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10/30/87 the People of the State of v. Tony Watson

October 30, 1987

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

TONY WATSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

516 N.E.2d 553, 163 Ill. App. 3d 163, 114 Ill. Dec. 398 1987.IL.1610

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. William Cousins, Jr., Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LORENZ delivered the opinion of the court. SULLIVAN, P.J., and MURRAY, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LORENZ

On appeal from his bench-trial conviction for bribery, defendant Tony Watson contends: (1) trial counsel was ineffective in failing to move to dismiss an invalid information; (2) the trial court considered material which was not introduced into evidence; (3) the State did not establish defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

We affirm.

The pertinent trial testimony was as follows. Chicago police officer Daniel Lukensmeyer testified that on April 21, 1985, at about 10:20 p.m., he responded to a report of a disturbance at 5101 South Union in Chicago. At that location four men, including the defendant, were screaming obscenities in front of a tavern. Lukensmeyer and his partner, Officer Ronald Condreva, both in uniform, approached the men and conducted protective searches of all of them. Because of material (undisclosed in testimony) found on the defendant, he was arrested, handcuffed, and placed in the backseat of the officers' squad car.

Lukensmeyer testified that as they were driving to the police station defendant asked them to take him to his mother's house where, he said, he would give them $500 to release him. The officers refused. Defendant then asked them to pull over, offering to give them all the money out of his pocket to let him go. He told them he feared this arrest because he was on probation for a drug conviction. Lukensmeyer directed his partner to pull into a bank parking lot at 3558 South Wallace, located about one-half block from the police station. Both officers got out of the car. Lukensmeyer told defendant that he, Lukensmeyer, could not take the money out of his pocket. They took defendant out of the car and uncuffed one hand. Defendant reached into his shirt pocket and took out a sum of United States currency, giving it to Lukensmeyer. The officers subsequently counted the money in the squad car, finding $51. After receiving the money they handcuffed the defendant again, placed him in the car, and told him he was under arrest for bribery. On cross-examination Lukensmeyer testified that the bank lot was dark. He recalled that defendant was wearing Levi's and a shirt but could not remember anything else about his clothing.

Officer Condreva testified to substantially the same facts. However, his account differed in some details. He did not recall Lukensmeyer telling him to pull into the bank lot, instead recalling that defendant repeatedly asked them to pull over. He believed that the lot was well lighted, and he recalled that defendant was wearing a jacket over his shirt. Condreva also testified that the lot was about a block and a half from the police station.

Defendant testified that at the time in question he was on probation for possession of cocaine. He was standing on the street with a group of men when the two officers approached and asked if they had seen someone named Pee-Wee. They then searched defendant and the others, handcuffed the defendant, and placed him in the squad car. Before they drove off with him, one of the officers reached into his shirt pocket and took the $51 contained there, asking him how much money he had. He was then driven to the station without any stops being made. At the station an assistant State's Attorney was summoned to question him. He said no to everything the attorney asked him. At trial defendant denied having offered the officers any money.

Defendant presented three witnesses in corroboration of his account. Darryl Matthews testified that he was one of those on the corner with defendant, whom he knew from playing basketball. After the officers handcuffed the defendant and placed him in the backseat, Matthews saw one of them pull money out of defendant's pocket. Danny Ross, who was also standing with defendant, saw the police place defendant in the car. He then stepped into the tavern but emerged in time to see the police get back into the car and pull off. He testified that this was all he saw. Maureen Ross testified that she emerged from the tavern in time to see defendant handcuffed and placed in the back of the car. On direct examination she testified that she then saw one of the officers reach into defendant's pocket and take out money. However, on cross-examination she admitted that she did not know what the police had taken out of the pocket.

In rebuttal the State presented the testimony of David King, the assistant State's Attorney who had interviewed the defendant after his arrest. King testified that defendant told him that on the way to the station the police pulled over to a curb and took $51 out of his pocket. On cross-examination King testified that he asked defendant to sign a document concerning what he had said, but defendant refused after reading it.

On surrebuttal defendant denied making the statement attributed to him by King. However, he did admit that King read to him what purported to be his statement about police officers pulling over and taking money from his pocket. Defendant testified that he ...


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