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07/31/87 the People of the State of v. Annette Price

July 31, 1987





511 N.E.2d 958, 158 Ill. App. 3d 921, 110 Ill. Dec. 781 1987.IL.1104

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. Jack Hoogasian, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE UNVERZAGT delivered the opinion of the court. WOODWARD and REINHARD, JJ., concur.


We will summarize only the facts relevant to defendant's contentions. The decedent's body was found in a field in Waukegan in the early morning hours of October 5, 1985, near the car he had borrowed from a friend the previous evening. He had been stabbed four times in the neck and bled to death as a result of one of those wounds, which pierced his carotid artery. He was intoxicated at the time of his death. Inside the car, which was still running, police found the defendant's shoes and purse, which contained her identification. They found a plastic bag containing cocaine on the car floor. Approximately two hours after decedent's body was discovered, police responded to defendant's complaint that she had been raped. She was taken to the police station, where she made a statement to Waukegan police detective Lou Tessman.

Tessman testified at the trial that defendant gave him several accounts of the incident, first denying any knowledge of it and then claiming that the decedent had raped her. He typed up her final account, which she reviewed, made some corrections to, and signed. In that account the defendant stated that, on the previous evening, she and four companions had driven to Waukegan from Racine, Wisconsin, so that she and the two other women in the group could work as prostitutes there. One of the men with them was Milton Garrett, her pimp.

She was alone in a bar when she met the decedent. After they talked for some time, the decedent handed her a bag of cocaine and offered to pay her $25 and a line of cocaine to have sexual intercourse with him. She immediately returned the bag, stating that she did not take cocaine, and the two agreed instead on a price of $40. They left the bar, taking decedent's car, drove for approximately five minutes, and pulled over on a dark street. Decedent paid the defendant $40, and the two got into the backseat, where they engaged in intercourse, with defendant on top of decedent. After some time, defendant got off the decedent and began to return to the front seat. The decedent then told her that he loved her and that he wanted to have sex again; she complied. After they completed this act, the defendant returned to the front passenger seat and attempted to get dressed, but the decedent kept grabbing her hands so that she could not do so. He repeatedly told her that he loved her and that he wanted to have sex again. He straddled the center console, and put his hands on her shoulders. She asked him to take her back to the bar, but he continued telling her he loved her. She stated that he was not armed and was not hurting or threatening her, but would not let her go. She reached into her purse, which was on the floor in front of her, pulled out a knife which she kept for protection, and began swinging at him with it. She said she wanted to hurt him because she wanted to leave. When he began to bleed profusely, she grabbed her clothing and got out of the car. She attempted to grab her purse and shoes, but the decedent drove away quickly with the items still inside.

Defendant walked and ran to a nearby restaurant, dropping the knife in some grass on the way. She was able to get a ride back to the bar from two unidentified men. There she rejoined her companions in their car and told Garrett what had happened. She said she was hysterical at this point and that Garrett ripped her blouse to make it look as if she had been raped. The next thing she recalled was being escorted from the car by a police officer.

Defendant's testimony at trial was different. She stated that during the first act of intercourse with the decedent she got off him when she felt he had had enough for the money he had given her. He told her he was not finished and "snatched" her back to him by the shoulders and held her there. She testified that after they completed the second act of intercourse, and she had returned to the front seat, he began screaming at her, telling her he loved her, and that she was not "ever going anywhere." He told her he would not allow her to return to the bar or her friends. She became frightened and believed he really was not going to let her go. She stated he was grabbing and hugging her shoulders and shaking her. He had defendant pinned in the front seat with his upper body, and kept trying to kiss her, forcing her head back up against the window. She stated that he hit her four or five times with his fists. Defendant explained that the knife was already lying between the passenger's seat and the door, where she had placed it when she undressed before getting into the backseat. She tried to pull the decedent off her, but could not, and could barely move. She then picked up the knife, believing he would release her once he saw it. When he kept coming at her, she "poked" him with it. After she stabbed him, he moved to the driver's seat, and she was able to get out of the car.

She said she told the police she had been raped, because the decedent had sex with her more than the one time he had paid for, and because he had beaten her and told her she could not leave. She explained the discrepancies between her in-court testimony and the statement detective Tessman typed by stating that she only skimmed the statement before signing each page and did not realize it was inaccurate.

Shirley Buckley testified for the State. She came to know the defendant while both were in jail prior to defendant's trial. Buckley had been convicted of armed robbery and was awaiting sentencing. She and defendant talked about defendant's case, and defendant told Buckley that while she (defendant) was in the car with the decedent, she noticed a package of cocaine on the console. She kicked the package with her feet and continued making conversation. Because she had only kicked it, she said, the police would not find her fingerprints on it. When the decedent asked where it was, she did not tell him, or told him she did not know. On cross-examination Buckley said defendant told her that the mislaid cocaine started an argument between the two, and that the decedent told defendant that he would not permit her to leave until she gave it back to him. Buckley said defendant recounted "hesitating in her mind what she was going to do to him," and then stabbed him. Defendant had initially told Buckley she had been raped, but later said the decedent had not hit her. When Buckley pointed out that defendant could not use two different stories in court, Buckley said the defendant replied that "she would have it together by then."

Jessica Bailey, one of the women who accompanied defendant from Racine, testified that when she first saw defendant after the incident she heard defendant tell Garrett that the decedent "wouldn't let her go, so she had to stab him."

Milton Garrett testified for the defense. He said that when defendant returned to their car after the incident, she was crying uncontrollably. She told him that the decedent had tried to hurt her, "he wouldn't let her go, and he was hanging on her or banging on her." They drove around for some time, and he considered taking the group back to Wisconsin, but decided to go to the police instead. He said he tore the defendant's blouse without consulting her as a "psychological move" to make the others, who opposed approaching the ...

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