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11/21/88 the People of the State of v. John O'neal

November 21, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLANT

v.

JOHN O'NEAL, APPELLEE

THE FACTS OF THIS CASE ARE ADEQUATELY SET FORTH IN BOTH APPELLATE COURT ORDERS AND IN PEOPLE

v.

O'NEAL (1984), 104 ILL. 2D 399, AND WILL BE BRIEFLY STATED HERE.



Before imposing the lengthy consecutive sentences, the trial court acknowledged the evidence in aggravation and stated:

SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS

531 N.E.2d 366, 125 Ill. 2d 291, 126 Ill. Dec. 71 1988.IL.1682

Appeal from the Appellate Court for the First District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Hon. Thomas J. Maloney, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE STAMOS delivered the opinion of the court. JUSTICE MILLER, Dissenting.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE STAMOS

The defendant, John O'Neal, was indicted in the circuit court of Cook County, tried by a jury, and convicted of murder, rape and aggravated kidnapping. He was sentenced to terms of 40 years for murder, 20 years for rape, and 15 years for aggravated kidnapping. The term of imprisonment for aggravated kidnapping was to run concurrently with the term for rape, and those terms were to run consecutively to the term of imprisonment for murder. In a Rule 23 order (107 Ill. 2d R. 23), the appellate court reversed and remanded defendant's conviction for murder, based on the trial court's refusal to submit defendant's tendered instruction on voluntary manslaughter. People v. O'Neal (1984), 122 Ill. App. 3d 1158 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23).

This court affirmed the reversal of the murder conviction. (People v. O'Neal (1984), 104 Ill. 2d 399.) Upon retrial, a jury convicted the defendant of murder. After hearing evidence in aggravation and mitigation the defendant was sentenced to a term of 40 years for murder, to run consecutively to the previous sentences for rape and aggravated kidnapping. In a Rule 23 order (107 Ill. 2d R. 23), the appellate court affirmed the murder conviction but modified the sentences to run concurrently rather than consecutively. (162 Ill. App. 3d 1165 (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23).) We allowed the State's petition for leave to appeal. 107 Ill. 2d R. 315.

The sole issue is whether the appellate court erred in modifying the trial court's imposition of sentence from consecutive to concurrent terms.

On November 29, 1981, the victim was driving her boyfriend home following an evening spent at her mother's house watching television. When she was about to drop her boyfriend off at his home, two armed men, the defendant and Robert Hendricks, approached the car.

The victim testified that the defendant and Hendricks suddenly opened the front doors to the car and forced themselves into the car at gunpoint. Hendricks ordered the boyfriend to get into the backseat of the car with the defendant and directed the victim to slide over to the passenger side. Hendricks drove around for about one-half hour before pulling into an alley, where he parked the car. First, the gunmen ordered the boyfriend out of the car. Then, they ordered the victim to get out of the car and forced her to open the trunk. The defendant locked the victim's boyfriend in the trunk.

The victim and both gunmen returned to the car, and Hendricks proceeded to drive around for two to three minutes before stopping in another alley. The defendant pulled the victim into the backseat of the car and raped her.

Hendricks and the defendant changed places. Hendricks removed his jacket, in which he had placed his gun and wallet, and placed it on the floor. While Hendricks was positioned on top of the victim, the defendant shot Hendricks in the head.

The defendant removed some money from Hendricks' wallet and ran from the car. He immediately returned to the car, grabbed Hendricks' gun and ran away again. After he was gone, the victim pushed Hendricks' body off her and released her boyfriend from the trunk.

Her boyfriend wanted to call the police immediately, but the victim refused because she was too upset and frightened to talk to the police. Instead, they dropped Hendricks' body in an alley and drove to the home of the victim's sister, who phoned the police. The victim and her boyfriend gave statements to the police, and the victim was ...


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