APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. HONORABLE THOMAS J. CONDON, JUDGE PRESIDING.
Rehearing Denied August 29, 1995. Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied December 6, 1995.
The Honorable Justice Wolfson delivered the opinion of the court: Buckley and Braden, JJ., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wolfson
JUSTICE WOLFSON delivered the opinion of the court:
As the July 6, 1992, trial date in this murder case approached, the State realized it had lost track of two of its witnesses.
The statutory time for bringing the defendant to trial was running out. Thirteen days remained. On July 6, and again on July 27, the State asked for and received extensions of the speedy trial term. The trial began on September 2, 1992.
The defendant was charged with six counts of murder and eight counts of aggravated kidnapping. The jury found him guilty of one count of murder and three counts of aggravated kidnapping. He was sentenced to natural life imprisonment for the murder and, consecutive to that sentence, to three concurrent 60-year sentences for the kidnappings.
The defendant contends he should be discharged because his statutory right to a speedy trial was violated. We do not agree with that and the other contentions made by the defendant. We affirm his murder and kidnapping convictions and sentence.
The defendant does not claim on appeal that the evidence fails to support the guilty verdicts. Therefore, we will summarize the evidence without unnecessary detail.
At about 9 p.m. on November 8, 1989, Diane Johnson (Diane) drove to the garage in the alleyway behind her home at 8222 S. Marshfield in Chicago. Her nephew, Leonard Johnson (Leonard), and his friend, James Taylor (Taylor), were standing in the alley and Johnson's van was parked near the garage.
As Diane spoke with Leonard and Taylor, two men came running into the alley. One of the men, dressed in a navy pea coat and baseball cap, identified himself as a police officer and demanded that they lay down on the ground. The men searched them, found a gun belonging to Leonard, and took it. Diane, Leonard, and Taylor were then forced into Leonard's van. Diane's hands and eyes were bound with duct tape.
The three abductees were driven in Leonard's van to a garage. Leonard was taken inside. Later, Taylor was removed from the van, driven to another area, and let go.
Inside the van Diane was asked if she knew where Leonard kept his money. She said that she did not. Later, Leonard was brought back into the van. She and Leonard were driven away.
Diane heard someone outside the van instruct their abductors to wipe off the tape. The duct tape was removed from Diane's hands and the tape on her eyes was wiped off. Shortly thereafter the van stopped. Diane heard a "knocking sound" and the abductors left the van. Diane called to Leonard but received no reply.
Diane got into the driver's seat and frantically drove to a nearby gas station. At the gas station, Diane asked the attendant for assistance and the police were called. It was discovered that Leonard had been murdered. His autopsy revealed that he had been shot six times in the head, at close range.
Leonard was a drug dealer. It appears from the evidence that the abduction stemmed from a dispute over money. At about 9:50 p.m. on November 8, 1989, Leonard's girl friend, Kimberly Haynes, received a phone call from Leonard. He told her he was in trouble with the police, but when she said she would go to the police station, Leonard shouted "No." Another man's voice was then heard over the phone. This man told Kimberly to "come up with" $15-$16,000 or Leonard would be killed.
Kimberly attempted to get the money from Leonard's grandmother, but was unsuccessful. Kimberly received two other phone calls from the man, but she was unable to obtain the money he requested.
Consuella Shaw, a past girl friend of Stanley Hughes, and Shaw's friend, Lisa Everett, lived at 13320 S. Prairie in Chicago. Although Shaw and Everett testified before the grand jury that indicted Hughes, they were reluctant witnesses at trial. It was established, nonetheless, that on the evening of November 8, 1989, Stanley Hughes, wearing a navy pea coat and cap, came to Shaw's home with another man. The man with Hughes used the telephone. After the call, Hughes and the other man went to the garage behind Shaw's home. Hughes came back inside the home later and used the telephone again, twice.
Later in the trial, Shaw's and Everett's grand jury testimony was ruled admissible as substantive evidence and read into the record.
Joy Van Giesen, an assistant record keeper at Illinois Bell, by checking customer service records, established that three telephone calls received by Kimberly Haynes on November 8, 1989, between 9:50 p.m. and 11:03 p.m. were placed from a telephone registered to Consuella Shaw at 13320 S. Prairie.
On November 17, 1989, Diane Johnson identified Hughes from a photo array put together by the police. She also picked Hughes out in a lineup conducted on November 18, 1989. After the lineup, Diane was taken to 13320 S. Prairie. There she identified the garage as the place ...