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People v. Hollins

OPINION FILED AUGUST 27, 1985.

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

v.

WILLIE HOLLINS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Stephenson County; the Hon. Lawrence A. Smith, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE SCHNAKE DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

On January 27, 1984, the defendant Willie Hollins, was found guilty of rape, home invasion, unlawful restraint and residential burglary after a jury trial in the circuit court of Stephenson County. On March 14, 1984, the circuit court sentenced the defendant to concurrent terms of imprisonment of 20 years for rape and home invasion and 12 years for residential burglary. The court found unlawful restraint to be a lesser included offense of rape and did not sentence the defendant on that conviction. The defendant, thereafter, filed this appeal.

The defendant, Willie Hollins, and the victim, Linda Newkirk, lived across the hall from each other in an apartment building located in Freeport. On February 4, 1983, during the afternoon hours, defendant knocked on the victim's door and asked for a cigarette. This conversation was ended by the arrival of Barb Euler, a friend of the victim. Euler left shortly thereafter, and a few minutes later the defendant again knocked at the victim's door. This time the defendant had a pack of cigarettes and asked if the victim wanted one. This conversation was also ended when Euler returned to the victim's apartment. Euler then left the victim's apartment about a half hour later, and the defendant again returned to the victim's apartment. After a short conversation, the victim tried to close her door, but the defendant forced his way into her apartment, struck her and then raped her. Prior to leaving, the defendant told the victim that he would kill her if she ever told anyone of the rape.

The victim reported the rape to the Freeport police department, and the defendant was later arrested at his apartment. On May 27, 1983, the trial court held the defendant unfit to stand trial, finding that he could neither understand the charges against him, nor cooperate with counsel to prepare his defense. On November 28, 1983, after having been treated with Prolixin and Haldol (both antipsychotic drugs) to control his alleged delusions and hallucinations, the defendant was found fit to stand trial.

At trial, the defendant admitted the charges, but claimed that he was insane at the time of the offense. The defendant testified that he heard voices on the day of the offense, one of which the "whore of Babylon" who had control over him and made him do what he did. The defendant also presented testimony from two psychiatrists who testified that the defendant was a chronic schizophrenic and that they believed the defendant could neither appreciate the criminality of his conduct nor conform his conduct to the requirements of law on the day of the offense. The State presented testimony from three police officers and a nurse, all of whom testified that the defendant appeared and acted normally shortly after the offense. The jury rejected the defendant's insanity defense and found him guilty on all four charges. This appeal followed.

The defendant's first argument on appeal is that the State failed to prove his sanity beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant contends that, because he introduced the opinion of two psychiatrists and the State offered only the testimony of lay witnesses, his sanity at the time of the offense had not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

• 1, 2 The affirmative defense of insanity was codified by section 6-2(a) of the Criminal Code of 1961, which provides:

"A person is not criminally responsible for conduct if at the time of such conduct, as a result of mental disease or mental defect, he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 6-2(a).)

While all men are presumed sane, once a defendant introduces evidence of insanity, the State must prove his sanity beyond a reasonable doubt. (People v. Foster (1979), 76 Ill.2d 365; Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 3-2(b).) *fn1 The State, however, is not required to introduce expert opinion testimony on the defendant's sanity, but may satisfy its burden by other facts in evidence or the opinion of lay witnesses as to the defendant's sanity. (People v. Young (1978), 60 Ill. App.3d 351.) Further, the conclusion of a defense psychiatrist on the question of sanity need not be accepted (People v. Young (1978), 60 Ill. App.3d 351; People v. Stamps (1977), 52 Ill. App.3d 320), and the jury may properly reach a finding of sanity by accepting lay testimony over expert testimony (People v. Spears (1978), 63 Ill. App.3d 510; People v. Kuhn (1979), 68 Ill. App.3d 59). Here, while the lay witnesses characterized defendant's conduct and appearance as "normal" or "calm" shortly after his arrest, none of them asked for or gave an opinion as to his sanity. Explicit lay opinion is not required where other facts in evidence support the State's burden on the insanity issue. People v. Arnold (1974), 17 Ill. App.3d 1043; People v. Greenfield (1975), 30 Ill. App.3d 1044; People v. Spears (1978), 63 Ill. App.3d 510.

In the present case, the State presented testimony from four witnesses, Craig Mutchler (a corporal with the Freeport police department who first spoke with the defendant at his apartment and transported him to the hospital), Evelyn Hannan (a registered nurse who obtained the defendant's medical history from him at the hospital), Michael Hannan (an investigator with the Freeport police department who later interviewed the defendant), and Robert Keith (a Stephenson County sheriff's deputy who booked the defendant at the Stephenson County jail), each of whom testified that there was nothing unusual about the defendant's appearance or behavior on the night of the offense.

• 3 The State also showed that the defendant attempted to see the victim twice just prior to the rape but that these visits were interrupted by a friend of the victim. On the defendant's third visit, the victim was alone, and the defendant forced his way into her apartment and raped her. Further, after the rape occurred, the defendant threatened to kill the victim if she ever told anyone what he had done. The jury could have inferred from these facts that the defendant could control his conduct and could appreciate the criminality of his conduct. Facts tending to show a plan or design for the crime, especially for escape or concealment of the crime, have particular relevance to the question of a defendant's sanity. People v. Spears (1978), 63 Ill. App.3d 510.

• 4 The defendant presented contrary evidence in the form of two psychiatric experts who both testified that the defendant suffered from chronic schizophrenia and that they believed the defendant could neither appreciate the criminality of his conduct nor conform his conduct to the requirements of law on the day of the offense. Examination of this testimony, however, reveals certain weaknesses. Both doctors admitted that the defendant's alleged illness could fluctuate in time and go into remission and that they had not examined the defendant until four and six months after the offense had been committed. Both doctors also testified that their opinions are based, in large part, on what the patient tells the psychiatrist and that if the defendant had lied about his symptoms it would affect the diagnosis of his alleged mental illness. Both doctors also described the defendant as extremely manipulative. The jury, therefore, may have given their opinions little or no weight.

The defendant's claim of insanity was further weakened by his admissions: (1) that he knew it was wrong to enter the victim's apartment, hit her and have sex with her against her will; (2) that when he talked to the police shortly after the offense, he did not tell them that the "whore of Babylon" had been talking to him and had control over him; (3) that while incarcerated in the Stephenson County jail from February 5, 1983, to March 2, 1983, he had an adjoining cell with his brother, who had also been arrested and was also raising an insanity defense based on demon voices or possession; and, (4) that he did not tell anyone of the voices he heard on the day of the offense and the "whore of Babylon" who allegedly controlled him until he saw Dr. Graybill in April of 1983. From these admissions the jury could have inferred that the defendant made up his symptoms of insanity after talking to his brother.

A finding of sanity will not be disturbed on appeal unless it is so improbable or unsatisfactory as to raise a reasonable doubt as to the defendant's sanity. (People v. Carlson (1980), 79 Ill.2d 564.) In light of the evidence presented in this case, it cannot be said that the jury's finding of sanity is "so improbable or unsatisfactory as to raise a reasonable doubt."

• 5 The defendant's next argument on appeal is that the jury's finding of sanity was based on passion or prejudice caused by improper questions and remarks by the prosecutor which stated facts not in evidence and amounted to the prosecutor ...


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