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03/20/89 the People of the State of v. Derrick White

March 20, 1989





537 N.E.2d 1315, 181 Ill. App. 3d 798, 130 Ill. Dec. 846 1989.IL.357

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Howard M. Miller, Judge, presiding.


PRESIDING JUSTICE MANNING delivered the opinion of the court. CAMPBELL and QUINLAN, JJ., concur.


The defendant, Derrick White, was charged by information with the murder of Edward Sanders, who was fatally shot on January 31, 1981, while riding as a passenger in a taxicab. Following a jury trial in the circuit court of Cook County, the defendant was found guilty of murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 9-1) and sentenced to 27 years' imprisonment. The defendant's motions for a mistrial and a new trial were denied by the trial court, and the defendant filed this appeal.

The defendant contends in his appeal that: (1) it was reversible error for the trial court to admit the prior inconsistent statements of the defendant's former girlfriend, which were introduced under the pretext of impeachment for the sole purpose of introducing hearsay statements; (2) his constitutional right to remain silent was violated due to improper comments by the prosecutor during closing arguments; and (3) he was not proven guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt.

It was stipulated that, if called as a witness, Sylvia Roysner, Sanders' girlfriend, would testify that on January 30, 1981, she and Sanders purchased drugs from Spuds, Derrick, Gun and Drake Hudsell, a/k/a Binkie or Banks. Both of them became ill from the drugs, and Sanders called Drake Hudsell (Binkie), who agreed to refund their money. Sanders subsequently went looking for Binkie to get the money. Roysner would further testify that Binkie and Sanders "had argued over a previous dope deal."

Richard Holt, a taxicab driver, testified that early in the morning of January 31, 1981, he picked up Sanders on the corner of 79th and Drexel and drove him to 79th and Ingleside. Upon arrival at that location, Sanders directed Holt to blow the horn, which he did. When no one responded to the horn, Sanders directed Holt to take him to 77th and Greenwood. When they arrived at that location, Sanders asked a man sitting in a parked car if he had seen Binkie. The man responded that he had not. Sanders then directed Holt to drive to the end of the block and to return to the same location. A light blue Continental automobile driven by a female pulled behind the taxicab and parked.

Holt further testified that Derrick White came out of the building at 7747 South Greenwood, and Sanders asked White if he had seen "Banks" (Binkie). Further conversation took place between Sanders and White regarding the $80 Sanders had given to "Banks" (Binkie). Holt, noticing that White had a gun in his hand, drove away south-bound on Greenwood. When Holt reached 79th Street, he noticed the same blue Continental automobile that he had previously seen, and he saw a gun protruding out of the passenger side window. The Continental pulled up on the left side of the taxicab, and two shots were fired from the right front window of the Continental. After the second shot was fired the Continental proceeded westbound on 79th Street. Holt drove to 79th and Cottage Grove and called the police because Sanders had been shot. Shortly thereafter, the police arrived and took Sanders to Jackson Park Hospital. Sanders subsequently died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Holt admitted that he did not see who shot Sanders. However, on February 1, 1981, Holt viewed a lineup at 85th and Green. He said that he picked White from the lineup because White was "real light-skinned," with a little goatee and because White was the man standing on the sidewalk the previous night holding a gun. At one time in his testimony, Holt said that he saw a picture of White before the lineup, but later he testified that he saw a picture of White after the lineup.

Phillip Morris, the owner of the blue Lincoln Continental, testified that he saw Binkie and White on January 31, 1981. On that date, he was in his apartment at 7747 South Greenwood looking out of the window when he saw White standing on the sidewalk talking to someone in a cab. While this interaction was occurring, Morris testified that Binkie had gone outside, but returned through the back door, and at that time Binkie stated that Eddie was outside. Binkie then proceeded out the front door. Shortly thereafter, Morris' girlfriend, Charlotte Lillard, came into the apartment and told Morris that she had given Binkie the keys to the Continental. Approximately one hour later, Binkie called Morris and told him that he could retrieve his car on 71st and Michigan. Morris further testified that Binkie was "real light-skinned," with hair on his chin, and that Binkie's complexion was "a lot" lighter than the defendant's complexion.

Charlotte Lillard testified that when she parked the Continental on Greenwood, she saw a man on the sidewalk arguing with someone in a cab. After she had parked the car, she said, Binkie then came over to the car and told her that Morris had given him permission to use the car. Lillard testified that Binkie was alone when she gave him the keys to the car. Thereafter, he drove off in Morris' car.

Detective Lawrence Nitsche testified that he interviewed the defendant on February 1, 1981, and received an oral confession from the defendant. Detective Nitsche further testified that he was told by the defendant that Sanders came to the defendant's apartment with a knife about an hour before the shooting and they had argued over drugs. Sanders left the apartment and returned approximately one hour later in a cab. There was some ...

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