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05/26/94 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. MICHAEL GREGORY

May 26, 1994

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
MICHAEL GREGORY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable James Schreier, Judge Presiding.

Released for Publication July 14, 1994. Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied February 1, 1995.

Cahill, Johnson, Hoffman

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cahill

PRESIDING JUSTICE CAHILL delivered the opinion of the court:

A jury found Michael Gregory guilty of first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, and aggravated battery in the death of Keith Leslie. The trial court sentenced defendant to 24 years in prison. Defendant appeals, and we affirm.

Defendant makes three claims of error: (1) the trial court told the jury that defendant made no constitutional challenge to the statement he made to the police when, in fact, he had; (2) the trial court prohibited defendant from cross-examining the State's eyewitness about his use of aliases; and (3) the State inflamed the jury in opening argument when it mentioned that one victim was handicapped.

Ken Leslie testified that on the night of January 9, 1990, he, his brother Keith, and a friend, Tomango Greshan, were watching television and drinking beer at the Leslie home. They received a phone call from Brian Dorenzo, a boyfriend of Naynay Leslie, the sister of Ken and Keith. He asked to speak to Naynay, but she was not home. Dorenzo called back several minutes later and asked for Naynay again. She still was not home. The phone continued to ring through the evening, but the caller would hang up.

The Leslie brothers and Greshan left home about 9:30 p.m. to buy more alcohol. They decided to stop by Freda Dorenzo's house on the way to speak to her about her brother, Brian. Ken knocked on the door at Freda's house and was let in by a friend of Freda's. The friend summoned Freda. Ken asked Freda why her brother keptphoning the Leslie house. Freda replied that she could not tell her brother Brian what to do.

Keith Leslie then entered the house and asked Freda where her boy friend Tony was, because Tony owed Keith $5. Freda said she did not know. Ken then heard "some racket" behind him, turned, and saw his brother holding a stick. Ken took the stick from Keith. Freda then said that Keith had broken her television set. Ken told Freda that if the television set was broken, Keith would pay for it. The men then left.

They then went to the house of Freda's cousin to look for Brian, but he was not there. They decided to go home. As they walked down 79th Street at Laflin, past Freda's house, Ken heard Freda call his name from the entrance to her building. He crossed the street and approached Freda, but she entered the building and began to climb some stairs. Ken went to the door, waved his hand, and told Freda to forget it. He then turned and walked back towards the other side of the street.

At this point, Ken heard a gunshot and felt a sting in his back. He turned and saw defendant, Michael Gregory, standing across the street in front of Freda's building pointing a gun at him. Defendant continued to fire the gun, and Ken fell down on his back. He saw defendant shooting across the street at Keith and Greshan. Ken motioned to Keith and Greshan to run. Confused, they first ran towards defendant and Ken, but then turned and began running away. Defendant continued to shoot in their direction as they ran away. Ken then saw defendant run into Freda's building. Ken also testified that at no time in the course of the evening did he have a gun or tell anyone that he had a gun.

The following morning Keith Leslie's body was found in the vicinity of 79th and Laflin. According to the coroner, Keith Leslie had one entry gunshot wound on the left side of the lower rib cage and one on the back side of the left flank. The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds. Ken Leslie had a gunshot wound to his abdomen and underwent surgery on his abdomen, back, and spine.

Jaton Nance testified for defendant. She stated that she had dated Ken Leslie in the past and was dating him on January 25, 1989. She testified that on that day Ken Leslie came to her house, pointed a gun at her and threatened to kill her if she broke up with him.

Freda Dorenzo also testified for defendant. She said she was at home when Ken, Keith, and Greshan came to the door looking for her brother Brian. She told them she did not know where Brian was. She and Ken then started to argue. Ken entered her apartment and pointed a black handgun at her head. Keith entered and smashedher television set with a baseball ...


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