Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Paul J. Nealis, Judge Presiding.
The Honorable Justice McNULTY delivered the opinion of the court: Cousins, P.j., and T. O'brien, J., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mcnulty
JUSTICE McNULTY delivered the opinion of the court:
After a jury trial, defendant Broshea Sharrod was found guilty of armed robbery and aggravated discharge of a firearm. Defendant was sentenced to eight years for the robbery conviction and eight years for the aggravated discharge of a firearm conviction, the sentences to run concurrently. Defendant appeals and we reverse and remand.
Anton Johnson testified at trial that on December 15, 1991, he was 17 years old and lived at 832 East 17th Street. On that date at about 7 p.m., Anton was with his cousin Vince listening to music in a car parked in a lot on 17th Street, about 50 feet from Anton's home. Vince left the car and went inside Anton's house. Anton remained in the car, sitting in the front passenger seat. Anton testified that a few minutes later, defendant, Jacoby Adams, Carvelle Simpson, Herman Fulwiley and someone named J.R. approached the car. Anton knew defendant from the neighborhood and had seen him hundreds of times in the past. J.R. knocked on the passenger window and asked Anton to step out of the car. Anton exited the car, and J.R. asked Anton if he was a G.D., which Anton understood to mean Gangster Disciple. Anton responded that he was not a G.D. J.R. also asked Anton whether his father was a drug dealer and stated that Anton's father was making too much money. J.R. then hit Anton in the face, and J.R. and the other boys started pulling on Anton. Adams pulled out a shotgun and put it to Anton's head. Defendant then reached into Anton's pockets, took $125 from one of Anton's pockets, and put it in his own pocket. Defendant then hit Anton in the face. Anton testified that his mother had given him the $125 the day before for Christmas shopping. Anton had not yet spent the money because he was showing it off. Neither Anton nor his parents were employed at the time.
Defendant and J.R. then grabbed Anton by the back of his jacket and walked him to his house. Adams was at Anton's side with the gun to his head. Anton saw 30 or 40 people watching, but none of them came to help him. Anton saw defendant's brother Henry Jimerson in the back of the crowd and heard him yell "kill him." As they approached Anton's house, Anton's brother William Johnson and Anton's father came outside. Anton's father pushed the gun away, grabbed Anton, and pushed him toward the porch.
Defendant and J.R. grabbed Anton again. Adams was playing with the trigger of the gun, trying to shoot it. At that point, Anton's mother, Verncil Johnson, came outside. She grabbed Anton and pushed him toward the house. Adams put the gun to Verncil's head. Anton proceeded to go into the house. Anton's father pulled Verncil into the house and Verncil told William to call the police.
Verncil was trying to close the door, but the shotgun was pushed inside the door to the house. She was eventually able to close the door. Anton then heard a loud noise near the door. The noise sounded like a gunshot. Anton's mother opened the door, and Anton saw that the screen door was bent and there was a hole in the steel door. Anton never saw anyone fire a shot and never saw anyone other than Adams holding the gun.
William Johnson testified that he was at home on December 15, 1991, when at approximately 7:10 p.m., his cousin told him that defendant and his friends had jumped on Anton. William went outside and saw that defendant and J.R. had Anton by the back of the collar and Adams had a gun to Anton's head. William's father then came outside.
William saw defendant strike Anton. His father tried to grab Anton and pull him away. William then saw his mother Verncil come outside. Defendant was trying to block Verncil from getting to Anton. Verncil was trying to push Anton into the house. Adams put a gun to Verncil's head. Verncil said "don't shoot me" and Williams heard defendant's brother Henry Jimerson say "shoot her, shoot her, kill the bitch, kill her."
William went into the house, and Verncil pushed Anton into the house. After the door was shut, William heard two loud booms. William called the police and then noticed that the door had bullet holes in it. William testified that on December 14, 1991, his mother gave both William and Anton $125 for Christmas shopping. There were six children living at home, but only William and Anton were given money.
Verncil Johnson testified that at approximately 7:10 a.m. on December 15, 1991, her nephew ran into the house and told her that defendant was beating up Anton. Her husband went outside and she soon followed. She saw defendant, whom she knew from around the neighborhood and had seen hundreds of times. Adams had a shotgun to Anton's head. She pushed Anton toward the door to their house. Adams put the gun to Verncil's head and she heard defendant's brother say, "Kill her, kill her." Verncil's husband pulled Anton into the house. She was trying to get to the door when her husband pulled her inside. Verncil tried to close the door but the shotgun was put inside the door. She heard two loud booms at the door seconds after she was able to close the door. She never saw anyone fire the gun. Verncil testified that she gave one of her sons $125 on December 14, 1991, for Christmas shopping. It was money she had received from her public aid check.
Officer Berry, a Ford Heights police officer, testified that he responded to a call of "shots fired." Officer Berry saw holes in the door of the Johnsons' home. It appeared to him that a shotgun had been fired at the door. Officer Berry spoke with Anton and noticed that the side of Anton's face was bright red. Anton told Officer Berry that defendant was one of the offenders.
Defendant's brother Henry Jimerson testified on behalf of defendant that at approximately 7 p.m. on December 15, 1991, he was in the front of the parking lot on 17th Street with defendant, Carvelle Simpson, Tyrone Simpson and someone named Herman. Jimerson saw Adams and a person named J.R. walk up to the car Anton was in, pull him out of the car and start hitting him. Jimerson testified that he saw J.R. slap Anton several times and heard Anton being asked where the dope and the money were. Anton responded that they were in the cornfield. Jimerson testified that he was 50 feet away from the car that Anton was in, but he heard the conversation. Adams and J.R. proceeded to drag Anton toward his mother's house. Jimerson testified that he saw Anton's father come out of the house. Anton's father grabbed Anton and tried to pull him into the house. Anton's mother also came out of the house. Jimerson saw Adams put the shotgun to Anton's mother's head. Eventually ...