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June 6, 1994



Campbell, O'connor, Jr., Manning

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Campbell

PRESIDING JUSTICE CAMPBELL delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a jury trial, defendant, Andrew Maxwell, was found guilty of two counts of armed robbery and one count of attempt armed robbery, and sentenced to consecutive prison terms of 60 years, 30 years, and 15 years for each count, to be served concurrently with a death sentence previously imposed for an unrelated murder conviction. (See People v. Maxwell (1992), 148 Ill. 2d 116, 592 N.E.2d 960, 170 Ill. Dec. 280, cert. denied, Maxwell v. Illinois (1992), U.S. , 121 L. Ed. 2d 377, 113 S. Ct. 471.) On appeal, defendant contends that: (1) the trial court erred in admitting evidence of other crimes; (2) the trial court erred in admitting a police officer's testimony regarding a complainant's prior consistent statements; and (3) his consecutive sentences were excessive. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

The following facts are relevant to this appeal. At trial, James Ballinger testified on behalf of the State that on September 13, 1985, he lived at 8430 South Wabash, Chicago. At approximately 5:45 p.m., he left his house to attend a party. At 11:30 p.m., Ballinger returned home to find that the back window of the house had been broken, and the screen cut. When he entered the house, he found that the house had been ransacked, clothing and personal belongings strewn about the floor. Among the things Ballinger discovered missing were two loaded pistols, a .38 caliber Colt and a .22 caliber Iver Johnson revolver. The prosecutor showed Ballinger a .22 caliber revolver recovered by police, and Ballinger identified it as his by comparing the serial number on the weapon to the serial number on his firearms registration.

Chicago police evidence technician John Butler testified that on November 12, 1986, he took fingerprints from defendant. Chicago police evidence technician Lawrence Krause testified that defendant's fingerprints matched those taken from a piece of broken glass recovered from the Ballinger home.

Jorge Vargis testified that on November 8, 1986, he lived at 11126 Avenue N. That evening his wife told him that a child saw a gun in their backyard. Vargis searched the backyard with a flashlight, found the gun, and called the police.

Police Officer John Babusch testified that on November 8, 1986, he interviewed Vargis at his home. The officer retrieved from Vargis a fully loaded, blue steel .22 caliber revolver with a brown handle. Officer Babusch subsequently learned that the gun belonged to Ballinger.

Dmitar Marich testified on behalf of the State that he is 65 years old. On November 3, 1986, Marich arrived home from work at 11:10 p.m., and parked his car in his garage. He got out of his car and noticed two black men in the alley. One of the men, whom Marich identified as defendant, approached Marich, held a gun to the left side of Marich's head, and stole $20 from Marich's shirt pocket.

Terrence Wilson testified that on November 3, 1986, he returned to his home at 10440 Troy, Chicago at approximately 8:50 p.m. As he was parking his black, Chevy Monte Carlo in his garage, he saw three black men walking north down the alley toward his garage. Wilson stated that the area was well lighted at the time. Wilson identified the three men as defendant, Jerry Thompson and Gregory Howard. The three men entered the garage, one man held a gun to Wilson's head, and told Wilson to give him the keys to his car. Then, one of the others robbed Wilson, taking approximately $90 from his pockets. The other two men got into the car, and they pulled the car out of the garage. The gunman then exited the car, returned to the garage and told Wilson to lie on the ground. Wilson did so, and the gunman kicked Wilson in the hip area. At approximately 3 a.m., on November 4, 1986, Wilson identified defendant from a line-up at the police station.

Chicago Police Officer Michael Kuemmeth testified that on the evening of November 3, 1986, he interviewed Jose Flores at 10652 Avenue B, Chicago. Officer Kuemmeth stated that Flores told him that he was returning home from work that evening, when his car was cut off by three men in a black Chevy Monte Carlo, that they followed him to his home, that one man, approximately 19 or 20 years old, 5 foot nine inches tall and wearing a brown, waist-length, leather jacket approached Flores with a handgun and said, "don't move or I'll blow your head off." Officer Kuemmeth stated that Flores relayed to him that he ran to the entrance of his apartment, and called the police.

Jose Flores testified that on November 3, 1986, at 11 p.m., he was driving home from work, eastbound on 112th Street. As he crossed Ewing Avenue, his car was cut off by a black Monte Carlo that pulled in front of him. Flores noticed that there were three black males in the Monte Carlo, and that the passenger in the back seat continuously turned around to look at Flores. Flores signalled to turn at Avenue E, but the Monte Carlo cut him off, making a U-turn directly in front of him. The Monte Carlo continued to move at approximately 20 to 25 miles per hour.

When Flores approached his street, he parked on the east side of the street, across the street from his house. He walked across the street, and as he reached the curb on the west side of the street, he saw three black males approaching him from around the corner, approximately 60 to 70 feet away. The three men tried to circle Flores, and Flores identified defendant as the one who said to him, "Hold it, mother fucker or I'll shoot." Flores saw defendant pointing a black automatic pistol at him. Flores hit the gate and ducked, then pushed the hallway door open and entered his house. Flores told his father what had happened, then called the police. Later, Flores identified all three assailants from a police line-up.

Chicago Police Officer Lawrence Alonso testified that on November 3, 1986, he interviewed a robbery victim named Mr. Medrano at 10800 South Avenue J. While interviewing Medrano, the officer received a radio call to investigate a robbery at 10904 South State Line Road, and interview Marich. When the officers arrived at that location, some bystanders informed them that several perpetrators had driven northbound in a black car on Avenue B from 109th Street. The officers drove in that direction, and spotted defendant and the others in a black Chevy Monte Carlo heading westbound on 109th Street. After a chase, the driver of the Monte Carlo lost control, hit a ...

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