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03/03/87 the People of the State of v. Stanley Sykes

March 3, 1987

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

STANLEY SYKES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

504 N.E.2d 1363, 152 Ill. App. 3d 945, 105 Ill. Dec. 845 1987.IL.257

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Macon County; the Hon. Jerry S. Patton, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LUND delivered the opinion of the court. SPITZ, P.J., and GREEN, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LUND

After a jury trial, defendant was convicted of cruelty to children in violation of section 53 of "An Act relating to improper supervision of children" (the Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 23, par. 2368) and battery in violation of section 12-3 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (the Criminal Code) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 12-3). The circuit court of Macon County vacated the conviction for battery at a hearing on the post-trial motion. Defendant was then sentenced to a term of 16 months' imprisonment on the charge of cruelty to children. Defendant appeals his conviction. We affirm.

On appeal, defendant alleges three errors: (1) whether defendant was properly convicted of cruelty to children and battery, where no permanent physical damage to the victim resulted; (2) whether the trial court erred in admitting violent behavior of the defendant demonstrated against someone other than the victim, and (3) whether the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury concerning which exhibits had been admitted and which had been refused.

Defendant was arrested on December 28, 1985, after an incident which occurred at his home. Defendant lived in Decatur with his wife, Ada Sykes, and her two daughters from a previous marriage. The oldest child, B.J.G., was about two years old at the time of the incident. B.J.G. was the subject of defendant's alleged abuse. The family lived in a mobile home.

Ada testified at trial. She stated that on December 28, 1985, she put her daughters to bed at approximately 1:30 p.m. Shortly after that time, B.J.G. got up and was in the bathroom playing. Defendant went to use the bathroom. He picked the girl up with one arm and "pushed her into a bunk bed." Ada and defendant then argued over defendant's treatment of B.J.G. Ada went outside to her car to let defendant cool off. From her car, she could hear defendant yelling at the child, and she heard B.J.G. "scream that [ sic ] I never heard out of her before."

Defendant came out of the trailer and ordered Ada out of the car. She said no. He picked up a piece of wood -- a 1 by 6 or a 2 by 4 -- and approached the car. Ada testified that defendant never hit the car, but that she had gotten out. Defendant then used the car to run an errand for his mother.

About 3:55 p.m., B.J.G. got up from her nap, and Ada began giving her a bath. Ada testified that she noticed the area around the girl's right ear was bruised. Ada then called her mother, and her mother said she would be right over. Ada went back to bathing B.J.G. and noticed marks about the left ear. She also noticed two little "knots" on the top of the girl's forehead. She then called the police.

After the police arrived, Ada made her complaint and took B.J.G. to the hospital. At the hospital, Ada was told that B.J.G. was OK; she was just bruised.

On cross-examination, Ada stated that defendant was a real good father to both children. She also stated that she did not see defendant do anything that "actually caused any harm" to B.J.G. Defendant was expected to take an active role in disciplining the children.

On redirect examination, the State's Attorney asked several questions regarding Ada's previous responses to his questions. He questioned Ada as to whether or not she had told the ...


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