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06/21/89 the People of the State of v. Maceo Willis

June 21, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

MACEO WILLIS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, THIRD DIVISION

540 N.E.2d 1080, 184 Ill. App. 3d 1033, 133 Ill. Dec. 214 1989.IL.942

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Robert L. Sklodowski, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of the court. FREEMAN, P.J., and RIZZI, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE WHITE

Following a jury trial, defendant, Maceo Willis, was found guilty of the unlawful restraint, kidnaping, aggravated kidnaping, and aggravated criminal sexual assault of Latanya Whitfield and was sentenced to an extended term of 60 years' imprisonment for aggravated criminal sexual assault and an extended term of 30 years' imprisonment for aggravated kidnaping. Defendant appeals both his conviction and sentence. He maintains that: (1) he was denied a fair trial because the circuit court allowed the State's Attorney to introduce evidence of other crimes; (2) the instruction that the circuit court gave to the jury regarding other-crimes evidence did not adequately define the purpose for which the jury could consider the evidence; (3) the State's Attorney misstated the law regarding the use of other-crimes evidence; (4) the circuit court improperly considered victim impact statements made by Latanya Whitfield and Susan Hatcher in imposing sentence; (5) he was improperly sentenced on four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault even though there was only one act of aggravated criminal sexual assault; and (6) he was improperly sentenced to an extended term of 30 years' imprisonment for aggravated kidnaping. For the reasons stated below, we affirm defendant's conviction of aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnaping, and the sentence imposed by the circuit court for aggravated criminal sexual assault. However, we reduce the sentence imposed by the court for aggravated kidnaping.

A summary of the evidence adduced at trial follows.

A 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 10, 1984, Latanya Whitfield was in front of her home at 5818 S. Bishop in Chicago. She heard a noise, turned, and saw defendant standing four feet away. Defendant was holding a black gun, with a four-inch barrel. He said to her "I need your help." She asked him if he wanted her purse. He said "No." He then told her "This is a .38. You move, I'll kill you." He instructed her not to look at him and made her walk to an abandoned building about one minute away. He forced her down the stairs of the building and pushed her to her knees. He then pulled her to her feet and told her to remove her clothes. When she refused to do so, he hit her twice in the neck. Again, he ordered her to remove her clothes. She pulled down her blue jeans and her panties. He picked her up and sat her on a stump 2 1/2 feet high. He told her to open her legs and hit her knees when she refused. She then opened her legs but he told her to open them wider. She told him that she could not. He then pulled her legs open. He told her not to move and to stop crying. He unzipped his pants, placed his penis in her vagina, and ejaculated. He fixed his pants, told her not to move, and left.

Latanya was taken to St. Bernard's Hospital, where she was examined by a doctor and vaginal specimens were collected. Latanya described her assailant to the police as a tall, heavily built, dark-skinned black, in his thirties, with a beard and sideburns, wearing black pants, a black leather jacket which came down to his thighs, a black knit hat, and black sunglasses. On February 11, 1985, Latanya viewed a lineup of five black men and identified defendant. She testified at trial that she identified defendant because she recognized his face, and not because of his coat or his hat.

Rick Roberts testified that on April 1, 1985, he was assigned to the serology unit of the Chicago police department crime laboratory. He received a Vitullo evidence collection kit for Latanya Whitfield which was prepared at the hospital emergency room. He examined the vaginal specimens and found that they were positive for the presence of spermatozoa.

It was stipulated that Dr. Schaeffer of St. Bernard's Hospital collected sperm swabs from Latanya Whitfield. He placed the swabs in a container which he then sealed. The swabs were delivered to the crime laboratory and remained in the sealed container until the container was opened by Rick Roberts.

Sharon Lee testified that she worked at Sola Electric from 1982 until 1985. Defendant also worked at Sola Electric during this time period. Defendant wore hats, dark sunglasses and a three-quarter-length black leather coat to work. During the period from October 1984 until February 1985, defendant did not have any hair and wore hats, including tight-fitting knit hats. Defendant had a beard and sideburns and periodically varied the length of the beard. On cross-examination, Sharon testified that Sola Electric employs over 200 employees, and she did not work in the same room as defendant.

