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10/25/88 the People of the State of v. Thatedus Williams

October 25, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

THATEDUS WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION

530 N.E.2d 1049, 176 Ill. App. 3d 73, 125 Ill. Dec. 640 1988.IL.1566

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Francis J. Mahon and the Hon. Stephen A. Schiller, Judges, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

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

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE EGAN

This case involves three consolidated appeals: Appeal No. 86 -- 1081 is from a conviction after a bench trial of one count of attempted armed robbery and three counts of aggravated battery; appeal No. 86 -- 1579 is from a judgment of guilty on a plea of guilty to armed robbery, armed violence and aggravated battery; appeal No. 86 -- 2070 is from a judgment based on a revocation of probation. The revocation was based on the defendant's convictions after the bench trial and his plea of guilty.

He was sentenced by Judge Francis J. Mahon on the bench trial conviction to a term of eight years for armed robbery and five years for aggravated battery and on the plea of guilty to a term of eight years for attempted armed robbery, eight years for armed violence and five years for aggravated battery. All sentences were to run concurrently.

Judge Steven A. Schiller, after revoking the defendant's probation, sentenced him to four years for robbery to run consecutively to the terms imposed by Judge Mahon. He now contends that his conviction after a bench trial should be reversed, that his plea of guilty should be vacated and, therefore, that his revocation of probation should be reversed.

We will first consider his claim that the evidence heard at the bench trial did not establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

On February 10, 1985, at approximately 6:35 p.m., McKinley Murray went to a grocery store to buy beer. After leaving the store he was walking in the vicinity of 1316 West 14th Street in Chicago when two men "appeared from nowhere and told [him] it was a stick-up." One of them had a revolver. The armed man was closest to Murray, about four feet away. The second man, who appeared to be unarmed, stood about four feet in back. Murray stood facing the two men for what he estimated was 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. He told them he would give them the money he had. As he began to lower his right hand to get the money, the man with the gun shot him in the right arm between the wrist and the elbow.

Murray pulled a revolver from his jacket pocket and fired all six shots at both men. The first two hit the first man, who died. He was Rodney Kirkwood. The other man ran away. Murray later identified the defendant as the second man.

The defendant was admitted to the University of Illinois Hospital shortly after 7 p.m. with four gunshot wounds, one in the left forearm, the right hip, the lower left back and left buttocks.

He was questioned by detectives and an assistant State's Attorney, who took a written statement from him. The defendant later refused to sign it. That statement was introduced in evidence but has not been made part of the record.

The defendant testified that he was on his way to his grandmother's house at 74th and Wentworth. He was taking a shortcut through various gangways on his way to Racine Avenue, where he could take the bus. While he was walking down the street in the 1300 block on West 14th Street at around 7 p.m., a man in his twenties approached, called him by his nickname and asked if the defendant was the man that stuck him up. The defendant shook his head and kept walking. Somebody called his name out and said, "T.J.," his nickname, and when he turned to look, two individuals were shooting at him. He had known the deceased, Rodney Kirkwood, who knew the defendant's nickname, for two or three years, but he did not see Rodney Kirkwood that night. After he was shot, he ran to a friend's house and asked him to call the police. He said that he had refused to sign the statement because there was a discrepancy in it. The ...


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