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People v. Bryant

OPINION FILED FEBRUARY 7, 1985.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

STEVEN BRYANT, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Marion County; the Hon. Richard G. Hodson, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE HARRISON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Following a jury trial in the circuit court of Marion County, Steven Bryant, defendant, was convicted of burglary and sentenced to seven years in prison. On appeal, defendant argues, among other things, that he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We agree, and reverse defendant's conviction.

The evidence offered by the State established that Elmer Harris, custodian of the Lincoln School in Centralia, went to work at about 7 a.m. on November 30, 1981, and found that a window in the special education room of the school had been broken. Examination of the inside of the building revealed that various items, including food, a tool box, and a television set, had been taken from the school. On the ledge outside of the broken window, Harris found a yellow button. On cross-examination, Harris testified as follows:

"Q. So if it hadn't been for the fact that you noticed the wind was blowing the blind back and forth, kind of moving that blind, you probably wouldn't have noticed that button on the outside ledge, would you?

A. No.

Q. You wouldn't have taken a look at the window and noticed the button?

A. If I hadn't seen the glass on the floor.

Q. So the first time you noticed that button there was that Monday morning, the 30th of November?

A. Yes.

Q. If that blind was closed on that Sunday morning, chances are it would have been closed the preceding Saturday morning when you made your rounds, wouldn't it?

A. Yes.

Q. In fact, that button could have been there for quite some time and during the course of your regular duties, you wouldn't have noticed that button was there?

A. You're right, yes."

On redirect examination, Harris ...


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