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12/29/87 the People of the State of v. Renaldo Hudson

December 29, 1987





526 N.E.2d 164, 171 Ill. App. 3d 1029, 122 Ill. Dec. 24 1987.IL.1925

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. James M. Bailey, Judge, presiding.


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


Defendant, Renaldo Hudson, was tried by a jury on three counts of murder, one count of home invasion, and one count each of armed robbery and aggravated arson, all in relation to the stabbing death of Folke Peterson. The jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict, and a mistrial was declared over defendant's objection.

Defendant thereafter moved to dismiss the charges against him and to bar a retrial or, in the alternative, to bar a death sentencing hearing were he to be convicted of murder upon retrial, on the ground that either retrial or a death penalty hearing would violate his Federal and State constitutional rights against double jeopardy. The motion was denied.

Notice of an interlocutory appeal pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 604(f) (107 Ill. 2d R. 604(f)) was timely filed on October 15, 1985.

The issues presented for review include whether: (1) instances of prosecutorial conduct during the trial were designed to cause a mistrial; (2) retrial of defendant is barred by the double jeopardy clauses of the Federal and State Constitutions; and (3) those clauses bar a death penalty hearing if defendant is convicted of murder at a second trial.

The evidence at trial revealed that the 71-year-old murder victim had lived on South Kingston Avenue, and defendant lived with his father and aunt at the same address, but in a different apartment. On June 7, 1983, at approximately 7 a.m., defendant reported a fire in the victim's apartment to the fire department, which immediately responded together with police. Inside the smoke-filled apartment police found the victim's sooty and mutilated body lying on a partially burned bed. He had been cut and stabbed about 60 times, which wounds caused his death.

During the investigation, defendant's aunt, Leola Wilson, took Detective Katherine Reardon to her apartment one floor above the victim's apartment. Inside, the aunt revealed a brown plaid bag, a silver tray, a radio, and several other items, which were the victim's property. Defendant's fingerprints were found on the silver tray and radio. The aunt also found defendant's bloodstained jacket behind the sofa bed, rolled up in a brown paper bag. Police asked defendant to accompany them to the police station for questioning. He went voluntarily.

At the police station, defendant was read and waived his Miranda rights. He told police that he and his aunt smelled smoke coming from the victim's apartment. He pounded on the victim's door and, when no one answered, he called the fire department. Confronted with the brown plaid bag and the other items, defendant told police that he had bought them from some people and they belonged to him. When told that they belonged to the victim and of his aunt's involvement, defendant confessed.

He told the officers that he often helped his father do janitorial work in that building. On June 6, 1983, he planned to tie up and rob the victim, obtained a rope, knocked on the door at about 7 p.m., and was allowed to enter to fix a light bulb. He grabbed the victim by the neck in a choke hold. The victim had a knife and cut defendant's pinky finger. Defendant took away the knife, stabbed the victim in the stomach, neck and shoulder. The victim laid down on a bed. Defendant asked him for money and was given four blood-soaked bills. Defendant washed off the blood and asked for more. The victim told him that he had more money in a gold jewelry box on his dresser. Defendant searched for it unsuccessfully for three hours, and then sat next to the victim, watched TV and waited for him to die, which eventuated a little after 3:30 a.m.

Defendant, deciding to make the whole thing look like a burglary, ransacked the apartment and scattered papers and pillow foam all over. He took the victim's brown plaid bag, filled it with several items, left at about 5 a.m. to see his father off to work, returned to the victim's apartment, set it on fire and returned upstairs. His aunt smelled smoke and, after it persisted, he knocked on the victim's door and later called the fire department.

During the time defendant gave his statement he was not handcuffed and acted normally. Thereafter, an assistant State's Attorney went to the police station and took his oral statement, later reduced to writing. After speaking with his aunt for about 10 minutes, defendant gave a court-reported statement and was formally arrested.

Defendant presented the affirmative defense of insanity in his case in chief through the testimony of five lay witnesses: defendant's father, Willie Hudson; his brother, Glenn Hudson; his aunts, Willa Hudson and Leola Wilson; and assistant public defender John McNamara. The first four witnesses set forth evidence of defendant's childhood and adolescence and his mental condition near the time of the offense. Defendant was frequently depressed and withdrawn, preferring to stay by himself rather than play with other children, although at other times he seemed hyperactive. After being shot at age 15 by a brother, defendant suffered from headaches and insomnia and appeared ...

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