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March 18, 1994


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Michael Getty, Judge Presiding.

Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied December 6, 1994.

McNULTY, Murray, Cousins

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mcnulty

JUSTICE McNULTY delivered the opinion of the court:

After a bench trial, defendant Carl Gallo was found guilty of murder and sentenced to seventy-five years imprisonment. Defendant appeals both his conviction and sentence.

Debris Carroll testified at trial that her daughter Sheila married defendant in 1987, and Sheila and defendant had a daughter named Angela. In March of 1988, defendant and Sheila separated and Sheila and Angela moved into Ms. Carroll's house. On several occasions, defendant entered the house without permission. In May 1988, Sheila obtained an order of protection against defendant. Sheila worked the eleven-to-five shift at the Golden Ox restaurant in Chicago, Illinois. Sheila would call her mother to let her know when she was coming home from work and Ms. Carroll would put on the yard light, and wait to make sure Sheila arrived home safely. Ms. Carroll stated that every night when Sheila came home from work, defendant was waiting for her on the front porch. According to Ms. Carroll, both Sheila and defendant had long flashlights.

Ms. Carroll testified that on August 3, 1989, Sheila was scheduled to appear in court for a divorce hearing. Defendant came to her house and offered to take Sheila to court. Sheila declined the offer and instead took a train. When Ms. Carroll came home around 5 p.m. that day, defendant was cutting the grass and Sheila was helping. Sheila told her mother that she got the divorce. Ms. Carroll asked Sheila why defendant was always at their house. Sheila responded, "He just comes over." Sheila and defendant ordered a pizza, stayed in the living room watching television, and never went upstairs.

Ms. Carroll further testified that on August 4, 1989, Sheila went to work at 4 p.m. Defendant came to Ms. Carroll's house at 8 p.m. to pick up Angela for the weekend. At about 10:45 or 11 p.m., Ms. Carroll heard the bell ring three or four times. Ms. Carroll stated that she knew it was defendant although she did not answer the door. Ms. Carroll went to bed around midnight or 12:30 a.m. She locked the doors and turned on the air conditioner which was near the head of her bed. The door to her room was closed.

Ms. Carroll testified that at about 6 or 6:15 a.m. on August 5, 1989, she went to Sheila's bedroom to turn off the air conditioner. When she entered Sheila's room, she saw that a flashlight had been shoved inside Sheila's body. Ms. Carroll called her son, who came over, took Sheila's pulse and told his mother to call the police.

Ms. Carroll testified that Sheila had received cards and flowers from defendant. One card read, "Always. No divorce, Hugs and kisses, Carl." Another card read, "We have a real love hate relationship. I love it when we're together. I hate it when we're not. Love, Carl Junior." On Sheila's calendar, defendant wrote, "Don't do it. I love you. Carl Junior." According to Ms. Carroll, defendant was always hanging around Sheila and Sheila received continuous calls from defendant.

Officer O'Connor testified that he and Officer Davie went to Ms. Carroll's home on August 5, 1989. When he entered Sheila's room, Officer O'Conner saw blood and marks on Sheila's neck and a flashlight protruding out of Sheila's rectum. After getting permission from the medical examiner's office, O'Connor removed the flashlight from Sheila's rectum.

Officers Marchese and Cloonan testified that on August 5, 1989, they went to an address on Wakefield Drive where they saw two cars in the driveway. One of the cars, a black Buick Grand National, had heat coming from the front of the car. There was rain on the car, but the windshield was clean.

Officers Marchese and Cloonan then attempted to locate defendant. Defendant's father gave the officers permission to enter the house. Defendant's father told defendant that the police were there. Defendant got out of bed and put on a t-shirt. The officers did not tell defendant that Sheila was dead, but asked defendant if he would accompany police for an investigation, and defendant agreed.

Officer Sanders testified that at 9:15 a.m. on August 5, 1989, he spoke with defendant at the police station. After being advised of his Miranda rights, defendant gave the police a statement. Defendant told the police that on August 4, 1989, defendant met with Sheila at a tavern called Doc Weeds. Defendant and Sheila spent two or three hours there dancing and drinking. At about 12:30 a.m., they left the bar. Defendant followed Sheila home and escorted her into the house. Defendant stated that he was driving a borrowed black Buick. Sheila asked defendant to look at a leak in the dining room ceiling. Defendant took off the ceiling panel. After using the downstairs bathroom, defendant went upstairs and said goodnight to Sheila. Defendant arrived home around 1:30 a.m. No one was awake at defendant's house. Defendant stated that he then got undressed and ...

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