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01/09/95 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. JOHNNIE BEARD

January 9, 1995

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JOHNNIE BEARD, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. HONORABLE JOSEPH ROMANO, JUDGE PRESIDING.

Rehearing Denied April 11, 1995.

Presiding Justice Campbell delivered the opinion of the court: Buckley, J., and Egan, J., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Campbell

PRESIDING JUSTICE CAMPBELL delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a jury trial, defendant, Johnnie Beard, was convicted of retail theft and sentenced to two years probation. On appeal, defendant contends that: (1) he was denied his statutory and constitutional rights to a speedy trial; (2) the trial court's refusal to dismiss the jury venire consisting of only one African-American prospective juror violated his constitutional right to a jury drawn from a fair cross-section of the community; and (3) the trial court erred in refusing to allow defense counsel to cross-examine a police officer on matters allegedly omitted from his police report, for the purpose of impeaching the testimony of another witness. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

PRE-TRIAL MATTERS

The record reveals the following relevant facts. Defendant was indicted for retail theft on October 7, 1991. Subsequently, defendant was indicted for violation of bail bond, and was arraigned for both indictments on November 6, 1991. At that time, defendant appeared in court and offered a medical excuse for his failure to appear in court on July 22, 1991. The trial court released defendant on bond and imposed a curfew upon him, and the case was continued by agreement.

On January 7, 1992, the parties appeared in court and the State indicated its election to proceed on the retail theft case. The case was set for a jury trial on February 13, 1992, by agreement. On February 13, 1992, the trial court granted a continuance until March 11, 1992, on defendant's motion. The case was subsequently continued to April 22, 1992, by agreement, because of the trial court's crowded docket. On that date, defendant filed a motion to substitute judges, and obtained a court date of June 22, 1992.

On June 22, 1992, the parties appeared in court and defendant answered ready for trial. The State then changed its election to the violation of bail bond case, stating that it was the easier of the two cases to try. The State acknowledged that it had been unsuccessful attempting to contact the victim of the retail theft. Defense counsel indicated that it was ready to proceed on the retail theft charge, but not on the violation of bail bond charge, and agreed to continue the case for this reason. The trial court set the case for status, rather than trial, on August 4, 1992, at defense counsel's request.

On August 4, 1992, the case was continued by agreement to August 14, 1992. On that date, the State changed its election to the retail theft case, and the defendant made an oral and written demand for trial. The case was continued to September, 21, 1992, on the State's motion.

On September 21, 1992, defendant answered ready for trial. The State moved for a continuance, and the case was set for November 12, 1992.

On November 12, 1992, the State changed its election back to the violation of bail bond charge, explaining that, "we happened to pick a store that's going out of business." Defendant waived his right to a jury trial and the trial judge tried the violation of bail bond charge. At the conclusion of the evidence, the trial court, Judge Sheila O'Brien presiding, found defendant not guilty. On the State's motion, the retail theft charge was continued to December 15, 1992.

The trial court set the retail theft case for January 4, 1993, at which time the case was continued on the State's motion to February 8, 1993. On February 8, 1993, defendant filed a motion to dismiss the retail theft indictment, contending that his constitutional right to a speedy trial had been violated. Defendant argued that 232 days had passed since his first demand for a trial on June 22, 1992. On February 11, 1993, the trial court denied defendant's motion, finding that the State had 160 days from the disposition of defendant's violation of bail bond charge to try the retail theft charge, and that 160 days had not expired. The court continued the case to March 31, 1993, on the State's motion, at which time a jury trial commenced.

TRIAL

Prior to selection of the jury, defense counsel observed that the jury venire included only one African-American. Defense counsel called a side-bar and requested that the venire be dismissed. The trial court gave defense counsel the opportunity to present authority to support her motion, but defense counsel offered no additional support. The trial court denied the motion, and the jury selection commenced.

At trial, Jeff McPherson testified on behalf of the State that he was the store manager at Dion Furs, 8504 West Golf Road, Niles. McPherson stated that the store had several sales desks equipped with silent alarm buttons which, when pushed, would contact the Niles Police Department. McPherson stated that two to three security sensor tags are attached to each fur coat in the store; two are visible and one is concealed underneath the lining of the coat. The sensor tags set off alarms contained in posts on either side of the front ...


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