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06/30/89 the People of the State of v. Thomas

June 30, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

VINCENT THOMAS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION

542 N.E.2d 100, 185 Ill. App. 3d 1050, 134 Ill. Dec. 100 1989.IL.1051

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Lawrence I. Genesen, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE BILANDIC delivered the opinion of the court. SCARIANO and DiVITO, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE BILANDIC

After a jury trial, defendant, Vincent Thomas, was convicted of murder for shooting and killing James Jones, and of armed violence for shooting Eric Archie. He was sentenced to consecutive terms of 28 years for murder and 10 years for armed violence in the Pontiac Correctional Center.

The State presented evidence as follows: Eric Archie testified that on April 10, 1986, the evening before the incident, he was at a grocery store with James Jones. Around 10:30 p.m., defendant walked into the store and spoke with Jones. They began to fight and defendant hit Jones in the face. Archie broke up the fight. He and Jones then left the store.

When defendant left the store, he proceeded to fight with Jones in front of the store. Archie broke up that fight.

Archie and Jones walked down the block. Defendant and Jones began to fight for a third time. Archie grabbed Jones and pulled him off defendant. Defendant got into a car and drove away.

Around 8 a.m. the following morning, Archie and Jones were standing in front of Jones' car at 101st and Princeton Streets when a car pulled up in front of Jones' car. Defendant got out on the passenger side. Jones asked defendant if he came back to finish the fight. Defendant replied: "No, I come [ sic ] to kill you." Jones stepped back. Defendant pulled a gun from his waist and walked toward Archie.

Defendant asked Archie where the "stuff" was. Archie replied that he did not know what defendant was talking about. Defendant swung his gun at Archie's head. The gun fired and struck Archie in the foot. Jones and Archie started to run in opposite directions.

Archie looked back and saw defendant at the entrance to an alley. Archie went to a neighbor's house to ask her to call his father. He heard two more shots being fired.

Felbert Morris testified that he drove the car used in the incident. At 8 a.m., Morris picked up defendant. Defendant asked Morris directions as they drove which did not lead to the store Morris was going to. Defendant told Morris to pull over by two men. Morris did not recognize either man.

Defendant got out of the car, said, "What are you going to do now?" and walked up to the two men. Defendant took a swing at the taller of the two men. A shot was fired and Morris saw a gun in defendant's hand. Morris did not know defendant had a gun. He did not give defendant the gun.

The two men ran and defendant shot twice at the shorter man, who was running toward an alley. Defendant was 30 to 35 feet away from the ...


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