APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. HONORABLE DONALD E. JOYCE, JUDGE PRESIDING.
As Modified on Denial of Rehearing June 20, 1994. Released for Publication July 14, 1994. Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied October 6, 1994.
Campbell, O'connor, Jr., Manning
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Campbell
MODIFIED ON DENIAL OF REHEARING
PRESIDING JUSTICE CAMPBELL delivered the opinion of the court:
Following a jury trial in the circuit court of Cook County, defendant Jose Ruano and Jesus Prado were each found guilty ofattempted murder and aggravated discharge of a weapon. Ruano and Prado were sentenced to 24 and 21 years respectively in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Defendant Ruano now appeals.
The record on appeal indicates the following facts. Ruano and Prado were charged with three counts of attempted murder and three counts of aggravated discharge of a weapon. It was alleged that on September 7, 1991, the two men fired handguns at or in the direction of Chicago police officers Edmund Leracz and Jack Hines as well as a television photographer and producer named John Wright in the vicinity of the intersection of 88th Street and Commercial Avenue.
Officers Leracz and Hines testified that they were detectives with the Area 2 Violent Crimes Division of the Chicago police department on Sept 7, 1991, when they were assigned to investigate a fatal shooting at the corner of 88th and Houston at approximately 2 a.m. Leracz testified that upon reaching the intersection, four to six males fired upon him; Leracz pursued the men across Commercial Avenue toward Exchange. Leracz testified that Ruano was one of the men he was chasing. Leracz indicated that he next saw Ruano in the back of a squad car driven by officers who were also involved in the pursuit.
Officer Hines testified that when he heard gunfire at the intersection, he exited the squad car and drew his weapon. Hines indicated that shots came across the front of the squad car. Hines testified that he saw Prado point a gun and fire in his direction. Hines fired five return shots; Prado fell to the ground, but then arose, stumbled and fled the scene. Hines testified that he saw Prado again in the custody of Area 2 detectives. Hines testified that he stated that Prado was the one who shot at him and that he thought he had hit Prado. The other officers replied that Hines did hit Prado and pointed at Prado's leg.
John Wright testified that he was videotaping a street sign at the intersection of 88th and Houston when he heard a bullet fly over his head, striking the sign and the lights on his camera. Wright testified that he saw four to six people shooting on the northwest corner of the intersection. Wright indicated that it appeared from the muzzle flashes that two people were firing at him and that the others were firing at Officer Leracz. Wright testified that he saw one of the men very distinctly. Wright videotaped a portion of the incident; this tape was shown to the jury. After the shooters fled with the police in pursuit, Wright got into his car, where he met up with several police cars. Wright testified that he identified Ruano at that time as the person who fired at him. Wright also testified that he identified Ruano again in a lineup at Area 2 headquarters.
Robert Berk, a trace evidence analyst with the Chicago policedepartment crime laboratory, testified that he analyzed a gunshot residue test of Ruano's hands and that the results of this test were positive, suggesting that Ruano had handled, been in close proximity to or fired a weapon. Berk also testified that the elements found in the test are present in other substances and can be transferred from hand to hand.
John Gorman, another detective with the Area 2 Violent Crimes Division of the Chicago police department, testified regarding a conversation he had with Prado following the arrest. According to Gorman, Prado was shown a picture of Ruano. Gorman testified that Prado indicated that Ruano had been with him that night. Prado later testified that he had indicated that he had seen Ruano earlier in the evening, but had not said that he saw Ruano at the intersection of 88th and Commercial.
Assistant State's Attorney Peter Fischer testified regarding a conversation he had with Ruano following the arrest. Fischer testified that Ruano identified himself as a member of a street gang called the Dragons. According to Fischer, Ruano initially denied involvement with the shooting at 88th and Houston, but later admitted that he had gone with four other Dragons to retaliate for the shooting of members of an allied gang called the Very Mellow Peoples by a rival gang known as the Spanish Gangster Disciples. According to Fischer, Ruano stated that it was other Dragons who fired on people at the intersection of 88th and Houston.
Following closing arguments and jury instructions, the jury found Ruano and Prado guilty of attempted murder and aggravated discharge of a weapon. Ruano and Prado were sentenced to 24 and 21 years respectively in ...