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05/04/88 the People of the State of v. Anthony Criss

May 4, 1988





523 N.E.2d 1135, 169 Ill. App. 3d 926, 120 Ill. Dec. 224 1988.IL.666

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Robert L. Sklodowski, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE FREEMAN delivered the opinion of the court. WHITE, P.J., and McNAMARA, J., concur.


Defendant, Anthony Criss, was charged with two counts of home invasion, four counts of armed robbery, and one count of theft and residential burglary. He filed a motion to quash his arrest and to suppress evidence which was denied following an evidentiary hearing. After the State presented its case during the bench trial, defendant filed a motion for a directed finding which was granted as to two armed robbery counts. At the Conclusion of the trial, defendant was convicted of the two remaining armed robbery counts and home invasion and one count of residential burglary. Subsequently, he was sentenced to concurrent terms of 10 years for home invasion, 15 years for armed robbery and six years for residential burglary. The court ordered that the theft conviction merged with the residential burglary conviction. On appeal, defendant contends that the trial court erroneously denied his motion to quash his arrest and suppress evidence, admitted improper evidence and convicted and sentenced him on multiple counts of home invasion and armed robbery.

Maria Hirsch, one of the complainants, testified that on July 30, 1984, she and Frank Owens resided in the first-floor apartment of the building located at 6758 South Clyde in Chicago. At 9:30 p.m. Hirsch was waiting for Owens on the rear stairway to the building when defendant emerged from their apartment, carrying Owen's guitar case and stereo receiver, which defendant placed in the trunk of a car parked in the alley. Hirsch then entered the apartment and observed a man pointing a gun at Owens, Octavious Osborn and Rhonda Davidson, who lay on the floor with their hands bound behind their backs. Defendant, who was armed with a gun, then entered the apartment behind Hirsch and forced her on the floor, kicked her in the stomach and face and placed her with the other captives. Thirty minutes later, when the offenders left, Owens called police. Hirsch described defendant as a medium-complected black man who was 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighed 160 pounds, had "some but not quite" facial hair, black hair, brown eyes and carried a short-barrelled gun.

On August 9, 1985, officers transported Hirsch and Owens to a police station to view a five-man lineup which included defendant. Hirsch and Owens then identified defendant as one of their assailants. Hirsch denied that she had given defendant authority to enter her apartment or to remove her property.

Detective James Swistowicz testified that on August 8, 1984, he met with Mark Hampton and Frank Owens at the scene of the crime. Hampton then told the detective that he resided in an apartment building located at 7258 South Yates. There, he heard defendant and an unknown black man discuss "ripping off some furs." Later, Hampton visited Janet Moore, defendant's girlfriend, who lived in the same building.

Hampton observed a guitar case owned by Owens in Moore's apartment. He also told the detective that defendant often stayed at the apartment. Hampton described defendant as a light-complected black man, 5 feet 11 inches, 170 pounds, with a thin mustache and "kind of a thin beard-goatee."

On August 9, 1984, Detective Swistowicz knocked on the door to Janet Moore's apartment. Moore opened the door, identified herself, stepped outside the apartment and closed the door behind her. Detective Swistowicz stated why he was there and asked if he could talk with Moore. When she agreed, and turned to open the door, Moore discovered that it was locked. She then knocked on the door, and defendant, who was inside the apartment, opened the door. When the detective asked defendant his name, the latter identified himself. Detective Swistowicz then placed defendant under arrest, searched him and recovered five pawnshop tickets from his pockets.

The State and defendant then entered a stipulation that Detective Swistowicz and Frank Owens took the pawn tickets to pawnshops where they redeemed a "Gene Simmons Ax guitar" and gold bracelet that Owens identified as having been taken from his apartment during the offense. On August 9, 1984, Detective Swistowicz and his partner Detective George Carey conducted a five-man lineup in which defendant participated. Maria Hirsch and Frank Owens separately viewed the lineup and identified defendant as one of their assailants. On the following day, Rhonda Davidson viewed the lineup and also identified defendant as one of her assailants.

Frank Owens testified that he was a musician and that at 7:30 p.m. on July 30, 1984, he stepped outside his apartment and encountered two known gunmen, one of whom was defendant. The offenders placed their guns to Owen's stomach and ordered, "Don't move Frank," then forced him into the apartment. Defendant's accomplice searched the apartment to determine that no one else was present. Both offenders then forced Owens into his "recording room" where he kept musical equipment and demanded that Owens identify the most valuable property. Defendant then struck Owens with his pistol, forced him to the floor, bound his hands, stated "Don't try nothing because the 357 will blow your head off," and removed equipment from the apartment. Next, Owens heard Maria Hirsch's voice. She then struggled with the offenders, who forced her on to the floor next to Owens. Shortly thereafter, Octavious Osborn and Rhonda Davidson, musicians who had come to the apartment, were forced to the floor with Hirsch and Owens. After an hour the offenders fled, having taken three guitars, a stereo system, two color televisions, a video camera, half of a drum machine, microphone, video tapes, fur coats, and "smaller things."

At 2:05 a.m. on August 9, 1984, Owens identified defendant as his assailant in a five-man lineup. Later that day, Owens accompanied police to pawnshops where he recovered his Gene Simmons guitar and a ...

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