Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Fred G. Suria, Jr., Judge Presiding.
Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied April 3, 1996.
The Honorable Justice Tully delivered the opinion of the court: Rizzi and Cerda, JJ., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Tully
The Honorable Justice TULLY delivered the opinion of the court:
Following a bench trial, defendant, Alfred Antoine Porter, was convicted of first-degree murder in violation of section 9-1(a)(1) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(1) (West 1992)) and four counts of attempted first-degree murder in violation of sections 8-4 and 9-1 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/8-4, 9-1 (West 1992)) and sentenced to a 50-year prison term for the first-degree murder and to four consecutive 10-year terms for each of the attempted first-degree murder counts, for a total of 90 years. It is from the judgment of conviction that defendant now appeals to this court pursuant to section 6 of article VI of the Illinois Constitution (Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, § 6) and Supreme Court Rule 603 (134 Ill. 2d R. 603).
For the reasons which follow, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court as modified herein.
Defendant's convictions arose from a gang-related shooting that occurred at 8:15 p.m. on October 5, 1992, at the intersection of Leavitt Street and Diversey Avenue in Chicago. David Ramos testified that he and four other members of the Latin Kings street gang, Jerry Davey, Jose M. Colon (hereinafter Jose M.), Jose A. Colon (hereinafter Jose A.) and Ramon Figueroa, were riding in a Chevrolet Blazer when they noticed a group of men standing on the corner. Jose M. rolled down the front passenger window and said, "what's up?" Defendant, who was standing in the group, told the man next to him to, "get the shit." The man reached into a car, pulled out a gun and fired two or three shots into the Blazer, striking the driver and causing the vehicle to crash into a dumpster. Ramos testified that the firing stopped for a few seconds, after which several additional shots were fired into the Blazer. Ramos was ducking under the seat at the time and did not see who fired the additional shots. Jose M. was killed by the gunfire, and Davey and Jose A. were wounded. Ramos and Figueroa were not injured.
The following day, Ramos identified defendant's picture in a photographic array and subsequently picked him out of a lineup. Ramos testified that he had seen defendant in the neighborhood with his girl friend and knew him as "Antoine." However, at the time Ramos first spoke to the police, he mistakenly believed defendant's nickname was "Hodgey." Ramos stated that defendant was about 20 feet from the car when the shooting occurred and that the area was well-lighted.
Jose A. testified that he recognized the group of men on the corner as members of the Mickey Cobras street gang. Like Ramos, Jose A. identified defendant as the man who said "get the shit" to the man next to him. However, Jose A. also testified that after the unidentified man fired the first shots, Jose A. looked up and saw defendant with the gun. Jose A. saw defendant fire a shot into the Blazer, then ducked down and heard approximately 10 more shots. Jose A. testified that he did not know how old defendant was or what he was wearing, but that he recognized him as the boyfriend of Demetrice Williams. Jose A. identified defendant from a photographic array and in a lineup, but initially thought defendant's nickname was "Hodgey." He stated that "Hodgey" was in fact the nickname of a person who associated with defendant. According to Jose A., defendant and "Hodgey" did not look alike. Jose A. testified that he was a convicted felon and was awaiting trial on an attempted murder charge.
Davey, the driver of the Blazer, testified that after defendant said, "get the shit," another man fired shots into the car which hit Davey in the arm and caused him to crash the vehicle into a dumpster. He then heard several more shots, but could not see who was firing. Although Davey did not give a physical description of defendant, he identified him in a photographic array and a lineup and told the police that his name was Antoine. He knew defendant as Williams' boyfriend and told the police to look for him at her house. Davey had been previously convicted of felonies and at the time of trial was awaiting sentencing for delivery of a controlled substance.
Figueroa testified that after the initial shots were fired, he looked up and saw defendant holding the gun and shooting into the Blazer. Figueroa was not wounded and subsequently identified defendant from a photographic array and in a lineup. He testified that he believed defendant's nickname was "Hoggie" and gave that name to the police.
Officer Paul Bretz of the Chicago police department testified that Davey told him that the men on the street corner were members of the Vice Lords street rather than the Mickey Cobras gang.
Defendant presented the testimony of three acquaintances who stated that although they saw him at the crime scene, he was not the man who said "get the shit" and was not involved in the shooting. Joseph Myles testified that the men in the Blazer wore hoods over their heads and that the person in the front passenger seat fired into the crowd. An unidentified man in the crowd then produced an automatic weapon and fired shots into the vehicle. Quinton Jones corroborated Myles' testimony in part, but did not mention a shot being fired from the ...