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June 26, 1996


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Mary Thomas, Judge Presiding.

Released for Publication August 13, 1996.

The Honorable Justice Rizzi delivered the opinion of the court: Tully, P.j., and Greiman, J., concurring.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Rizzi

JUSTICE RIZZI delivered the opinion of the court:

Defendant, Calvin Jordan, was tried by a jury and found guilty of armed robbery. He was sentenced to 10 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. On appeal, defendant alleges that (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to quash arrest; (2) the trial court erred in refusing to allow him to advise the jury of a witness' conviction of a felony; (3) the trial court erred in allowing hearsay evidence; (4) the prosecution committed reversible error in closing argument to the jury; and (5) he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We affirm.

On March 13, 1992, Dale Austin was attacked and robbed by several assailants outside a Chicago Housing Authority complex. At trial, Austin testified that at approximately 1:15 a.m. he parked his car near 1315 Hastings Avenue in Chicago. He then began walking through one of the buildings when a young man approached him and asked him if he wanted drugs. Austin declined and walked away. Then, two women approached him and asked him if he wanted to buy drugs. The young man who had initially asked Austin if he wanted to buy drugs then grabbed and put his arms around Austin's neck. He put a sharp object in Austin's back and stated: "Don't move or I'll blow your Mother Fuckin head off." As the young man attempted to pull Austin down, the two women joined in the struggle. Defendant then joined the assailants as they attacked Austin. Austin identified defendant in open court at trial.

Austin testified that defendant held him down while the others went through his pockets. Defendant and the others also hit Austin and cut his face. Another man then appeared with a shotgun and pointed it at Austin. He demanded that Austin give one of the men his money. Austin then watched as one of the assailants went through Austin's car, which was about 30 feet away. The man with the shotgun pushed Austin and Austin tripped over a chain fence. When Austin got up, the assailants fled. Austin then flagged down a police officer and told him what happened.

Although Austin's glasses were knocked off during the attack, he can see things that are close. Austin testified that defendant was right in front of him, as close as 18 inches away. Austin testified that he could clearly see defendant's face. There were street lights at the location where the attack took place, and Austin was practically under a light when he was attacked. On March 15, 1992, Austin viewed two separate lineups. At the first lineup, Austin identified one of his assailants. At the second lineup, he identified defendant as one of the assailants.

Chicago Housing Authority police officer, Angela Dudley, also testified at trial. She investigated the incident. She testified that on March 14, 1992, she had a conversation with two citizens about a recent robbery that occurred in the neighborhood of the Chicago Housing Authority complex. During the course of her investigation, Officer Dudley contacted Dale Austin and spoke again to one of the citizens. Dudley and Officer Andre Sneed, Dudley's partner, and one of the citizens then canvassed the area looking for the subjects involved in the armed robbery. As a result, they located and arrested Paul Calbert without a warrant. Calbert was identified in a lineup. Dudley, however, continued her investigation. She went back to the area of the Chicago Housing Authority complex looking for the defendant. Officers Dudley and Sneed located defendant in the 1300 block of Washburne Avenue and arrested him.

Defendant did not testify and did not present any evidence at trial. Prior to trial, however, defendant presented a motion to quash his arrest. After conducting a hearing on the motion, the trial court denied defendant's motion. On appeal, defendant contends that the trial court erred because "the police lacked probable cause to arrest defendant who had not been identified by the alleged victim of the crime" prior to defendant's arrest. We disagree with defendant's contention.

A person may be arrested without a warrant when a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person has committed a crime. The test is whether the information taken in its totality would lead a reasonable, prudent person to believe that the person arrested has committed the offense. People v. Adams (1989), 131 Ill. 2d 387, 396-97, 546 N.E.2d 561, 565, 137 Ill. Dec. 616. The information need not be sufficient to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, probable cause may be founded upon evidence which would not be admissible at trial; even hearsay is proper grounds for establishing probable cause. People v. Johnson (1989), 187 Ill. App. 3d 756, 771, 544 N.E.2d 392, 401. Moreover, the reviewing court may consider evidence at trial which would aid in establishing the legality of the arrest. People v. Mitchell (1984), 123 Ill. App. 3d 868, 873, 463 N.E.2d 864, 869, 79 Ill. Dec. 310.

Here, the Chicago Housing Authority police investigating the armed robbery the day after it occurred obtained information from two citizens indicating the defendant's involvement in the crime. One of the citizens helped the police look for the offenders. After the police arrested one of the offenders, that offender identified the defendant, by his name and nickname, as an accomplice. Officer Sneed knew defendant by his nickname.

Probable cause to arrest can be established by the statement of an accomplice, especially where the statement is corroborated by what the police may already know. People v. James (1987), 118 Ill. 2d 214, 224-25, 514 N.E.2d 998, 1002-03, 113 Ill. Dec. 86. The arrest in this case was made upon reliable information from citizens and an accomplice to the armed robbery. The information from both sources was consistent. It follows that the trial court's ruling was reasonable and not manifestly erroneous. Thus, we reject defendant's contention that there was no probable cause to arrest defendant because he was not identified by the victim prior to his arrest. See People v. Galvin (1989), 127 Ill. 2d 153, 535 N.E.2d 837, 129 Ill. Dec. 72.

Defendant next contends that the trial court improperly refused to allow defendant to introduce evidence of the victim's 14-year-old felony conviction for violations of the Credit Card Act, for impeachment purposes. Defendant, however, did not make an offer of proof, and the record does not establish what specific criminal violations were involved ...

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