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People v. Eng

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 14, 1985.

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

v.

SUI WING ENG, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. John A. McElligott, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE LINN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Following a jury trial, defendant, Sui Wing Eng, was convicted of one count of robbery, three counts of intimidation and three counts of unlawful restraint. Defendant was sentenced to the Illinois Department of Corrections for concurrent terms of four years for robbery, three years for each count of intimidation, and two years for each count of unlawful restraint. He now appeals, contending that reversible error was committed where: (1) a conflict between the indictment and the bill of particulars as to the date of the commission of the charged offenses prejudiced his case; (2) the trial court improperly allowed a gun and bullets into evidence; (3) the prosecution improperly impeached him with a prior inconsistent statement and then failed to proveup that statement; and (4) the State failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of robbery.

We affirm.

BACKGROUND

Defendant was charged by grand jury indictment with robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 18-1), theft (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 16-1(c)), unlawful restraint (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 10-3), and intimidation (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 12-6) of the victims, Michael Ing, Parl Moy, and Wai Lau, on October 11, 1981.

Testimony adduced at trial disclosed that on October 9, 1981, defendant Sui Wing Eng (Eng), his friend, Steven Lee (Steven), and several other companions stopped Wai Lau (Wai) on the street in Chicago's Chinatown. Eng and his companions instructed Wai to contact Wai's friend, Michael Ing (Michael), and Michael's friend, Parl Moy (Parl), so that Eng could meet with the three of them (Wai, Michael and Parl) at the Three Happiness Restaurant on October 11, 1981. *fn1 The three later learned that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss Michael's relationship with Parl. Apparently Eng and his friends were angered at Parl's decision to date Michael rather than Eng's close friend, Steven Lee.

The three met Eng at the Three Happiness Restaurant in the early morning hours of October 11, 1981, as planned. Eng then informed them that Steven Lee was to attend the meeting, but that Steven was too ill to come to the restaurant. Eng suggested that the meeting take place at 3009 S. Emerald Street, at the apartment where Steven was staying. The three first refused to leave the Three Happiness Restaurant with Eng, but they changed their minds after Eng threatened them, saying, "We better clear this thing up today, or else you walk out the restaurant, I won't be responsible or do not blame me for anything that happens when you walk out the restaurant."

All three testified that when they arrived at 3009 S. Emerald Street, they were led to the apartment of Mina Lee (Mina). According to the three, their arrival brought to 10 the number of people gathered in the Mina apartment. This group included the three, defendant Eng, Steven, Mina, Gary Hau, Tak Chong Hau, Allen Moy, and Tim Moy. Michael and Wai were asked to talk to Steven, who was seated on the floor of a small unfurnished bedroom, while Parl was asked to leave the room. Eng and the six other people in the apartment stood by the open bedroom doorway.

Michael testified that Steven then began to question him about his whereabouts on a certain date. It was then that Michael realized that Steven was upset that Michael and Parl were dating each other. When Parl realized what Michael and Steven were talking about, she entered the bedroom and told Steven that she would date whomever she liked. Steven became enraged at hearing this and swung a bottle at Parl and Michael, hitting Parl on the wrist. Next, Eng and his companions entered the bedroom and for several minutes punched and kicked Michael and Wai.

After the beatings stopped, Eng instructed the three, Wai, Michael, and Parl, that if they wanted to leave alive, that Michael and Wai would have to receive three punches each from everyone in the apartment, and that the three would have to pay Eng $360 apiece. When Michael protested that they could not raise that amount of money at 3 in the morning, Eng asked Michael if he would like to leave one of his fingers or arms as a deposit. Michael and Wai were then lined up against the wall to receive their punches. Afterwards, Eng told Michael that he had 30 minutes to return with the money or he would find Parl and Wai in Lake Michigan.

Eng remained in the apartment with Parl and Wai while Michael went to get the money, accompanied by two of Eng's companions, Tim Moy and Gary Hau. Michael borrowed $1,200 in cash from a friend, Ken Moy (Ken), who owned the Four Happiness Restaurant. Ken testified that although Michael said that he needed the money badly, he did not say why he needed it. Ken also testified that he noticed a man who had followed Michael into the restaurant and who stood by the door until Michael left. Michael testified that he did not tell Ken why he needed the money because Gary Hau had cautioned him that "they had a couple of guns in the house."

When Michael returned with the $1,200, Eng counted it and gave it to Steven. He then warned the three that harm would come to them, their families and their friends if anyone found out about the incident.

Two months later, Officer Joseph Carone of the gang crimes division of the Chicago police department contacted Michael after receiving information about the incident. At first, Michael was reluctant to speak with Officer Carone, but on December 8, 1981, the three, Wai, Michael and Parl, met with Officer Carone and agreed to prosecute those who had allegedly victimized them. Defendant Eng was arrested on December 11, 1981. At the time of his arrest, Eng was lying in bed. On the night table next to Eng was a loaded revolver in plain view. The gun and bullets were confiscated by Officer Carone and over defense counsel's objection were later entered into evidence at trial as "incidents of the arrest."

At trial, Eng testified that he and his companions were at 3009 South Emerald on the evening of October 10, 1981. However, Eng claims that he was there to help Mina move her belongings to another apartment. Eng, Mina, and Tak Chong Hau all testified that they were moving Mina's belongings between 7 and 11 o'clock that Saturday evening, and that during that period Wai, Michael, and Parl made a surprise visit but only stayed for 30 minutes.

After hearing the testimony of the three, Wai, Michael and Parl, Officer Carone, Ken, Eng and Eng's friends, the jury found Eng guilty of robbery, intimidation, and unlawful restraint. Eng was sentenced as previously stated herein. Eng's theft ...


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