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11/09/89 the People of the State of v. Walter Godinez

November 9, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

WALTER GODINEZ, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SIXTH DIVISION

547 N.E.2d 561, 191 Ill. App. 3d 6, 138 Ill. Dec. 394 1989.IL.1770

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Earl E. Strayhorn, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE McNAMARA delivered the opinion of the court. EGAN, P.J., and LaPORTA, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MCNAMARA

Defendant, Walter Godinez, was found guilty of murder following a jury trial. The trial court sentenced defendant to a term of 40 years' imprisonment. On appeal, defendant contends that he was not proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt due to insufficient identification testimony, and that the trial court erred in denying his motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence.

At a pretrial hearing on the motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence, Officer William Rose testified that he investigated the murder of Eduardo Soto, who was killed on April 28, 1986. On April 29, Rose interviewed neighbors, including gang members from the area, and learned that the murder was committed by members of the Latin Disciples street gang.

On April 30, Rose spoke to two confidential informants. At 7 p.m., one informant told him that one of the murderers was a Latin Disciple named "Wally," a person Rose knew to be defendant. At 10 p.m., the second informant, from whom Rose had previously received reliable information, told Rose that "Wally" had bragged that he killed the victim and that "Little Man," known to Rose to be another Latin Disciple named Julio Montes, was also involved. Later that evening, Rose and other officers arrested Montes. Montes began crying, stating that he did not shoot the victim, but that defendant had done it.

Officer Richard Guerrero testified that, later on April 30, defendant was taken into custody. The parties stipulated that defendant was not free to leave.

Montes testified at the hearing that he and defendant were Latin Disciples, that his nickname was "Little Man" and defendant's was "Wally." Montes told the police that defendant committed the murder.

The trial court denied defendant's motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence after concluding that the arrest was made with probable cause.

At trial, Officer Patricia Delgado testified that she found the victim lying in front of a home at 1653 North Francisco in Chicago.

George Monk testified for the State that at the time of the shooting he was seated by a window in his living room at 1656 North Francisco when he heard gunshots across the street. The man with the gun ran north, in front of the Rodriguez home, about 25 feet to a gangway at 1655 North Francisco. It took about 10 seconds to run the 25 feet. The man bent over a little bit as he ran. The offender had to open the gate toward him, which required switching an object from one hand to the other hand. The offender ran through the gangway and out of sight into an alley. Monk testified that there is a street-lamp in front of 1653 North Francisco, and the light shines against a three-story brick wall next to the gangway. Monk could not see the offender's face. He described the shooter as a male Hispanic with dark hair, 17 years old, 5 feet 7 inches tall and 125 pounds. (Defendant is 5 feet 9 inches tall and 175 pounds.)

Jean Rodriguez, 17 years old at the time of the shooting, testified for the State that she lived at 1653 North Francisco. She was in bed, awake, when she heard four gunshots. The head of her bed is next to a window on the first floor of her home. She immediately looked out the window and saw defendant open the gate, pass through it, slam the gate, and run past her window, through the gangway and into an alley, out of sight. She heard what she believed were keys jingling, and thought they were keys hanging on defendant's clothing. After the police arrived, Rodriguez did not tell the police what she had seen, although she had ...


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