APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. THE HONORABLE THEMIS KARNEZIS, JUDGE PRESIDING.
As Corrected December 29, 1994. Rehearing Denied December 16, 1994. Released for Publication January 13, 1995.
Cousins, Jr., Murray, McNULTY
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cousins
JUSTICE COUSINS, JR. delivered the opinion of the court:
Defendant Robert Allen (Allen) was found guilty of two counts of armed robbery in a jury trial. Allen was sentenced to a term of 40 years, to be served consecutively to a 55-year sentence Allen had already received. Defendant appeals, alleging that (1) he was arrested in violation of his fourth amendment rights where the police conducted a search for weapons without probable cause; (2) the trial court abused its discretion in denying the defendant a continuance to locate an alibi witness; (3) defendant's rights were violated when his jury read police reports not in evidence, even though defendant refused the Judge's offer of a mistrial; and (4) consecutive sentences were imposed without the necessary statutory finding that the defendant represented a danger to the public.
During the afternoon of April 8, 1990, two men robbed Robin's Drugs. At 5 p.m. on April 18, 1990, Detective Patrick Brosnan observed a car traveling at a high rate of speed. Detective Brosnan followed the vehicle and observed its three occupants, including defendant as a passenger, stop at a liquor store and go inside. Detective Brosnan then ran the license plate through the patrol car's computer and found that the vehicle had been reported stolen.
When the car's three occupants returned to their vehicle from the liquor store, Detective Brosnan and his partner, Officer Sellers, approached the vehicle and removed the driver, Tony Anderson (Anderson). Detective Brosnan approached the passenger side of the vehicle and conducted a pat-down search of defendant as he sat in the back seat. As Detective Brosnan finished his pat-down he noticed a black jacket draped over defendant's feet. Brosnan patted-down the jacket and felt a revolver, following which defendant was placed under arrest.
Defendant denied ownership of the jacket and indicated that he did not know who its owner was. Defendant further claimed that he was unaware of the jacket's presence in the back seat until it was discovered by Detective Brosnan.
On April 27, 1990, Anderson and Allen were identified by Lalit Chheda (Chheda) in a lineup as the perpetrators of the Robin's Drugs robbery. Allen was charged with two counts of robbery.
Prior to Allen's trial for the Robin's Drugs robbery, there was a hearing on Allen's motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence. During the hearing, Allen continued to deny any possessory interest in the jacket or gun. The trial court held it was not an unreasonable intrusion to pat-down the occupants of a stolen vehicle. Finding that Allen was in close proximity to the weapon, the court also found probable cause to arrest Allen, and the motion was denied.
At trial, Chheda testified that on April 8, 1990, he was working as manager at Robin's Drugs when he observed defendant and Anderson enter the store and purchase a bottle of wine. Chheda related that as he put money from the purchase into his cash register, Anderson stepped behind the counter and pointed a gun at him while defendant stood at the door of the store. Anderson removed money from the register as defendant handcuffed Chheda behind his back. Chheda identified the gun found at Allen's feet as resembling the gun used in the robbery. Chheda testified that on April 27, 1990, Chheda viewed Allen and Anderson in a six-man lineup and identified Allen and Anderson as the men who robbed the store.
Gaysene Henderson, a Robin's Drugs employee, testified that on April 8, 1990, she observed two black males enter the store and proceed to the front. She confirmed the details of Chheda's testimony but was unable to identify Allen as one of the robbers. Lamont Hall was a customer in ...