Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 94 CR 26255. Honorable Themis N. Karnezis, Judge Presiding.
Released for Publication October 22, 1996.
The Honorable Justice DiVITO delivered the opinion of the court: Burke, J., concurs. Hartman, P.j., dissents.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Divito
JUSTICE DiVITO delivered the opinion of the court:
Following a bench trial, defendant Robert Daniel was found guilty of aggravated stalking and was sentenced to 30 months' probation, the first six months to be served in the custody of the Cook County Department of Corrections. He appeals his conviction, contending that the State failed to prove an essential element of his crime, the act of surveillance, beyond a reasonable doubt. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
In March 1994, Barbara Daniel (Barbara) received a plenary order of protection prohibiting defendant, her husband, from entering her home or place of employment, taking or damaging her automobile, or approaching her or her two children.
At defendant's trial, Barbara testified that at noon on October 14, 1994, she was working at a currency exchange at 524 South Laramie in Chicago. She was sitting in a teller's booth behind bulletproof glass when defendant walked in and said, "Bitch, I'm going to fuck you up, I'm going to do an O.J. Simpson on you, and I'm going to fuck up your Jeep." Defendant continued to threaten her, all the while "ranting and raging and throwing his hands up in the air." Defendant left the currency exchange after approximately 15 minutes. Barbara watched as he crossed the street and approached her Jeep. She saw him walk to the rear of the Jeep, make a throwing motion, then depart.
Barbara waited for approximately 15 minutes to make sure defendant was gone and then inspected her Jeep. Its rear window was shattered. She called the police and reported the incident.
After leaving work, Barbara rented another car while her Jeep was being repaired, and drove to the home of defendant's mother to pick up her infant daughter. Defendant was at his mother's home at the time. She then drove her daughter several blocks to her mother's house. As she exited the car, she saw defendant walking towards her mother's house. At that time, her brother Richard came out of the house and took the baby into the house. Defendant approached her, saying that he would "fuck up" the rental car and her. Richard called the police, and defendant left.
Barbara concluded her testimony:
"Everywhere that I went, he was there.
I couldn't go anywhere. I couldn't work in peace. This man was forever threatening me, following me. I mean, he would sit outside my house at night.
When I would leave at 11:00 at night to go to work, he's there sitting in the parking lot. I do not want to end up dead. I do not want to end up like Nicole Simpson. I am afraid of this man. I do not want to end up in the newspaper."
The circuit court found defendant guilty of aggravated stalking and sentenced him as stated previously. Maintaining that he was not proved guilty of aggravated stalking ...