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11/15/88 the People of the State of v. Casey W. Jones

November 15, 1988





531 N.E.2d 88, 176 Ill. App. 3d 460, 125 Ill. Dec. 909 1988.IL.1655

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Henderson County; the Hon. Richard Ripple, Judge, presiding.

Rehearing Denied December 29, 1988.


PRESIDING JUSTICE STOUDER delivered the opinion of the court. BARRY and HEIPLE, JJ., concur.


Following a bench trial, the circuit court of Henderson County found the defendant, Casey Jones, guilty of one count of battery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 12-3(a)(1)) and one count of aggravated battery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 12-4(a)). The court entered a judgment of conditional discharge, requiring the defendant to spend 14 days in the county jail and to forfeit the rest of his bail bond money to the victim, Todd Scanlon, as restitution. The court also reserved the question of the defendant's ability to pay additional restitution for a status check in six months.

Several witnesses testified about the incident which gave rise to this case. For the State, Darren Brown testified that he and Jeanette McBride went on a double date with Todd Scanlon and Denise Miller. During the date Jeanette became angry, and the girls departed on foot. Attempting to find the girls, Todd and Darren drove to Jeanette's house and then to Denise's house.

They arrived at Denise's house at about 10 p.m., and Denise's brother, Ben Miller, met Todd and Darren outside and told them that the girls were not at the house. Despite the fact that Darren was told a year earlier not to enter the house and over Ben's objection, Darren proceeded to go into the house. Todd stayed outside and talked to Ben.

Inside the house, Darren found Kassie Carpenter, who was babysitting Denise's baby. The two proceeded into the kitchen, where the baby was seated at the table next to the defendant, Casey Jones. Darren walked over to the table and "just kind of tickled" the baby under the chin and said "cute little shit" or words to that effect. Casey, who was seated to the left of Darren, told Darren twice to back away. When he started to back off, Casey stood and shoved Darren into the wall and trash can. Darren then saw Todd come into the room and extend his arm towards Casey's right shoulder. Casey struck Todd twice, knocked Todd to the floor, and struck him again. Darren fled. When Darren returned, he found Todd sitting in a chair and bleeding. With two others, Dale Leary and Joe Foust, Darren assisted Todd into the car. Casey came out to the car and apologized to Todd. Casey and Todd shook hands, and Todd said it was okay.

Dale Leary testified that he was outside when Todd and Darren arrived. Dale had come to Denise's house earlier with the defendant and Joe Foust. Dale was talking to Todd outside when Joe came to the door and said that there was a problem inside. Dale followed Todd into the house. Dale heard Darren and Casey arguing, and he saw Casey push Darren. Dale then saw Todd grab Casey. Casey turned around and swung at Todd, and the two wrestled to the floor. Slapping Casey on the back, Dale told Casey to stop. Casey then arose and left the room, his muscle shirt torn on the left side. When Todd was taken out to the car, Dale heard Todd admit to Casey that the incident was his own fault, that he was sorry, and that Casey should not worry about it.

The parties stipulated that if called to testify, Ben Miller and Kassie Carpenter would testify in accordance with statements which they gave to the police. Both Ben and Kassie indicated that they were in the kitchen when Darren walked in and said "you cute little shit" to the baby. Ben saw Darren nudge the baby under the chin. Both Ben and Kassie saw that Darren was standing close to Casey, heard Casey tell Darren to back up, saw Casey push Darren, Todd grab Casey on the shoulder, and Casey hit Todd.

Denise testified that she had been dating Casey and knew that he would be at her house when she returned from her double date. She stated that Jeanette and Darren had a fight, so she and Jeanette decided to walk home. Upon her arrival, she learned that there had been a problem. Todd was sitting in a chair in the kitchen, where he remained for about one-half hour. When Todd was in the car, Denise heard Casey apologize about the incident and heard Todd tell Casey that it was his own fault.

Todd testified that when he walked into the kitchen towards Darren, he did not see the defendant. He saw someone come at him from his right side and hit him several times before he fell to the floor, where he was hit again. He did not remember raising his arms at anyone, except as a reflex to defend himself. When he was sitting in the car, Casey came out and ...

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