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02/02/88 the People of the State of v. John Parker

February 2, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

JOHN PARKER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

519 N.E.2d 703, 166 Ill. App. 3d 123, 116 Ill. Dec. 635 1988.IL.116

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County; the Hon. John L. Nickels, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE INGLIS delivered the opinion of the court. UNVERZAGT, J., concurs. PRESIDING JUSTICE LINDBERG, specially Concurring.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE INGLIS

Defendant, John Parker, was charged with two counts of home invasion, two counts of armed robbery, and one count of residential burglary. A jury returned guilty verdicts against him on all five counts from which he appeals. We affirm in part and vacate in part.

On January 20, 1986, Cindy Cissna and her boyfriend, Willie Towns, were entertaining some friends in their home in Aurora. Between 8 and 8:30 p.m., Willie and Cindy's brother-in-law, Brian, left the home to pick up pizza. Beth Kenner stayed behind with Cissna. Twenty minutes later, Cissna heard a knock on the door. When she opened the door she saw a black man standing silently at the door. The two looked at each other for about a minute, at which point the man pulled a sawed-off shotgun from under his coat, walked into the house, and told Cissna to lie on the floor and not look up. Approximately three masked black persons followed the man into the house. These individuals removed various valuables from the house, and Cissna was threatened a couple of times while they were in the house.

Defendant was arrested after Cissna picked him from a photographic lineup conducted three or four days after the incident. Kenner was unable to identify defendant.

During voir dire, the State exercised six of its peremptory challenges to exclude certain persons from the jury. Among those excluded was Lenora Pendleton, the only black juror. Defense counsel objected to the State's use of the peremptory challenge against Mrs. Pendleton. After a lunch recess, the assistant State's Attorney requested leave to make a record as to his reasons for excusing Mrs. Pendleton. The State's Attorney stated:

"I was concerned in talking to her about a couple of things. Number one, it appeared that she had a relative who had previously been convicted of an offense that apparently was similar to this one. That's a situation that's always a red flag that concerned me.

As well as I don't mean to be unkind to her, but she did not seem to me to be that intelligent of a person. She left out a number of items on her questionnaire and she wasn't even familiar with what type of work her husband does.

And I also -- It also seemed to me that she was not the serious type of person, shall I say, that I would want on this jury. She laughed about a number of things. I'm looking for people on this case who are going to take this case very seriously and not flippantly.

So I would say that those were the reasons that I had for ...


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