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11/03/88 the People of the State of v. Eddie E. Johnson

November 3, 1988





530 N.E.2d 627, 175 Ill. App. 3d 908, 125 Ill. Dec. 469 1988.IL.1604

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Macon County; the Hon. Rodney A. Scott, Judge, presiding.


PRESIDING JUSTICE GREEN delivered the opinion of the court. McCULLOUGH and SPITZ, JJ., concur.


On March 30, 1987, and April 9, 1987, defendant Eddie E. Johnson was charged in the circuit court of Macon County with the March 29, 1987, burglaries of eight motor vehicles. All of those burglaries were from automobiles parked in the "Wellington Way" and "Camelot Circle" apartment areas of Decatur, Illinois. Defendant was tried by jury on six of the eight counts, was convicted of five counts and was acquitted of one count. He was subsequently sentenced to five concurrent, extended terms of 10 years' imprisonment. On appeal, defendant maintains (1) he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) the trial court abused its discretion in imposing a greater sentence on defendant than that given to his codefendants; (3) he is entitled to sentence credit for the amount of time he spent in jail in North Carolina pursuant to Illinois process before he was extradited to Illinois; and (4) he is entitled to a refund of certain fees imposed against him. We affirm.

At trial, police officer Michael Applegate testified that he interviewed defendant at 9:30 p.m. on March 30, 1987. He said that defendant gave Applegate an oral statement which was later reduced to writing and signed by defendant. Applegate then read the statement in which defendant said: (1) on March 29 and 30, 1987, between approximately 10 p.m. and 3:30 a.m., he was driving a Monte Carlo automobile; (2) in the car with him were Joe Williams, Adam Carney, and Bobby Warnsley; (3) he had been "told" these persons were going to commit car burglaries to obtain merchandise to be sold to obtain bond money for Joe Williams, who was going to turn himself in on an outstanding warrant; (4) they parked in the "Wellington Way" and "Camelot" apartment areas, and defendant gave Joe the keys to the car and trunk; (5) Williams, Carney, and Warnsley left defendant sitting in the car and later returned with various items and placed them in the trunk; (6) defendant did not actively participate in the burglaries; (7) the four returned with the merchandise to the trailer which defendant described as being his; (8) when the police arrived, Williams escaped through a bedroom window; and (9) defendant had been "told" they would split the money from the sale of the items. A copy of defendant's statement was admitted into evidence. The statement did not indicate who had "told" defendant car burglaries were to be committed or that the money obtained would be split.

The proof of defendant's guilt contained in the statement he purportedly made was corroborated by the testimony of Sherry Adams, who lived at the "Wellington Way" apartments. Adams testified at trial that (1) on March 29, 1987, at approximately 11 p.m., she looked out of her apartment and noticed a car with lights flashing inside; (2) after a few minutes, she saw all four of the occupants of the car leave the car and run across the parking lot of the apartment complex; (3) she then went outside, wrote down the license number and returned to her apartment; and (4) after the four men returned to the car, she called the police, giving them the license number and a description of the car and the men's clothing. She described the car as a white Monte Carlo with a light blue vinyl roof.

The victims of the various burglaries also testified concerning the items which had been stolen, the damage to their vehicles, and the approximate time frame in which the burglaries had to have occurred. One victim, Harold Witts, testified that at approximately 11 p.m. on March 29, he saw two black men reaching into his fiancee's automobile. He said he yelled at them, called the police, and then went outside and pursued them on foot. He said he was unable to catch the men, but he observed the men leave in a Monte Carlo. He described the Monte Carlo as light blue with a white vinyl roof.

Police officer Henry Maxeiner testified that he was sent to the "Wellington Way" apartment complex, at which the Monte Carlo had first been seen. He said he talked to Adams and Witts at approximately 11 p.m. on March 29, obtained a description of a "maroon over white" Monte Carlo, and determined the address to which the Monte Carlo was registered. Officer Patrick Campbell testified that he was ordered to conduct surveillance of a trailer located at that address. He said when he arrived at the trailer, he waited for over an hour before a "white or light colored" Monte Carlo arrived. He said he could see the trunk and driver's side door open, and he could hear at least two voices. He called for assistance.

Police officer David Stewart testified that he went to the trailer at which Campbell had been conducting surveillance at approximately 4 a.m. on March 30, 1987. He said when he knocked on the door of the trailer, defendant answered and denied owning the trailer. He said when he asked defendant if the owner of the Monte Carlo was there, Kristie Hargrave came to the door. She eventually gave the officer permission to search the trailer. Stewart testified there were four persons in the trailer: defendant, Hargrave, Adam Carney, and Bobby Warnsley. He said he found a baseball bat, a tire iron, two radar detectors, a metal tool box, a cassette tape case, stereo speakers, and a screwdriver. He said he asked the people inside the trailer if any of the items belonged to them, and they all replied that they did not. Stewart said he seized those items and a number of other items over which no one in the trailer acknowledged ownership. Stewart described People's exhibit Nos. 4 and 5 as photographs of radar detectors found in the trailer. He identified People's exhibit Nos. 6 and 7 as photographs of an "all-purpose box" found at the trailer. He then identified People's exhibit No. 8 as a photograph of a black vinyl cassette carrying case and People's exhibit No. 9 as a photograph of two car stereo speakers and a screwdriver, all of which were found in the trailer.

Jeffrey Alexander testified at trial that he lived at the Camelot Apartments, and at 9:50 a.m. on March 30, 1987, he discovered his automobile, which had been parked in the apartment complex lot, had been broken into. He said a tool box was missing from the car and identified People's exhibit Nos. 6 and 7 as photographs of his tool box.

Jo Ellen Dellert, also of Camelot Apartments, testified her automobile had been parked at the apartment complex and had been entered sometime between 10:30 p.m. on March 29 and 8 a.m. on March 30. She identified People's exhibit No. 5 as a photograph of a radar detector taken from her vehicle at that time.

Abbi Walter, another resident of the Camelot Apartments, testified that she discovered her automobile had been entered without her permission between 7 p.m. on March 29 and 8 a.m. on March 30, 1987, in the apartment complex parking lot. She said stereo speakers, a jacket, and some cassettes in a case were missing. She identified People's exhibit No. 8 as a cassette carrying case that was removed from her vehicle. She said she did not recover the jacket or the speakers.

Tim Phelps testified he lived at the Wellington Way Apartments, and that at 5:30 a.m. on March 30, 1987, he noticed his car, which had been parked in the apartment parking lot, had been broken into. He identified People's exhibit No. 4 as a photograph of a radar ...

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