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03/30/94 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. EDWARD HUGHES

March 30, 1994

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
EDWARD HUGHES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Thomas Crawley, Judge Presiding.

As Corrected June 27, 1994.

Cerda, Tully, Rizzi

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cerda

JUSTICE CERDA delivered the opinion of the court:

After a bench trial, defendant, Edward Hughes, was found guilty of two counts of armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 18-2 now codified as 720 ILCS 5/18-2) (West 1992) and sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment. On appeal, defendant asserts that (1) he was deprived of his due process rights because the out of court identification was a suggestive one person showup; (2) he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (3) he was deprived of a fair trial by the testimony regarding a police flash message containing the offender's description; (4) the trial court erred in finding him guilty of two counts of armed robbery where there was only one taking; and (5) his sentence was excessive. Based on the following reasons, we affirm.

Prior to trial, defendant filed a motion to suppress identifications. At a hearing on the motion, Chicago police officer Eugene Kostka testified that he responded to a call of an armed robbery in progress at 1150 West 69th Street, Chicago, at 2:27 p.m. on August 19, 1991. He was present when the victims gave the offender's description and another police officer broadcast that description over the police radio.

Chicago police officer Carter Stall testified that he received a radio message of a robbery in progress at 1150 West 69th Street at 2:25 p.m. Four or five minutes later, he received a description of the offender as "a male black, about 5'6", 150 pounds, wearing a green shirt and a black cap, with two other males." Officer Stall toured the area for 10 to 15 minutes until he saw defendant, who matched the description.

Defendant was leaving 6700 Green Street, which is six to seven blocks from where the armed robbery occurred. Officer Stall escorted defendant, who was not handcuffed, back to the crime scene. As soon as they entered the store at about 2:44 p.m., two of the victims looked at defendant, pointed to him, and said, "That's him."

According to Officer Stall, no one told the witnesses that they had to identify defendant, had to identify anyone, or that someone was coming in for them to look at. Prior to identifying defendant as the offender, the witnesses did not talk amongst themselves.

Officer Stall went back to the area of 6700 South Green Street to conduct a search, but he was unable to find any weapons or proceeds from the robbery. In addition, he never found the other two offenders who had been described in the flash message.

The trial court denied defendant's motion after finding that there was no evidence of suggestiveness or improper procedures used.

At trial, Nadir Abdul Salan testified that he was working at Racine's Food and Liquor Store at 1150 West 69th Street on August 19, 1991. Also in the store were an outside salesperson, an employee, Bennie Westbrook, Westbrook's girl friend, Debbie Hudson, and Salan's brother, Yaser, who was in the basement taking inventory.

Salan described the front entrance as being an outer door and an inner door that are 10 feet apart. Around 2:25 p.m., Salan was at the front door giving the salesperson an order. A man later identified as defendant ran through the outer front door, which was six feet from Salan. He had a gun in his right hand and was wearing a blue shirt, blue jeans, and a black Raider's hat.

Salan stated that defendant entered the store, fired a shot at the ceiling, and told everyone to get on the ground. Although Salan and the salesperson got on the floor, Salan testified that he clearly saw defendant's face from three feet away. Westbrook, who was sitting on the counter, jumped behind the counter and got on the floor.

Defendant then pointed the gun at Salan's head and told him to give him the money he had in his pocket. When Salan responded, "I don't think you trust me to go into my pocket, defendant told him to "shut up." According to Salan, he ...


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