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11/09/87 the People of the State of v. Ronald Robinson

November 9, 1987





516 N.E.2d 675, 163 Ill. App. 3d 384, 114 Ill. Dec. 520 1987.IL.1661

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Roger J. Kiley, Jr., Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE CAMPBELL delivered the opinion of the court. BUCKLEY and O'CONNOR, JJ., concur.


Following a jury trial, defendant, Ronald Robinson, was convicted of the offense of armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 18-2) and was sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment. Prior to trial, the court had held that there had been no reasonable grounds for defendant's warrantless arrest and suppressed the victim's lineup identification of defendant and statements which defendant had made in the squad car and following the lineup as fruits of the illegal arrest. On appeal, defendant contends that: (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to dismiss the indictment on the grounds that, contrary to section 109-3.1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (the Code) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 109-3.1), defendant had not been indicted within 30 days following his arrest; (2) the trial court erred in not suppressing a camera bag and its contents taken from defendant's girlfriend at the time of defendant's arrest; (3) the trial court erred in finding that the victim's in-court identification of defendant had an independent origin and was admissible; and (4) the trial court failed to give adequate consideration to defendant's rehabilitative potential when it sentenced defendant to the maximum term of 30 years for armed robbery. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

The record sets forth the following facts which are relevant to this appeal. On October 21, 1984, approximately 12:30 a.m., Joe Amos was waiting for a bus inside the CTA passenger terminal located at 2410 W. Congress Parkway when he was robbed at gunpoint by two black males. The assailants took Amos' money, as well as his camera bag, which contained two 35-millimeter cameras and miscellaneous camera equipment. After the assailants left, Amos took the next bus home and immediately called the police. When an officer arrived at his home, Amos gave him a description of his assailants and of the stolen cameras and equipment.

The following evening, approximately 8:55 p.m., Chicago police officer Kenneth McNeil and two plainclothes officers assigned to foot patrol at the Rockwell Garden Housing Project saw defendant and a female walking down the sidewalk. The female was carrying a camera bag over her shoulder. The officers stopped the couple and asked them where they had been. Defendant told McNeil that they had just left his girlfriend's house. While McNeil took defendant over to the squad car to run a name check on him, the other officers looked through the female's shoulder bag, which contained camera equipment and two cameras. When asked about the contents of the bag, defendant told them he had found the bag in a trash can.

The officers then took defendant to police headquarters to check whether any report had been filed on missing cameras and camera equipment. When they discovered that a report had been filed, defendant was arrested. Detective James Antonacci of the Chicago police department then contacted Amos at his home and asked him to come to police headquarters to view the property which had been taken from defendant's girlfriend. Amos identified the cameras and equipment as that which had been taken from him the day before. He then identified defendant in a lineup as one of his assailants.

Prior to trial, the parties stipulated that if defendant were called to testify, he would state that on October 22, 1984, approximately 8:55 p.m., he was stopped by the police at 2517 W. Adams without legal process and evidence had been seized which the State intended to use in its prosecution. A hearing was then held on defendant's motion to suppress the lineup identification, any statements made by defendant, and the cameras and camera equipment on the ground that they were tainted by the illegal arrest. Following arguments on the motion, the trial court ruled that the officers' unjustified stop of defendant was not "constitutionally permissible" and granted defendant's motion to quash his arrest. The trial court then suppressed defendant's explanation about his possession of the camera bag and its contents, Amos' lineup identification of defendant, and defendant's statement made after the lineup. The court further ruled that the stop of defendant was distinct from the stop of his girlfriend and, thus, the seizure of the camera bag from the girlfriend was not tainted by defendant's illegal arrest.

Thereafter, defendant personally presented to the court his handwritten motion to dismiss the indictments. When queried as to whether he had discussed the motion with his attorney, defendant replied that he had and his attorney did not agree that it should be presented. The motion was brought pursuant to section 109 -- 3.1 of the Code, which requires that a person either receive a preliminary examination or a grand jury indictment within 30 days from the date he was taken into custody (the 30-day rule). The court denied the motion on the grounds that the situation fit within the exception to the 30-day rule set forth in section 109 -- 3.1(b)(2) which states that the 30-day rule does not apply if defendant is eventually indicted by the grand jury for the offense for which he had been initially taken into custody. There was no argument by either side on the motion.

Following jury selection and opening statements, Joe Amos testified as to the events surrounding the armed robbery. Amos stated that the bus terminal was brightly lit by fluorescent lighting, so that he could clearly see defendant's face. Amos estimated that he saw defendant's face for approximately 15 minutes. Later that morning, Amos described his assailant to a police officer as a black male with a light complexion, 18 to 20 years old, 118 pounds and 5 feet 8 inches tall. At trial, Amos identified defendant as his assailant.

Following completion of the State's case, the trial court denied defendant's motion for a directed verdict. The defense then rested its case and closing arguments ensued. Thereafter, the jury found defendant guilty of armed robbery and the court entered judgment on the verdict. Subsequently, defendant moved for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, or in the alternative, a new trial, alleging that: (1) the trial court erred in failing to suppress the camera bag evidence; (2) the trial court erred in allowing the admissibility of Amos' in-court identification of defendant; (3) the verdict was not supported by the evidence; (4) defendant had been prejudiced by the State's closing argument; and (5) the trial court erred in denying defendant's motion for a directed verdict. The trial court denied the post-trial motion.

Subsequently, at the sentencing hearing, Salvador Miranda testified on behalf of the State that on October 13, 1984, approximately 4:30 a.m., he had been robbed at gunpoint while he was waiting on the CTA platform at 500 S. Western. Miranda identified defendant as the person who had pointed the gun at him and had taken his jewelry. At police headquarters on October 23, 1984, Miranda identified as his some jewelry taken from defendant on the day of his arrest for the Amos robbery.

Next, Rene Robinson, defendant's sister, testified that when the police showed her the jewelry taken from defendant at the time of his arrest, she had identified one of the medallions as her own. Rene's testimony was later contradicted by Detective Angelo Rinchiuso, who testified on behalf of the State that when he showed the medallion to Rene, she had said that it did not belong to her. Instead, she thought that it belonged to defendant's girlfriend. Following a review of the events surrounding the offense as well as defendant's background, the trial court sentenced defendant to 30 years in prison. Defendant's timely appeal followed.

Defendant first contends that the trial court erred when it denied his motion to dismiss the indictment, which motion was predicated on the fact that he had not been indicted within 30 days following his arrest in violation of the ...

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