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06/28/89 the People of the State of v. Wade

June 28, 1989





542 N.E.2d 58, 185 Ill. App. 3d 898, 134 Ill. Dec. 58 1989.IL.1010

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Matthew J. Moran, Judge, presiding.


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


Defendant, Vincent Wade, was tried by a jury and convicted of murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)), home invasion (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 12-11), and armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 18-2(a)). He argues on appeal that: (1) his sentence of natural life imprisonment for murder must be reversed because it was based upon the trial court's unsupported Conclusion that defendant inflicted the fatal knife wounds on the victim; (2) defendant's sentence to natural life imprisonment must be reversed and he must be resentenced because, in violation of his right to equal protection under the law, the trial court had unbridled discretion to sentence defendant to natural life imprisonment, rather than to an extended term; (3) the trial court erred in giving a non-Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction on felony murder.

We affirm.

At trial, Melba Martin testified that she was in Tyrone Tolliver's apartment on 93rd and Calumet streets in Chicago on August 9, 1984, when defendant and Michael Lynch wielding guns forced their entry into the apartment. She also testified that the defendant carried a knife. Martin testified that the defendant and Lynch pushed Tolliver onto a bed and asked about the "stash." Martin volunteered to help look for what they sought. Defendant held a gun to her while she searched the kitchen. Martin and Tolliver were then tied up on the bed.

Tolliver told them that he did not have the "stash" and Lynch hit him in the head with a bar. Then Martin heard a gunshot. Tolliver fell off the bed and defendant and Lynch kicked him. While Tolliver was on the floor moaning, defendant searched the apartment. Lynch threatened that Tolliver and Martin would die if he was not told where the "stash" was. Next, Lynch moved Tolliver into the bathroom while defendant moved electronic equipment out of the apartment. She heard Tolliver moaning in the bathroom, but later she did not hear any more moans. She could not see the bathroom from the bed.

When Tolliver's moans stopped, defendant and Lynch came into the room and Martin begged for her life. Defendant was sweating profusely and he told Lynch that they had to kill Martin. Lynch said that it was not the plan to kill her but defendant told Lynch to kill her. Lynch told Martin that her friend was dead but that they would cut her loose because he could not kill women or children. Before she left, she saw Lynch standing in the doorway of the bathroom and pointing a gun. When she ran out of the apartment she heard a gunshot.

Chicago police detective Frank Glynn testified that he found Tolliver's body in the bathroom facedown with his hands and feet bound with cord.

Chicago police evidence technician Robert Baikie testified on behalf of the State that in the apartment he found a white electrical cord, the ends of which appeared to have been cut, and that he viewed cords on Tolliver's body.

Assistant State's Attorney Edward Snow testified on behalf of the State that he interviewed defendant after his arrest. Snow reported, among other details, that the defendant told him he used some telephone cord and an extension cord to tie the victims up. Defendant also told Snow that Lynch hit the man in the back of the head with the karate stick while asking him where the "stash" was.

Dr. Tae An testified on behalf of the State that on August 10, 1984, he performed an autopsy on Tolliver and observed 41 stab wounds, three lacerations, four cutting wounds and four gunshot wounds. The cause of death was multiple stab and gunshot wounds.

The jury returned a general verdict finding defendant guilty of murder. The verdict did not indicate whether defendant was guilty of murder or felony murder. At the sentencing hearing, the trial court announced its Conclusion that it was defendant who inflicted the stab wounds on Tolliver. The trial court noted evidence that defendant was sweating profusely upon returning from the bathroom where Tolliver was stabbed.

The trial court also found that defendant's conduct was exceptionally brutal and heinous and indicative of wanton cruelty. The trial court then found defendant eligible for extended-term sentencing. The trial court noted defendant's prior convictions for robbery and two armed robberies and found that defendant had no rehabilitative potential. Defendant was sentenced concurrently to natural life imprisonment without the ...

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