SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS
533 N.E.2d 898, 126 Ill. 2d 179, 127 Ill. Dec. 816 1988.IL.1841
Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Fourth District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Adams County, the Hon. David K. Slocum, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE WARD delivered the opinion of the court.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE WARD
Following the trial of Gerald Schmidt, the defendant, in the circuit court of Adams County, the jury returned verdicts finding him guilty of residential burglary (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 19-3) and of theft (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 16-1). He was sentenced to terms of 8 years for residential burglary and 364 days for theft. The appellate court, with one Justice Dissenting, reversed and remanded for a new trial. (161 Ill. App. 3d 278.) We granted the State's petition for leave to appeal (107 Ill. 2d R. 315).
A one-count information was filed charging the defendant with residential burglary, after his arrest on the back porch of a house in Quincy. At the time of arrest, the defendant was in possession of a number of small pieces of jewelry and several coins taken from the house.
Following the statutory language in the definition of residential burglary, the information read:
"That on or about the 13th day of November, 1985, in Adams County, Illinois, GERALD C. SCHMIDT JR. committed the offense of RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY in that he knowingly, and without authority, entered into the dwelling place of Donald R. Schuering, located at 2011 Prairie, Quincy, Adams County, Illinois, with the intent to commit therein a theft, in violation of Chapter 38, Section 19 -- 3 of the Illinois Revised Statutes."
As stated, no charge of theft was brought against Schmidt.
At the time of the defendant's arrest, the kitchen window screen on the back porch of the residence was wide open and the window, which showed signs of a forced entry, was partially open. A butter knife was found in the defendant's sock, which later police testimony suggested could have been used to pry open the lock on the kitchen window. Fingerprints lifted from the inside of the window matched those of the defendant.
At trial, the defendant testified that he was in the neighborhood going from door to door looking for work. When he knocked at the door of the residence involved, the defendant stated he saw a man run through the house and leave by the back door. He said that he then went to the back of the house and picked up the small items of jewelry and coins found on his person. The defendant claimed that the burglar had dropped those items in his flight from the scene. The defendant testified that he did not enter the residence, but on cross-examination he was not able to explain the presence of his fingerprints on the inside of the window.
A neighbor testified that she watched a young man of the defendant's description pry open the kitchen window and enter the house. She immediately called the homeowner's office and the police were notified. She later saw the man leave the house through the back door and then stand with his back against the wall of the back porch in an apparent effort to escape notice. Several minutes later she saw him being arrested on the porch. Police officers identified the defendant as the man they arrested.
The statute defining residential burglary provides that the offense is committed when one "knowingly and without authority enters the dwelling place of another with the intent to commit therein a felony ...