APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT
526 N.E.2d 655, 172 Ill. App. 3d 471, 122 Ill. Dec. 396 1988.IL.1087
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County; the Hon. John E. Sype, Judge, presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE LINDBERG delivered the opinion of the court. WOODWARD and UNVERZAGT, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LINDBERG
On August 25, 1986, defendant, Dothan Rogers, was charged in the circuit court of Winnebago County with attempted robbery. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 8-4.) A jury trial was conducted, and the jury was unable to reach a verdict. The court declared a mistrial. A second jury trial was conducted, and on September 19, 1986, defendant was found guilty of attempted robbery and later sentenced to five years' imprisonment.
On appeal, defendant argues he was denied his sixth amendment right to effective assistance of counsel. Specifically, defendant argues he was prejudiced by: (1) his counsel's failure to object at all during the prosecutor's closing argument, which contained numerous instances of improper and prejudicial arguments; and (2) statements elicited by defense counsel from a State's witness during cross-examination, which corroborated the complaining witness' allegations that defendant intended to rob her.
The complaining witness, Kathy Johnson, was the first witness called by the State. She testified that at approximately 3:20 p.m. on May 2, 1986, she was in her office when defendant walked in and asked her if she could direct him to a vocational training facility which was located in an office on that floor. Ms. Johnson told him that she would show him since she was on her way to the rest room. Ms. Johnson directed him to the office he sought, and she went into the rest room. As Ms. Johnson attempted to leave the rest room, defendant grabbed her by the face and neck and pushed her back into the rest room. Ms. Johnson testified that she then asked defendant what he wanted, and defendant allegedly responded, "Do you have any money?" According to Ms. Johnson, after she replied that she did not, defendant then asked, "Well, do you have any money in your purse?" She answered that she might have $10 in her purse back in her office, and she testified that defendant answered "Well, fuck, that's not worth it." Ms. Johnson testified that she then told defendant that there might be additional money back in her office and that they should return there and look. As they were returning to Ms. Johnson's office, Ellen Conti, an employee on the floor, asked her if she was okay. Ms. Johnson testified that she then began running towards Ms. Conti and was not sure where defendant went.
Ellen Conti testified that at approximately 3:30 p.m. on May 2, 1986, she was in her office when she heard a scream. She looked out of her office door and after a few minutes observed Ms. Johnson and defendant walk out of the bathroom. She asked Ms. Johnson if she was okay, and Ms. Johnson began walking toward her. Defendant began running in the opposite direction. On cross-examination, she testified that although she did not tell the police when interviewed, Kathy Johnson stated to her that defendant asked for money. This allegedly occurred before the police arrived.
Florence Hofert testified that she was in her office at the time in question and heard a scream. She then observed defendant outside of her door and asked him what he was doing. She testified that defendant swiftly walked to the elevator and then exited the floor by use of the stairway.
Officer Steve Allen testified that he received a call at approximately 3:41 p.m. informing him of the alleged attempted robbery and a description of defendant. At approximately 3:50 p.m., Officer Allen observed defendant walking on a street and drinking a can of soda. Officer Allen then placed defendant under arrest. At the time defendant was arrested, he was six to eight blocks from the building where the incident occurred. Defendant did not resist the arrest.
Detective Dominic Iasparro, a Rockford policeman, testified that at approximately 4:30 p.m. on May 2, 1986, he interviewed defendant, and defendant "admitted to me that he had attempted to rob the lady at the Nu-State building." Detective Iasparro testified that defendant admitted that he attempted to rob Ms. Johnson because she was an "easy mark for money," grabbed her around the neck, demanded money, and stated, "Fuck it, it is not worth it," when Ms. Johnson told defendant that she only had $10 in her purse. On cross-examination, Detective Iasparro admitted that although the police obtained written statements from the other witnesses, they did not attempt to have defendant make a written statement and simply recorded a summary of defendant's alleged oral confession in a police report. Detective Iasparro concluded his testimony by stating that he used the police report containing the summary of defendant's oral confession to refresh his memory of the incident before he took the stand.
The State's next witness was Ray Ferguson. He testified that he was on the floor at the time in question and saw Ms. Johnson and defendant walk out of the bathroom together. He had come out into the hall after his secretary, Ellen Conti, asked Ms. Johnson if she was all right. He testified that Ms. Johnson then walked a few steps away from defendant and then began running toward them. He testified that defendant "mumbled something, I couldn't quite hear, waved his hands, and then . . . took off for the elevator."
Defendant took the stand in his own defense. He testified that on the day before the incident, he attempted suicide. He had seen two physicians for his illness and had taken prescribed muscle suppressants on the day of the incident. He had also consumed "three or four Millers," two brandies, and used cocaine on the day of the incident. Defendant testified that he was in the building where Ms. Johnson worked because he was instructed to go there by Rock River Training, a special training program offered through Office Opportunities Industrialization Center. He ...