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07/27/87 the People of the State of v. Richard Bryan

July 27, 1987





511 N.E.2d 1289, 159 Ill. App. 3d 46, 110 Ill. Dec. 969 1987.IL.1065

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. John J. Crowley, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE O'CONNOR delivered the opinion of the court. CAMPBELL and BUCKLEY, JJ., concur.


Defendant Richard Bryan was found guilty of armed robbery following a jury trial and sentenced to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. On appeal, he raises the following issues: (1) whether the trial court erred in admitting certain evidence of other crimes; (2) whether defendant was denied a fair jury trial as a result of the prosecutor's comment on his lack of an alibi to rebut the other crimes evidence; (3) whether defendant was denied a fair trial because the trial court allowed the prosecution to cross-examine a defense witness about the defendant's use of an assumed name; (4) whether defendant was prejudiced by an overbroad other crimes instruction to the jury; and (5) whether the trial court abused its discretion in imposing a maximum sentence. We affirm.

On January 30, 1980, defendant was arrested and charged with the armed robbery of Jackylan Cook. Prior to the trial, defendant objected to the admission of other crimes evidence showing that the defendant had committed a previous armed robbery against Jackylan Cook on January 25, 1980, and that he had committed an armed robbery against Adrian and Robert Poproch on January 18, 1980. The court overruled the objection and held that the other crimes evidence was admissible to show a common scheme, design or pattern.

At trial, Jackylan Cook testified that at 6:25 p.m. on January 30, 1980, she got off the bus at 87th and Colfax and walked south along the east side of Colfax towards her home. She was carrying a dark leather purse over her arm. She saw a man approach two girls who were also walking south on Colfax but on the west side of the street. About one-fourth of the way down the block, he crossed the street and walked in her direction. She saw his face under a street light as he approached and also observed that he was wearing a dark blue hooded parka, a knit cap which came to the middle of his forehead and dark shoes and pants. As he got within 10 feet of Cook, he put his hand into his pocket and tried to hold his jacket over his face. The man, whom Cook later identified as the defendant, then pointed a black gun at her and said "Give it up." Cook held her arm out and defendant took her purse which contained makeup and gum. Cook recognized the defendant as the man who had robbed her and taken her purse on January 25, 1980. After taking her purse, he went north on Colfax in the direction of the churchyard where he had robbed her on January 25.

Cook then ran south on Colfax toward her home. She saw a police car, flagged it down and told the officer about the robbery. She described her assailant and told the officer that it was the same person who had robbed her the previous week.

Later that evening, Cook went to the fourth district police station where she viewed a five-man lineup. She identified defendant as the man who had robbed her on both January 25 and January 30. During the lineup, the men were asked to say "stop" and "hold it." Cook also recognized defendant's voice from the robberies of January 25 and January 30.

Regarding the January 25 robbery, Cook testified that at 6:40 p.m. she got off the bus at 87th and Colfax and was walking south on the west side of the street. A man whom she identified as the defendant came out of the shadows by a church and said "[Stop], hold it right there." She described him as being 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches, 150 to 170 pounds, light complected, with bushy arched eyebrows and a long nose. He was wearing a dark parka, dark pants and dark shoes. He was holding the flap of his jacket over his face with one hand and with the other he was holding a black gun, which she stated looked similar to the gun she saw on January 30. Her assailant told her to drop her bag and then reached into her pocket. He then told her to start walking.

Adrian Poproch testified that at 7 a.m. on January 18, 1980, she and her husband Robert left their home at 8705 Colfax to go to work. She was walking 15 feet behind her husband when she was approached from behind by a man she identified as the defendant. The man wore a knit hat and had a dark gun in his right hand. Adrian threw her purse to the ground. As her husband came toward her, the man ordered him to "let it go" and Robert dropped his wallet to the ground. The man then ordered the Poproches to lie face down on the street, picked up the purse and wallet and went west towards Kingston Street.

Police Officer Kenneth Wallace testified that on January 30, 1980, at 6:25 p.m. he responded to a robbery call at 87th and Colfax. An unidentified woman gave him a description of an individual running across a church schoolyard and told him that the man had robbed her. Officer Wallace saw the assailant, who was described as wearing a blue jacket and blue jeans, 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 9 inches, weighing 150 to 170 pounds, in a fenced school churchyard adjacent to 87th and Colfax. The officer went into the schoolyard and saw a single set of footprints and a brown purse.

Along with other officers who had arrived at the scene, Officer Wallace followed the footprints to the basement door of a house at 8731 Essex. He stood by the front door while Officer James Funches and Detective George Basile went into the premises through the rear ...

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