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04/28/89 the People of the State of v. Kurt Szymanowski

April 28, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

KURT SZYMANOWSKI, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

538 N.E.2d 729, 182 Ill. App. 3d 885, 131 Ill. Dec. 354 1989.IL.624

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Thomas J. Maloney, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE LORENZ delivered the opinion of the court. MURRAY, P.J., and PINCHAM, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LORENZ

Following a bench trial, defendant, Kurt Szymanowski, was convicted of the attempted murder and aggravated battery of his girlfriend, Debra Guzy, and was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment.

For reasons which follow, we must now reverse.

In the early morning of April 16, 1986, police officers were summoned to defendant's apartment at 2419 West Fullerton Avenue in Chicago, where they found Guzy, unconscious from apparent blows to the head, in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor. Guzy's head injuries were extensive. She remained in a semi-comatose state for five to six days after the incident and received continued medical treatment for two months.

At trial, the State presented evidence to establish, circumstantially, that defendant had beaten Guzy.

Chicago police officer John Lyons testified that at approximately 12:50 a.m. on April 16, 1986, he received an assignment to investigate a disturbance at a gas station at 2401 West Fullerton Avenue. Lyons stated that, upon arriving at that address, he observed the defendant in blood-soaked clothes. Lyons asked defendant if anything was wrong, but defendant was unresponsive. When defendant "rushed" at Lyons, he was arrested. Lyons testified that the blood on defendant's shirt was wet and that defendant appeared to be "under the influence of something." Lyons and his partner proceeded to 2419 West Fullerton Avenue to look for a victim. When they could see nothing from outside of the apartment, they returned to the police station. Defendant was released from custody at 3:30 a.m.

At 4:15 a.m. Lyons, in response to a radio broadcast, returned to 2419 West Fullerton Avenue. There he found defendant, naked, standing in the doorway. Lyons stated he went over to assist another officer who was standing over the victim. The victim was lying on the kitchen floor near a broken kitchen table and appeared to have been brutally beaten about the head. Lyons stated the apartment doors had not been forced open.

The police found defendant's clothes outside the apartment. Defendant's shirt was in a tree, his pants were partially on a garage roof, and his boots and socks were in the yard. Lyons testified that the bloodstains on defendant's shirt were as they appeared when defendant was earlier arrested.

Thomas Marquez, another police officer, testified that he and his partner were the first to arrive at defendant's apartment at 4:15 a.m. on April 16, 1986. Marquez stated he tried to enter through the back door, but it was locked. He observed a body lying on the kitchen floor. As the officers were preparing to force their way through the rear door, defendant opened it. Defendant was naked. Defendant told ...


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