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08/03/88 the People of the State of v. Frederick Taylor

August 3, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

FREDERICK TAYLOR, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, THIRD DIVISION

527 N.E.2d 974, 173 Ill. App. 3d 686, 123 Ill. Dec. 336 1988.IL.1199

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Thomas P. Durkin, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE FREEMAN delivered the opinion of the court. WHITE, P.J., concurs. JUSTICE McNAMARA, Dissenting.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE FREEMAN

Following a jury trial defendant, Frederick Taylor, was found guilty of robbery and theft. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, pars. 18-1(a), 16-1(a)(1).) He was sentenced to a period of 30 months' probation with six months' incarceration as a condition thereof and fined $270. He appeals, contending that he was not proved guilty of robbery beyond a reasonable doubt; that the admission into evidence of a hearsay statement by an anonymous, unidentified declarant was improper; that the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury to consider whether defendant made any statement at the time of his arrest; and that one of the convictions must be vacated.

The evidence at trial showed that on September 20, 1984, at 8:15 p.m. the victim, Ruby Shoulders, stopped her black Cadillac to make a call at an outdoor telephone mounted on a post. While doing so, she watched defendant walk towards her from across the street. Defendant, who came close to her, then reached toward her and snatched a gold-and-diamond medallion on a gold chain from her neck. The victim said defendant stared at her for about 10 seconds, backed slowly away and then ran. As he fled, defendant again turned to look at her before disappearing into an alley. The victim immediately flagged an oncoming squad car and accompanied the officers on an unsuccessful tour of the area to find defendant. When they returned her to the place where she had been accosted, the victim got into another squad car to make a report.

Police officer D. Jack testified that the victim described the assailant as a 25-year-old male black, about six feet tall, with a medium complexion, black hair and weighing 175 pounds. She said he was also wearing a brown coat. The officer also said that he spoke to an unidentified person at the scene of the crime and received a license plate number.

Officer J. Johnson testified that he talked to the victim and three days later stopped defendant, who was driving a car for which the officer was looking. He explained to defendant that he wanted to question him about the incident, and defendant came to the station, where he was advised of his rights. The defendant told the officer that he could not have taken the gold chain because he was at work at the time of the incident. The defendant did, however, permit the officer to take his photograph.

Officer Johnson said that he then placed this photograph in a group of seven other pictures and showed them to the victim, who was also at the station. She immediately identified defendant as the person who had robbed her. When the officer returned to defendant and told him he had been identified by the victim, defendant then said he was really with his girlfriend at the time of the incident.

The defendant was then placed in a five-man lineup, and the victim again identified defendant as the robber. When defendant was told he had been identified by the victim from the lineup, defendant asked the officer if the lady was tall, well dressed, and had a black Cadillac. When the officer replied, "yes," defendant then said that she had identified him because he had pulled his car up next to her vehicle. The officer further testified that defendant was 19 years old and that the jewelry was never recovered.

The defendant first contends that he was not proved guilty of robbery beyond a reasonable doubt because there was no evidence of physical injury, struggle or touching of the victim. He maintains that a simple snatching does not involve sufficient force to constitute a robbery.

A person commits the crime of robbery when he takes property from the person or presence of another by the use of force or by threatening the imminent use of force. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 18-1.) Among the elements which must be established to prove robbery, the State must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the force alleged was of such a character as to temporarily suspend the victim's power to exercise his will and that the force preceded or was contemporaneous with the taking of the property. (People v. Romo (1980), 85 Ill. App. 3d 886, 407 N.E.2d 661.) A subjective feeling of fear will not support a conviction for robbery in the absence of facts to show that fear was reasonable. (People v. Hollingsworth (1983), 120 Ill. App. 3d 177, 179, 457 N.E.2d 1062.) There is little practical distinction between robbery and larceny from a person, and in cases where the evidence is such that there is a doubt, it is the duty of the courts to resolve such doubt in favor of the accused. People v. Patton (1979), 76 Ill. 2d 45, 50, 389 N.E.2d 1174.

In People v. Campbell (1908), 234 Ill. 391, 84 N.E. 1035, the supreme court affirmed a conviction for robbery where the victim boarded a streetcar and was jostled by several men, causing him to feel a "jerk" at his diamond stud, which had been fastened in his shirtfront. The victim testified that he saw the ...


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