. Likewise, there was no showing that the witnesses ever adopted the composite drawings as being accurate. Before a composite can be used to impeach a witness, it must be shown that the sketch is authentic and that testimony from the person who prepared the sketch established that the identification witness adopted and ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.