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08/01/88 the People of the State of v. Richard Bedony

August 1, 1988





527 N.E.2d 916, 173 Ill. App. 3d 613, 123 Ill. Dec. 278 1988.IL.1178

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Michael P. Toomin, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE QUINLAN delivered the opinion of the court. CAMPBELL, P.J., and MANNING, J., concur.


The defendant, Richard (Rick) Bedony, was tried in a bench trial and convicted of the attempted murder of George Georgitsis in the circuit court of Cook County. Bedony was subsequently sentenced to an extended term of 45 years' incarceration.

Rick Bedony worked at the Jewel food store on Touhy Avenue in Skokie, Illinois. In approximately November 1985, he met and began to have a sexual relationship with another Jewel worker, Jacquelyn (Jackie) Georgitsis, who was, at the time, married to George Georgitsis. The relationship between the defendant and Jackie continued steadily until at least May of 1986. The testimony at trial was conflicting as to whether George knew of Jackie and Rick's affair.

At trial, Jackie testified that a few days prior to May 2, 1986, she told the defendant that she thought she was pregnant, that she did not want the baby, and that she wanted to end their relationship. She testified that defendant was very upset by this, and that he wanted her to leave her husband George so that they could be together. The defendant, however, denied that Jackie told him of a possible pregnancy at that time and denied that she told him that she wanted to end their relationship just prior to May 2, 1986.

On May 2, 1986, at approximately 10 a.m., George Georgitsis testified that he was at home and that he received a phone call from the defendant who, he claimed, he knew as the boyfriend of his wife's friend Jackie Rockford. Admittedly, this was how Jackie and Rick kept their affair a secret from George. According to George, the defendant called to tell George that his car had broken down, and asked George to fix it, since George ran an auto repair business. George testified that the defendant came over to his house sometime between 10:03 and 10:15 a.m. After he arrived, George allegedly called his friend and business partner, Steve McNally, and asked him to drive over to George's so that they could go get the defendant's car. George stated that after he called Steve, he took the defendant upstairs to the "drum room" to conduct their business. George testified that when he turned his back, defendant repeatedly hit him on the head with the pipe from a barbell, which he had been carrying under his arm when he arrived. George testified that the defendant then pulled a gun out and ordered George to lay face down on the floor, looking down a laundry chute. George said that, at that point, he got up, kicked open the door to the adjoining back porch, walked out onto the porch and sat down on the porch. According to George, the defendant shot him while he was sitting on the floor of the porch. George stated that all he remembered after that was waking up in the hospital.

George's friend, Steve McNally, testified that George called him between 10:15 and 10:30 a.m. to ask if he could pick up George and the defendant and take them to the defendant's car. McNally stated that he got to the Georgitsises' home at about 11:15 a.m. and he honked his horn, but no one responded. A neighbor of the Georgitsises stated that he spoke to McNally at around 11 a.m. and that McNally told him that he was looking for George so that he could take them to defendant's car. Georgitsis' next door neighbor testified that at approximately 10:20 to 10:25 a.m., he heard two shots which came from the back of the Georgitsises' house.

At approximately 4 to 4:30 p.m. on May 2, Jackie Georgitsis came home from work and found George on the back porch, bleeding and semiconscious. Moments thereafter, George's mother came home from work also. George was then taken to the hospital, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the head, and, as a result of that wound, suffered some memory loss. Although George's mother testified that she asked George, soon after he was found, if he had taken drugs or been drinking and he answered no, a police detective testified that the mother had told him that George said that he had taken drugs and been drinking. Further testimony established that three empty shell casings were found on the back porch and a fourth empty shell casing was found in the bedroom. Additionally, it was established that a window on the back porch had been broken sometime on May 2.

The defendant presented an alibi defense, claiming that he arrived at work between 10:15 and 10:30 a.m. and that, therefore, he could not have shot George just before 10:30 a.m. He presented witnesses who saw him that morning, and, although none of the witnesses saw the defendant arrive at Jewel, one witness, Charles Wallace, testified that he saw defendant arrive at Jewel sometime between 10:15 and 10:30 a.m. Jackie Georgitsis testified that it takes from 10 to 25 minutes to get from her home to the Jewel on Touhy Avenue. The prosecution, however, presented the testimony of a police detective who had timed a route from the Georgitsises' home to the Jewel a few days later and found that it took nine minutes to travel the distance.

On the evening of May 2, 1986, Jackie called the defendant, more than once, and, allegedly, told him about George's shooting, and asked him not to say anything about their affair. Defendant was questioned by police and, at first, denied having sex with Jackie, but later admitted to it. On May 6, after the defendant was released by the police, he left a note on a dollar bill, on Jackie's car, which read, "Please call me. I love you so much. I need you." George then identified defendant's photo from a photo line up, although he referred to him at different times as Rick, Rick-Mike or Mike. Jackie and Rick resumed a relationship sometime after May 2, 1986, and that relationship ended on September 20, 1986.

The trial Judge found the defendant guilty of attempted murder and sentenced him to an extended-term sentence of 45 years because the trial Judge found the crime to be exceptionally brutal and heinous. On defendant's motion for a new trial, defense counsel attempted to present the affidavit of a private investigator to attest that the travel time from the Georgitsises' home to the Jewel was approximately 11 to 15 ...

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