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09/22/87 the People of the State of v. Ronald Williams

September 22, 1987

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

RONALD WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION

515 N.E.2d 266, 161 Ill. App. 3d 613, 113 Ill. Dec. 457

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. James J. Heyda, Judge, presiding. 1987.IL.1397

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE HARTMAN delivered the opinion of the court. SCARIANO, P.J., and STAMOS, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE HARTMAN

Defendant appeals his conviction on two counts of aggravated battery and his sentence of five years' imprisonment following a bench trial. He asks that this court determine whether: (1) evidence indicating that a battery occurred in a private parking lot proved that the offense occurred on or about a public way; (2) the circuit court erred in permitting the State to ask leading questions to establish that the victim suffered great bodily harm; (3) defendant was proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (4) multiple convictions were erroneously entered when the State alleged the same acts in both counts.

On January 31, 1985, Kimmar Crosby (Kimmar), age 28 or 29, was drinking whiskey with defendant, her boyfriend, at her apartment at 5312 S. Blackstone in Chicago. They argued verbally for about 10 minutes and then started physically fighting. According to Kimmar, defendant first slapped her and she tried to hit him back. Defendant knocked her down in the washroom after her nose started bleeding. She asked him to leave and he did so.

One hour later, defendant returned to the apartment and Kimmar let him in. They left together. Kimmar did not wear gloves although it was below zero that day and snow was on the ground. They began arguing as they left. After five minutes of argument, they began fighting in the parking lot adjacent to Kimmar's apartment building. Building residents and their guests used the parking lot. Kimmar testified that defendant started the fight by punching her with an open fist. She fell to the ground. Defendant then hit her on the face and chest and Kimmar lost consciousness. She did not see defendant kick her.

Elvira Mayes, owner of a nursery school, pulled into a parking lot near the Butler Restaurant, at 1411 E. 53rd Street, at approximately 6:30 p.m. From 20 to 25 feet away, she saw a man whose arm was going up over his head and down in a striking fashion, three or four times. She entered the restaurant with her niece and informed the owner that something was going on in his parking lot. She did not live in an apartment building adjacent to the parking lot nor could she identify defendant.

Jerome Butler, an attorney, left his restaurant at about 6:30 p.m., walked around a pickup truck and observed defendant kicking a woman on the ground hard on the abdomen three or four times. Butler was only six to eight feet away and heard defendant say, "Get up, bitch." The woman's face appeared to be a bloody mess and Butler called the police and then returned outside and saw police arrest defendant. Butler did not know defendant prior to this incident. He did not believe the kicking was merely an attempt to arouse the woman to get up. He saw nothing in defendant's hands. People from the restaurant used the parking lot.

Sgt. Randall McCarrel of the University of Chicago security department received a flash message about 6:30 p.m. that a man was beating a woman. When he arrived at the parking lot, he saw defendant raising and lowering his arm, striking the body of a woman with some sort of object. When a police car arrived, defendant emptied his hands. The woman was bleeding, her eyes were swollen shut and she was not talking coherently. Sgt. McCarrel went to the hospital with Kimmar. He saw no weapon in her possession.

Officer Byron Doyal received a call for help at approximately 6:30 p.m. on January 31, 1985. Responding, he observed defendant standing and bending over Kimmar in the parking lot. She had no shoes on, her face and body were bloody, her eyes and her whole face were swollen and her clothes were ripped. The temperature was approximately zero degrees or four below. Her clothing was covered with blood, which seemed to be coming from her face. Officer Doyal arrested defendant. Defendant was not bleeding nor did he have any bruises or marks on his face when arrested. Kimmar could only mumble and moan and she faded in and out of consciousness. Kimmar was taken to Chicago Osteopathic Hospital and remained unconscious that evening.

Defendant testified that Kimmar was his fiancee and that on January 31, 1985, he came by to drop off rent money and he drank with her, her brother and her brother's friend. After the brother and his friend left, he and Kimmar argued and when defendant began walking away she hit him on the head with an ashtray. Kimmar ran to the kitchen to get a knife, defendant caught her and she slapped him. Defendant then hit her, making her lip bleed. Defendant also hit her in the eye and both her eyes were bruised and swollen. Defendant testified they were both drunk. They put water on Kimmar's lip, she agreed to go out with him and they left together five minutes later. She started arguing again and tried to scratch defendant, so he pushed her and she slipped and fell in the parking lot. Defendant tried to lift her up, but she fell down. Defendant attempted to use the snow to wash her face to wake her up. He thought Kimmar was high. Defendant started kicking snow, still trying to arouse her, when the police arrived. Defendant told the police he did not beat Kimmar.

Detective Hood testified by stipulation that he interviewed defendant on January 31, 1985, between 6:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., and after receiving Miranda warnings, defendant asserted Kimmar told him she had been beaten by her ex-boyfriend and stopped defendant from looking for the ex-boyfriend. Defendant denied making such a statement to Detective Hood. Defendant stated he had previously ...


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