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03/23/87 the People of the State of v. Clarence Dace

March 23, 1987





506 N.E.2d 332, 153 Ill. App. 3d 891, 106 Ill. Dec. 625 1987.IL.352

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Will County; the Hon. Michael A. Orenic, Judge, presiding.


Justice Scott delivered the opinion of the court. Stouder, J., concurs. Justice Heiple, Concurring in part and Dissenting in part.


At approximately 7:40 a.m. on February 21, 1985, the body of Roseleen Kilcoyne was found on the floor of Rudy's 700 Club in the city of Joliet. Kilcoyne was an employee of the club and on the preceding evening and night had tended bar and performed other tasks associated with such employment.

An autopsy was performed, and it was determined that the cause of death was two gunshot wounds to the head. During the medical examination, upon removal of the victim's blouse, it was discovered that she had abrasions on one hand and a fresh contusion on the left elbow. On the left arm were found two wounds consistent with human bite marks and four such wounds were discovered on the right arm. It was the opinion of the examiner that the bite marks had been inflicted within two hours of the victim's death.

Dr. James Rasmussen, a forensic odontologist for the office of the Will County coroner, had specialized training in bite mark analysis at the Northwestern University Dental School. The doctor determined that the bite marks were of human origin and then went through a scientific procedure of making an impression or casting of each bite mark. Ultimately four bite marks were reproduced in hard plastic. The four bite marks reflected four to eight teeth. He then consulted with Drs. Pierce and Smith of Northwestern University Dental School, who had experience in the comparison of bite marks with impressions of the same.

On March 5, 1985, a search warrant was issued for photographs and casted impressions of the teeth of the defendant, Clarence Dace. Such impressions and casts as well as photographs were made and taken of the defendant's dentition on March 6, 1985.

Dr. Larry Pierce and Dr. Steven Smith of the forensic dentistry department of Northwestern University Dental School later testified during the trial of the defendant, and the substance of their testimony was that the models of the defendant's teeth matched each of the bite marks on the victim's body.

The defendant was indicted and tried for two counts of murder, one for shooting the victim Kilcoyne and one for felony murder based on robbery. The defendant had previously been sentenced on July 23, 1982, for a term of four years' imprisonment for the offense of residential burglary. He was released on parole on March 20, 1984. His parole term was cut short because this court issued an opinion, which was affirmed by the supreme court, that his conviction should be reversed and the case remanded for a new trial. (People v. Dace (1983), 114 Ill. App. 3d 908, 449 N.E.2d 1031, aff'd (1984), 104 Ill. 2d 96, 470 N.E.2d 993.) The mandate of this court which officially ended defendant's appeal issued December 11, 1984. Subsequent to this date defendant was detained, albeit wrongfully as a parole violator, in the Will County jail from February 28, 1985, to March 6, 1985.

During defendant's trial, the State called Victor Moffett to testify. Moffett testified that he had been in the Will County jail since November 1984 on charges of home invasion, armed violence, and armed robbery and that on March 6, 1985, he asked the defendant what he was in jail for and the defendant indicated murder. It was Moffett's testimony that he also overheard the defendant telling other inmates that he had been in a bar and was reaching for money when the woman saw him and, when she went for her gun, he took it away from her and shot her in the head. Moffett also testified that he told the defendant it was cold-blooded murder, to which the defendant responded that if he hadn't done it she would have killed them. The defendant further made statements to the effect that he wanted to take the body to a quarry but his companion, "L.C.," did not want the body in his clean car.

Later on the busy day of March 6, 1985, Moffett spoke to his attorney, Bart Markese, and reported what the defendant had said. Markese in turn talked to the State's Attorney's office, and, on March 8, Moffett talked to Officer Baum in the State's Attorney's office about the defendant's remarks. A short time later Moffett was released from jail without posting bond. Moffett's co-defendant had been tried and convicted; however, at the time of defendant's trial in February 1986, Moffett had not been tried. The defendant in the instant case was represented by attorney Gerald Kielian, an assistant public defender and also partner of Bart Markese in a law firm engaged in the private practice of law.

At the Conclusion of the defendant's trial, the jury returned guilty verdicts on the two charges of murder and the court sentenced the defendant to a term of ...

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