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08/06/87 the People of the State of v. Hutchie Moore

August 6, 1987

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

HUTCHIE MOORE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FOURTH DIVISION

513 N.E.2d 24, 159 Ill. App. 3d 850, 111 Ill. Dec. 778 1987.IL.1124

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Harry D. Strouse, Jr., Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LINN delivered the opinion of the court. JOHNSON and JIGANTI, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LINN

Following a jury trial, defendant Hutchie Moore was found guilty of two counts of murder and sentenced to natural life in prison without parole. Moore now brings this appeal contending that: (1) a doubt exists as to whether he was fit to stand trial; (2) he was denied the right to represent himself; (3) a reasonable doubt exists regarding whether Moore was sane at the time of the murders; (4) the prosecution misstated the law during closing argument; and (5) the trial court erroneously restricted the testimony of Moore's expert witnesses during surrebuttal.

We affirm.

Background

On October 21, 1983, defendant Moore shot and killed Judge Henry Gentile and James Piszczor during divorce proceedings that were being conducted in Judge Gentile's courtroom in Chicago, Illinois.

Following Moore's indictment, the public defender was appointed to represent him. The public defender petitioned the Illinois Supreme Court to grant Moore a substitution of Judges in light of the fact that Moore had killed a Cook County circuit court Judge. The supreme court granted Moore's request and ordered a Judge from the 19th Judicial Circuit to preside over Moore's trial.

At the first hearing, the trial court ordered Moore to undergo psychological evaluation to determine if Moore was fit to stand trial. The trial court also informed Moore that he could waive his right to an attorney if he so desired.

The fitness hearing was set to commence on March 26, 1984. Prior to the beginning of the hearing, however, Moore asked the trial court to remove the public defender and to order a private attorney to be appointed. The trial court again admonished Moore that he could represent himself if he so desired. In a letter which Moore wrote to the trial court, Moore claimed that he was fit to stand trial and that he was not satisfied with the performance of the public defender's office. The trial court allowed Moore to conduct some of the questioning during the fitness hearing himself but also ordered that Moore must have an attorney present for assistance throughout the hearing.

During the fitness hearing, the prosecution's evidence consisted of the testimony of three medical experts, an attorney, and a correctional officer. Briefly stated, it was the opinion of these witnesses that Moore was fit to stand trial. The defense countered with three attorneys, a social worker, a pastor and two medical experts. These witnesses presented evidence that Moore was not psychologically fit for trial. At the Conclusion of the hearing, the jury ruled that Moore was psychologically fit to stand trial.

Following the fitness hearing, Moore told the trial court that he wanted to dismiss the public defender's office. The trial Judge warned Moore of the seriousness of the offenses charged against him. Moore was then unsure of whether he wanted to proceed pro se or whether he wanted to be represented by counsel, stating that "It's impossible for me to defend myself."

On April 4, 1984, the public defender presented a motion to withdraw as Moore's counsel. The trial court ruled that Moore could proceed pro se if he desired but that a public defender would be at Moore's table should Moore require any assistance throughout the trial. If a conflict arose, the trial Judge would follow Moore's wishes. In ...


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