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03/31/94 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. STEVE JONES &

March 31, 1994

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
STEVE JONES & PERRY LEWIS, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. THE HONORABLE JOHN E. MORRISSEY, JUDGE PRESIDING.

Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied December 6, 1994.

Cousins, Jr., Gordon, McNULTY

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cousins

JUSTICE COUSINS, JR. delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a joint jury trial, defendants Steve Jones and Perry Lewis were convicted of first degree murder and two counts of attempt first degree murder (720 ILCS 5/9-1, 5/8-4 (West 1992)). In their consolidated appeal, defendants argue that: (1) the trial court improperly admitted evidence of defendants' gang affiliation; and (2) the State improperly introduced evidence of threats made to an eyewitness.

We affirm.

BACKGROUND

On December 9, 1989, at approximately 3 a.m., a shooting occurred at the Night Owl Motorcycle Club located at 643 North Kedzie, Chicago Illinois. One of the doormen, John Redmond, was killed, and two patrons, Dora Keys and Odes Jackson, were wounded.

George Horton testified that he was the president of the Night Owl Motorcycle Club. He explained that the club was open to the public on Fridays and some Saturdays, but all persons who were not motorcycle club members were searched at the door. He also stated that individuals were allowed to wear hats in the club, but they were required to wear their hats straight, as opposed to crooked or backwards. Horton testified that he was familiar with the neighborhood where the club was located and knew that the Vice Lord street gang members wore their hats to the left.

Horton described the entrance to the club as follows. The front door of the club opened outward toward the street, and led to the front hallway. At the end of the front hallway, there was a another door, followed by a second hallway which led to the main bar area.

On December 8, 1989, Horton arrived at the club between 10 and 11 p.m. He testified that Tracy O'Neal (O'Neal), John Redmond (Redmond) and a few others were working the door area that night. Redmond was responsible for searching people at the door as they entered the club. At approximately 2:15 a.m., Horton saw Redmond and defendant Jones exchanging words in the front hallway, but he was unable to hear what was said. About 45 minutes later, Horton heard shooting, and he ran to the hallway. When he reached the front, he observed Redmond and Odes Johnson lying on the floor.

On cross-examination, Horton stated that when he was questioned on December 9, 1989 by two detectives, he did not mention the altercation that had occurred at the door between Jones and Redmond. Horton first told the officers about the altercation a few days later, after he identified Jones from a photo array. Horton did not recall whether Redmond was armed on the night of the shooting.

O'Neal testified that on December 8, 1989, he was working at the Night Owl Motorcycle Club from 11 p.m. until closing time. At about 3 a.m. O'Neal was working the door. While he was standing in thesecond doorway and looking toward the front door, he observed a woman enter the club and a second person come to the front door. He then heard the door slam, and observed Redmond and a woman standing near the front door. The front door opened again and the shooting began. O'Neal observed defendant Lewis firing a small revolver and defendant Jones firing a medium-sized shotgun into the hallway of the club.

O'Neal lives in the same neighborhood as defendants and he has known both of them since grammar school. O'Neal testified that defendants were not motorcycle club members; instead, they wore their hats to the left, which means that they were members of the Vice Lord street gang. O'Neal saw other Vice Lord street gang members in the club that evening. Minutes before the shooting, O'Neal observed non-members leaving the club. On cross-examination, O'Neal stated that after the shooting he was in the office of the club and did not talk to police officers at that time. It was not until several days after the incident that he told the police what he had observed.

Edward Keys testified that on December 9, 1989, at about 1 a.m., he went to the Night Owl Motorcycle Club with his wife Dora. He was not a member of the Night Owl Motorcycle Club, but he was a member of the Chicago Guy Hawks Motorcycle Club. At approximately 2:45 a.m., he and Dora were ready to leave the club. As Dora walked outside, Keys stopped to talk to a club member. Following the conversation, he went to the door to tell Dora to come back inside. At that time, he observed Redmond and Jones arguing at the door. Redmond was prohibiting Jones from re-entering the club. Keys observed that Redmond was holding a two-barrel derringer which was pointed down toward the floor. As Dora started to come back inside, someone told him to "hit the floor" and he heard a shotgun blast and pistol shots. Keys saw Redmond fall backwards. Dora was crawling toward him and telling him that she had been shot. He saw that her right ear was bleeding and swelling. Keys observed Jones holding a shotgun.

Keys conceded that the police never asked him to view a lineup or photo array, and that he saw Jones in court on the Monday prior to trial. However, this was not the first time he told anyone that Jones was the same individual in the bar that night with a shotgun; Keys testified that he had previously told defense counsel, the police, and the State's Attorney that Jones was at the scene of the crime with a shotgun.

Dora testified that on December 9, 1989, around 1 a.m., she went to the Night Owl Motorcycle Club with her husband. She stated thatafter they decided to leave she went out the door to the sidewalk where she observed a disturbance. She stayed outside for a while because the doorman would not let her back in until her husband came and got her. As Dora was going back inside, she heard someone say, "hit the floor." Dora heard shooting and then felt a bullet hit her in the right ear. After the police arrived, she was taken to Cook County Hospital where she received medical treatment.

Dr. Edmond Donoghue testified that on December 10, 1989, he performed an autopsy on Redmond, and it was his opinion that Redmond ...


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