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People v. Houston

OPINION FILED AUGUST 28, 1986.

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

v.

KELVIN JEROME HOUSTON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Macon County; the Hon. John L. Davis, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE WEBBER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant was convicted of theft over $300 and sentenced to one year of probation. Several reports of violations of probation were filed, including a fourth report of violation of probation alleging that defendant committed the offenses of burglary and theft with a prior theft conviction and requesting that defendant's probation be revoked. A hearing on the fourth report was filed at which the following testimony was received.

Mark Kaylor, an employee of Sun Control, testified that on the afternoon of July 19, 1985, Keith Box, accompanied by defendant and two other men, came into the Sun Control store in Decatur and inquired about sunroofs and window tint. Although two sunroofs were on display and accessible to the public, Kaylor stated that he did not see defendant handle those sunroofs while he was inside the store. Kaylor spent most of his time talking to Keith and he did not pay much attention to the sunroofs or defendant.

Michael Lewis, an employee of Sun Control, testified that when he closed the store on Friday, July 19, 1985, all of the windows and doors were secured. When he returned the following morning, a window had been broken and the two sunroofs on display and a box of automobile window tint were missing. Lewis stated that no one had permission to take those items.

Lewis testified that on September 20, 1985, he saw that Keith's car had window tint on its side windows. Those windows had not been tinted five days earlier when Keith had his rear window tinted at Sun Control. The side windows were tinted with the same material which had been taken from Sun Control.

Teresa Scheuster, Keith's girlfriend, testified under a grant of immunity. She testified that on the evening of July 19, 1985, she, Keith, defendant, and Anita Manley went to Springfield. They returned to Decatur at 2:15 a.m. on July 20, 1985. She dropped off defendant at his home, and she later dropped off Keith at his mother's house.

In the early evening hours of July 20, 1985, Scheuster was at a park in Decatur when Keith and defendant arrived in Keith's car. Two sunroofs were in the trunk of Keith's car. Defendant offered a sunroof to Scheuster as a gift, but she refused. The sunroofs were then put in the trunk of her car.

On July 26, 1985, Scheuster saw Keith and defendant at the home of Keith's brother, James Box. Keith and Scheuster left the house of James and went to the house of Roy Bates. She saw Keith remove the sunroofs from Bates' house and place them in the trunk of Keith's car. They returned to James' house, and Keith placed the sunroofs in the living room while James was present.

On July 27, 1985, Scheuster picked up Keith at James' house. Keith brought the sunroofs from James' house and placed them in the trunk of Scheuster's car. After Scheuster and Keith drove around town, they picked up defendant. They were then stopped by the police. Scheuster hid the key to the trunk under the carpet inside the car. She told the police that they could search her car; however, she stated she did not have a key to the trunk. The police discovered the sunroofs in the trunk of Scheuster's car.

Scheuster denied any involvement in the burglary of Sun Control and theft of the sunroofs and window tint.

James testified that he had seen the sunroofs at Manley's house on July 27, 1985. On that date defendant offered to sell the sunroofs to James, and, after James refused the offer, defendant asked James whether he knew anyone who might want to buy the sunroofs. James stated that he had not seen the sunroofs on any other occasion.

Detective George Lebo testified that on July 27, 1985, he stopped Scheuster's car as it was being driven by Keith and occupied by Scheuster and defendant. Detective Lebo discovered two sunroofs in the trunk of Scheuster's car. On one sunroof Detective Lebo found defendant's left thumbprint.

Detective Lebo interviewed defendant on July 27, 1985. Defendant stated that he was unaware that the sunroofs were in Scheuster's car. He told Detective Lebo that although he had seen the sunroofs a week earlier at ...


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