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10/05/89 the People of the State of v. Tijuan Moore

October 5, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

TIJUAN MOORE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT

546 N.E.2d 232, 189 Ill. App. 3d 957, 137 Ill. Dec. 478 1989.IL.1605

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Champaign County; the Hon. Harold L. Jensen, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE KNECHT delivered the opinion of the court. SPITZ and GREEN, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE KNECHT

The defendant, Tijuan Moore, was convicted of murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)) after a jury trial in the circuit court of Champaign County. The circuit court then entered judgment and sentenced the defendant to a 40-year term of imprisonment. The defendant now appeals his conviction and sentence. We affirm.

The following evidence was presented at trial.

Anthony Newbern (Newbern), the homicide victim, worked as a produce clerk at Richard's Food Store in Champaign, Illinois. Shortly after 7 a.m. on October 3, 1987, a black man entered the store and shot Newbern in the back as he stood working in the produce department. Newbern died in surgery later that same day.

To establish the identity of the defendant as that gunman, the prosecution called several store employees to testify as occurrence witnesses at trial.

Pamela Harper (Harper), a store cashier, testified an unknown black man had been her sole customer immediately before the shooting incident. She did not pay close attention to the man during this brief transaction. Harper later realized that customer had been the gunman. She provided the police with a rough description. Harper could not thereafter identify the defendant as the gunman in lineup.

Robert Gullion (Gullion), the assistant manager, testified he saw the gunman shoot Newbern in the back as Newbern stood working in the produce department of the store. He provided the police with a detailed description and later identified the defendant as the gunman in lineup and in court.

The prosecution next called several witnesses to testify to the hostile relationship between the defendant and Newbern.

Rosie Slaughter, the girlfriend of Newbern, testified she witnessed a fight between these two men six days before the shooting incident. In that fight, the defendant, aided by several of his associates, stabbed Newbern in the back with a small knife.

Vicki Phagan (Phagan), a former girlfriend of the defendant, testified, over the objection of the defense, that the defendant and Newbern had each made threats against the other man. Phagan testified she overheard the defendant and his associates threaten to harm Newbern approximately two weeks before the shooting incident. She also testified Newbern had threatened to vandalize her trailer in retaliation against the defendant on the day before the shooting incident.

Sheila Harvey (Harvey), the former girlfriend of the employer of the defendant, testified she overheard these two men discuss Newbern on several occasions. She heard the defendant threaten to harm Newbern on the day before the shooting incident. Harvey later heard the defendant accept a compliment for his role in the murder of Newbern.

The defendant took the stand on his own behalf. He denied taking part in any actual or threatened criminal conduct against Newbern. As an alibi, the defendant testified he had been living in another town for almost a week at the time of the shooting incident. He contended Gullion was mistaken in his identification. Several associates of the defendant later corroborated his alibi testimony.

The prosecution then called Danny Williams (Williams) to testify as a rebuttal witness. Williams, a long-time friend of Newbern, testified he saw the defendant and several of his associates at Richard's Food Store two days before the shooting incident.

As a preliminary matter, we address the merits of a motion to strike that was ordered to be taken ...


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