Susan Hatcher testified that she lives at 6833 S. Lafflin in Chicago. At 11:45 p.m. on Saturday, October 6, 1984, she was returning home from a party where she had had one glass of wine to drink. She was carrying a bookbag containing her purse and a knife. She was four houses away from her home when she saw defendant come out of an alley on the east side of the street, cross the street and enter the alley on the west side of the street. She stopped under the streetlight near the alley on the east side of the street to search for her knife. Defendant came up to her and told her not to look at him. He grabbed her arm when she started to run. He had a dark gun with a three- or four-inch barrel in his hand. He told her that she could not outrun a .45 caliber and forced her to walk through various alleys to a garage at 67th and Bishop. The garage did not have a door and was illuminated by a light in the alley. Defendant pointed the gun at her stomach and told her to take off her clothes and throw them on the floor. After she complied with his order, he removed his sunglasses for a second and looked at her body. He then replaced his sunglasses and asked her why he should not kill her. She told him that she had a baby to take care of. He then forced her to lie down, he unbuttoned his pants, and took down his jocks. He placed his hand in her vagina and told her he was looking for a weapon. He then penetrated her vagina with his penis and ejaculated. After the act of intercourse, he asked her if she had any money. She lied and told him that she did not have any. He did not search her bookbag for the money. He told her that he should kill her and she begged him not to. He then left and went back to the alley.

Susan contacted the police two days after the incident. She described her assailant as a dark-skinned black male in his thirties, 6 feet 1 inch tall, 180 to 190 pounds, with a full beard, sideburns and a moustache, wearing a black knit skull cap, a three-quarter-length leather jacket, khaki pants, boots, and dark sunglasses. On February 11, 1985, Susan viewed a lineup of five black men and identified defendant. On cross-examination, Susan testified that she was told in late October 1984 that she has a cataract in her left eye. However, she can see despite the cataract.

Kathy Chatman testified that on February 9, 1985, she lived at 5533 S. Peoria in Chicago. She was returning home from work at 11 p.m. when she saw a man running toward her. She ran into her backyard, fell on the stairs leading to the back door, looked back and saw the man standing by the stairs. He had his hands outstretched in front of his body and he said something that she did not hear. She then screamed for her mother, who came to the back door along with Kathy's brother-in-law.

Kathy described the man who ran after her as a black man, 6 feet tall, wearing a three-quarter-length leather jacket. On February 11, 1985, Kathy viewed a lineup of five black men. She did not identify defendant positively.

Wilbur Brent is Kathy Chatman's brother-in-law. On February 9, 1985, he was at home at 5533 S. Peoria. At approximately 11 p.m. he heard a scream coming from the back porch. He ran out of the house and saw defendant standing by the back fence. Defendant started running and Brent chased him to Peoria street. He was three feet away from defendant when defendant turned to him and said "Don't come no farther or I'll blow you away." Wilbur testified that he did not see a gun in defendant's hands. However, he gave up the chase.

Wilbur described the man that he chased as a black man, in his thirties, 6 feet 1 inch tall, 180 to 200 pounds, with a beard and a moustache, wearing a black leather coat which came down below his hips and a black skull cap. He identified defendant in a lineup on February 11, 1985.

William Chatman, Kathy's father, testified that he was home on February 9, 1985. At approximately 11 p.m., Kathy came into the house, screaming that a man was chasing her. He went outside and saw Wilbur Brent chasing defendant. Wilbur stopped at the corner of 55th and Peoria. William, however, continued the chase. He saw defendant run toward a car. He positioned himself in front of the car. Defendant entered the car and drove toward him. He moved out of the way and noted the car's license plate number.

William described defendant to the police as a black man, 6 feet 1 inch tall, 180 to 200 pounds, with a beard and moustache, wearing a dark-colored, three-quarter-length leather or vinyl jacket, and a dark skull cap. He later identified defendant in a lineup.

Officer Ernest Bell of the Chicago police department testified that William Chatman gave him defendant's license plate number. He traced the car to defendant, contacted him at Sola Electric and transported him to the police station. Defendant was wearing a three-quarter-length leather jacket at the time of his arrest. On February 11, 1985, defendant ...


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