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04/28/88 the People of the State of v. Phillip D. Morgan

April 28, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

PHILLIP D. MORGAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

523 N.E.2d 560, 169 Ill. App. 3d 368, 119 Ill. Dec. 804 1988.IL.623

Appeal from the Circuit Court of McLean County; the Hon. Keith E. Campbell, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE SPITZ delivered the opinion of the court. GREEN, P.J., and LUND, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SPITZ

In the circuit court of McLean County, the defendant Phillip D. Morgan was convicted of obstruction of Justice and was sentenced to one-year's probation. In his appeal therefrom, defendant raises two issues.

The first issue is whether defendant was proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The facts relative to this issue follow.

On April 18, 1986, a grand jury was convened in McLean County focusing on obscenity investigations of several different business entities and individuals. In connection with the investigation, a subpoena duces tecum was served on the Gentlemen's Adult Bookstore requesting: all records regarding the identity, duties, powers, and responsibilities of all persons who have an ownership interest in said business; all records of persons who exercise power or control over the management of the business or who are involved in purchasing materials to be sold; and the identities of all employees and their duties.

At trial, Verna Stroud, the manager of the bookstore, testified that once she received this subpoena she called the defendant, who was her supervisor. The defendant told her not to worry about it and that he would take care of it.

The next day, the defendant arrived at the bookstore and proceeded to take documents from the locked storeroom and the front desk. The defendant then loaded four boxes of documents into his car. Those documents, dating back to 1978, included daily bookkeeping slips, deposit slips and other documents. She specifically testified that the deposit slips had the names or initials of the clerk working the shift. The defendant also instructed her that, from that day on, any duplicate records of the bookstore were to be kept in the safe.

The People tendered exhibits Nos. 2 through 5, which Ms. Stroud testified were daily bookkeeping sheets with her own handwriting on them. These exhibits were not admitted into evidence.

On the following day, Stroud again had a telephone conversation with the defendant regarding the documents he took. The defendant told her he had distributed those documents at various rest areas around central Illinois. She also testified that the defendant had never taken documents in this manner before this event, and that she never again saw the documents defendant removed from the store.

Clearly it is fundamental that a defendant is presumed innocent until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and that the prosecution has the burden to prove all the material and essential facts constituting a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. (People v. Weinstein (1966), 35 Ill. 2d 467, 220 N.E.2d 432.) However, once the defendant has been found guilty and appears, a presumption of validity accompanies the finding of guilt. "Resolution of factual disputes and the assessment of the credibility of witnesses is for the trier of fact, and a reviewing court will not reverse a conviction unless evidence is so ...


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