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07/19/88 the People of the State of v. Charles Woods

July 19, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

CHARLES WOODS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION

527 N.E.2d 485, 173 Ill. App. 3d 244, 123 Ill. Dec. 22 1988.IL.1115

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Will E. Gierach, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE BILANDIC delivered the opinion of the court. HARTMAN, P.J., and SCARIANO, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE BILANDIC

Defendant, Charles Woods, was found guilty of two counts of armed violence, not guilty of attempted murder, and not guilty of three counts of aggravated battery. The court merged one armed violence into the other and sentenced defendant to six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Defendant appeals the verdicts contending that finding him guilty of armed violence but not guilty of the underlying felony of aggravated battery is legally inconsistent.

The State's evidence revealed that the victim, Marguerite Henry, had met defendant while both were working at a radio station. They dated a few times between 1978 and 1985. On February 15, 1985, at about 8 p.m., Henry and her son stopped by the radio station to see the defendant. The three left the station, stopped at a pizza place, and then went to defendant's home. Henry testified that she told defendant she wanted him to take her home at about 9:30 p.m. Woods stated that he would take them home in the morning and that she and her son should spend the night.

Henry then testified that the next morning she asked to be taken to the hospital because she needed medication. Defendant refused and left the apartment. When he returned, he sat down in a chair, reached under the end table and retrieved a gun. As he sat in the chair, he shifted the gun from one hand to the other. Henry told him to put the gun away as it might go off. She heard a click, and as she turned around, the gun went off. The bullet hit her above the right eye.

Henry testified that she fell to the floor and screamed for defendant to call the police. Defendant replied that he would not call the police unless she would say that she shot herself. Defendant then called the police.

An ambulance arrived and took Henry to the hospital where she remained for two weeks. Her right eye was removed during surgery. She now wears a prosthesis where her right eye had been.

Officer Douglas Longfellow of the Chicago Heights police department also testified. He was the officer who responded to the shooting. Defendant told him that Henry had shot herself. Longfellow observed a .38 caliber revolver on the couch, opened it, and found one shell under the hammer. The revolver was capable of holding five bullets.

At the police station, Longfellow searched defendant and found four live .38 caliber rounds in his pocket. At this point, defendant told Longfellow that he was holding the gun when Henry grabbed his right hand and the gun went off.

Later that afternoon, in the presence of Longfellow and an assistant State's Attorney, defendant stated that Henry never grabbed his hand, but that he pointed the gun at her and pulled the trigger. According to Longfellow, he stated that he just wanted to scare her and thought the gun was empty.

Defendant testified in his own behalf. He stated that in addition to the radio station, he was employed by the East Chicago Heights police department. His duties included transporting prisoners to and from court. He would be armed ...


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