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05/09/88 the People of the State of v. Eugene Thurman

May 9, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

EUGENE THURMAN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIRST DIVISION

523 N.E.2d 1184, 169 Ill. App. 3d 996, 120 Ill. Dec. 273 1988.IL.705

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Vincent Bentivenga, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE MANNING delivered the opinion of the court. QUINLAN and O'CONNOR, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MANNING

Defendant, Eugene Thurman, was charged with two counts of murder and one count of armed violence involving Robert Redmond and one count of attempted murder, three counts of aggravated battery and two counts of armed violence regarding Lee Wells. Following a bench trial, he was found not guilty of the murder of Robert Redmond, guilty of the attempted murder of Lee Wells and sentenced to eight years' imprisonment.

On appeal he argues that he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; that he was denied a fair trial due to ineffective assistance of counsel; that he was denied a fair trial due to the bias of the trial Judge; and that the verdicts are legally inconsistent. We affirm the decision of the trial court.

The facts leading up to defendant's conviction are as follows. On June 18, 1983, Robert Redmond was killed and Lee Wells was shot three times. On October 19, 1983, the defendant was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder.

At trial Eugene Brown testified that he lived at 1852 Kildare in Chicago and that at 4:49 in the morning on June 18, 1983, he was sitting on his couch in his living room talking to his son, Lawrence Brown. He heard some shots outside and some loud talking and approximately three minutes later heard someone cry, "Please don't hurt me any more. You done hurt me enough." After hearing six shots, he looked out and saw two men in front of the house at 1848 Kildare Street. One man was holding a large bag and the defendant was holding a gun.

Mr. Brown said he saw the defendant fire three shots at the man holding the bag, the third one hitting the victim, Robert Redmond, in the head and splattering his brains on the ground. Mr. Brown estimated that he was approximately 30 to 40 feet away from the scene of the shooting and that the defendant was approximately five feet away from Redmond when he shot him. It was light outside at the time and Mr. Brown had an unobstructed view of the defendant's face.

After the shooting he saw the defendant run south towards 19th Street. He went inside to get his camera, but could not take photographs because he did not have any film. Robert Redmond was lying on the ground dead, and when the police arrived, Mr. Brown saw them pull Lee Wells from underneath a car at 1848 Kildare. Mr. Wells was bleeding badly and appeared to be unconscious. The bag that had been held by Robert Redmond was found to contain soap, spray starch and fabric softener.

On October 19, 1983, Mr. Brown viewed a lineup at the police station at Harrison and Kedzie. He identified the defendant as the man who had shot Robert Redmond on June 18, 1983, and also identified him from a photograph.

On cross-examination he testified that on the day of the incident he had told the police his name was Gino Cappalino because he did not want to get involved. He told the authorities that he had never seen the defendant before and that the defendant was wearing a dark brown shirt and pants and "Jheri Kurls" but could not remember his general description. He did not tell the police that he had witnessed the occurrence until months later. Mr. Brown also admitted that he had told the defendant's investigator that at the time of the incident he was in Mississippi and that he only learned of the shooting when he returned, but denied telling him that he told the police his name was Cappalino. He also stated that he had seen the defendant three or four times before when the defendant was visiting his landlord.

Sherman Randall, the defendant's investigator, by way of stipulation, testified that on October 9, 1984, he had gone to Eugene Brown's home and that Brown told him that he had ...


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