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05/10/88 the People of the State of v. John Gill

May 10, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

JOHN GILL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT

THE TRIAL RETURNED A GUILTY VERDICT AS FIRST NOTED. FOLLOWING A HEARING DETERMINING HIS STATUS AS A HABITUAL OFFENDER UNDER THE HABITUAL CRIMINAL ACT (ILL. RE

v.

STAT. 1985, CH. 38, PAR. 33B-1 ET SEQ.), DEFENDANT WAS SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT. HE APPEALS. I



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION

523 N.E.2d 1239, 169 Ill. App. 3d 1049, 120 Ill. Dec. 328 1988.IL.714

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Kenneth Gillis, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE HARTMAN delivered the opinion of the court. STAMOS* and SCARIANO, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE HARTMAN

At 10 p.m. on March 6, 1985, defendant approached the front counter of a fast-food restaurant at Madison and Pulaski in Chicago and asked the cashier, Alice Campbell, for two pieces of chicken. As she reached for the cash he placed on the counter, defendant put his hand over it and told her to transfer money from the cash registers into a paper bag and not to alert the manager. He opened his black leather jacket to reveal a gun.

The restaurant manager, Greg Davis, saw Campbell emptying the registers and asked what she was doing, to which defendant replied, "I am sticking up the place." Defendant grabbed the bag of money from Campbell's hand and ran out of the restaurant, pursued by Davis.

Davis testified he chased defendant south on Pulaski until defendant stopped, turned and shot at him. As defendant proceeded west on Monroe, Davis flagged down a passing patrol car, and joined Officer Joseph Lombardi in the car. Lombardi and Davis drove a few blocks to Wilcox, where Davis saw defendant walking down the street and identified him for Lombardi.

Lombardi left his vehicle and exchanged fire with defendant. Defendant then ran into a gangway on the south side of Wilcox, followed by Lombardi; defendant and Lombardi again shot at each other in the gangway. At an alley between Wilcox and Adams, Lombardi stopped to reload his weapon and reported defendant's flight on his radio.

In response to a radio call, Officer Michael Mullen and his two partners drove their squad car into an alley between Adams and Jackson. Defendant "dashed" in front of the squad car and was attempting to shake off a black vinyl or "leather-like" jacket as he ran. All three officers left the car and gave chase, following defendant into the backyard of a building on Jackson. There, two of the officers shot at defendant as he turned on them in a crouched position. Defendant leaped a chain link fence surrounding the yard, proceeded south to Jackson, ran across the thoroughfare and into a gangway at 4037 W. Jackson. When Mullen entered the gangway, he found defendant pounding on its sealed back door; defendant then lay face down on the ground. In an immediate search of the chase route, officers recovered a black leather jacket containing $80 in cash, but no gun. In defendant's pants' pocket, Mullen discovered a live, .357 caliber bullet and $56., Defendant was arrested and charged with attempted murder, armed violence and armed robbery. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, pars. 8-4, 9-1, 18-2(a), 33A-2.

At trial, the State presented the testimony of Campbell, Davis, a forensic chemist and officers involved in the incident. Defendant did not testify.

Defendant initially contends the State adduced insufficient evidence that he was armed during the events in question and therefore failed to prove him guilty of armed robbery and attempted murder beyond a reasonable doubt.

In particular, defendant observes that an armed robbery conviction requires a showing that defendant committed robbery while armed or carrying a dangerous weapon (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 18-2(a)) and that the indictment charged him with attempted murder in that he "attempted to kill [Davis and Lombardi] by shooting at [them] with a gun." Whether there was sufficient evidence to prove these charges was for the jury and its verdict will not be reversed unless the evidence is so unsatisfactory or improbable that a reasonable doubt as to defendant's guilt remains. People v. Yates (1983), 98 Ill. 2d 502, 518-19, 456 N.E.2d 1369, cert. denied (1984), 466 U.S. 981, 80 L. Ed. 2d 836, 104 S. Ct. 2364; People v. Helton (1987), 153 Ill. App. 3d 726, 734, 506 N.E.2d 307; People v. Calhoun (1987), 152 Ill. App. 3d 206, 209, 504 N.E.2d 266.

Here, Campbell saw a gun handle protruding from an inside pocket of defendant's jacket in the restaurant. Davis swore defendant shot at him from a distance of five yards and that he saw the gun in defendant's hand as the shots were fired. Lombardi stated that he saw a gun in defendant's hand from 10 feet away on Wilcox and fired at him twice and defendant shot two more times at him in a gangway from a distance of 20 to 25 feet. Mullen averred he found a bullet in defendant's pants pocket. The forensic chemist testified that defendant's right palm bore traces of gunshot ...


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