APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIRST DIVISION
516 N.E.2d 556, 163 Ill. App. 3d 186, 114 Ill. Dec. 401 1987.IL.1629
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Michael C. Close, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE O'CONNOR delivered the opinion of the court. QUINLAN, P.J., and MANNING, J., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE O'CONNOR
On appeal, defendant contends that (1) the State violated discovery by failing to disclose the existence of an informant who did not testify; (2) his 10-year sentence is excessive; (3) the trial Judge's remarks during voir dire deprived him of a fair trial; (4) hearsay testimony was improperly admitted; (5) he was denied a fair trial by the State's opening statement and closing argument; and (6) he was not proved guilty of residential burglary beyond a reasonable doubt. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
On October 27, 1983, Gustavo Comacho returned to his home, located at 1639 W. Farragut in Chicago, sometime after 2:15 p.m., the end of his shift at the Curtis Candy Company, his place of employment. At about 4 p.m., Comacho went to work at this family's variety store. He returned home between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. and found that someone had broken open his rear door. He discovered that his locked safety box, containing jewelry and currency among other things, was missing. In particular, a unique purple amethyst ring with a Columbian insignia was in the box.
Detectives Alan Issac and James Elliott responded to the report of a residential burglary at the Comacho home. Sandra Comacho, Mr. Comacho's 12-year-old daughter, acted as interpreter for her father, who could not speak English. After speaking with neighbors of the Comacho's, the detectives compiled a list of people who were near the area at the time of the burglary. The list included the nicknames Froggy, Cuban and Zebra, which Sandra told the police were the nicknames for Sergio Crespo, Juan Prieto and defendant, respectively.
On November 2, 1983, a young man told Comacho that he knew who had committed the burglary, but that he was afraid to go to the police with that information. Comacho and the young man went to the office of Comacho's attorney, William Martinez. Present at the office were Comacho and his daughter Sandra, Mr. Martinez, Detectives Elliott and Issac, another attorney named H. Wycliffe Martin, and the young man, whose name was Guillermo and his nickname, Moranga. Moranga told the people present that on the date of the burglary he saw defendant, Prieto and Crespo enter Comacho's home and leave with a box.
On November 3, 1983, the detectives arrested defendant in an alley at 5300 N. Ashland after Sandra Comacho had alerted the police that he was there. The detectives gave defendant Miranda warnings, which he indicated he understood. They then took him to the police station, where he was given a second set of Miranda warnings. Defendant thereafter told the police that he, Prieto and Crespo entered Comacho's home because they wanted his safety box. Defendant claimed that while he waited in Comacho's kitchen, the other two men obtained the box from the bedroom. They then left the home. Defendant gave the police Prieto's address and they subsequently arrested him. Prieto thereafter gave the police Crespo's address and they also arrested him.
The following day, on November 4, 1983, Assistant State's Attorney Snow met with defendant and gave him Miranda warnings, which he indicated he understood. Defendant made a written, signed statement admitting that he entered Comacho's apartment, but that he became afraid and went outside. Thereafter, Detective Elliott spoke to defendant, who said that he had heard that there was $40,000 worth of property in Comacho's home, so he and his friends entered the home by using a screwdriver, took the safety box, left, and split the proceeds.
Subsequently, defendant admitted to Detective Elliott and Assistant State's Attorney Snow that he knew the box was in Comacho's home, but he needed help to carry it out.
Approximately five weeks before trial, Comacho saw a co-worker, Juan Rojas, wearing a distinctive Columbian ring which apparently was the ring that had been in Comacho's safety box. Rojas told Comacho that he had purchased the ring from Alepeo Estruch, who had bought it from defendant.
Prior to trial, the court denied defendant's motions to quash arrest and to suppress statements, finding that there was probable cause to arrest defendant ...