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04/24/97 T.S. v. T.S.

April 24, 1997

IN THE INTEREST OF T.S., A MINOR, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
T.S., RESPONDENT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 96--JD--2022. Honorable Richard Walsh, Judge Presiding.

Rehearing Denied May 21, 1997. Released for Publication June 2, 1997.

The Honorable Justice Cerda delivered the opinion of the court. McNamara, J., and Burke, J., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cerda

The Honorable Justice CERDA delivered the opinion of the court:

After a bench trial, respondent, T.S., was found guilty of robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-1 (West 1994)), adjudicated a delinquent, and committed to the Juvenile Department of Corrections. On appeal, respondent asserts that (1) he was denied a fair trial because the trial court explicitly based its guilty finding on non-existent evidence; (2) he was denied a fair trial because the trial court improperly used impeachment testimony as substantive evidence in its finding; and (3) his right to confrontation was violated because he was not allowed to cross-examine the victim for possible bias. For the following reasons, we affirm.

Prior to trial, the trial court denied respondent's motion in limine to cross-examine the victim, Willie Newsom, about three felony charges that had been stricken with leave to reinstate, which were still within the statute of limitations.

At trial, Newsom testified that he and Will Clarke were walking on Rockwell Street near 71st Street in Chicago on January 20, 1996, around 8:30 p.m. The area was well-lit with streetlights. They encountered T.S. and another teenager, who asked them several questions. Newsom recognized T.S. from playing basketball at Marquette Park and identified him in court.

Newsom and Clarke continued to walk south on Rockwell as T.S. and the other teenager shouted at them. When Newsom and Clarke turned west on 72nd Street, T.S. and the other teenager started to run toward them. According to Newsom, T.S. was wearing a green and black flannel shirt and dark-colored pants, and the other teenager was wearing a black and blue coat.

With the two offenders chasing them, Newsom ran down one alley as Clarke ran toward a different alley. Newsom hid in someone's back yard, but could hear voices threatening him from the alley. He ran from yard to yard until he ran westbound through an alley near California Street. There, he saw the second teenager, who was carrying a brick, coming from the side of a Clark service station. When Newsom started to run away, the offender threw the brick, hitting Newsom in the back of his head. After Newsom stumbled and fell, the second offender jumped on him and started to beat him.

At that point, Newsom saw T.S. run into the alley. As the second offender continued hitting Newsom in the head, T.S. went through Newsom's pockets and took his wallet, social security card, check stubs, and $30 in cash. He also took Newsom's suede coat and a pager.

When a car drove up, the two offenders ran. The woman in the car drove Newsom to a gas station where she called an ambulance and the police. An ambulance arrived and took him to the hospital where he told the police that he had been robbed and that the name of one of the offenders was Tywon, which is T.S.'s first name.

On February 2, 1996, at the police station, Newsom looked into a room where T.S. was sitting by himself and nodded to the police, "He's the one." Newsom denied that he also positively identified Derrick Thornton as the second offender.

Willie Clarke testified that he and Newsom were walking on 72nd Street near Talman Avenue on the night of January 22, 1996, when Newsom stopped to talk with a group of people. Clarke continued to walk and Newsom caught up to him. When the group of people looked as if they were running toward them, Newsom told Clarke to run. Clarke and Newsom began to run, splitting up along the way. Clarke did not see Newsom again that evening.

Judith Leavell testified that she was at the Clark gasoline station at the corner of 71st Street and California Avenue about 8 p.m. on January 22, 1996, getting gas for her car. She noticed a young man, whom she identified as Newsom, walking southbound on California Avenue and another young man, whom she identified as T.S., "skulking" around the corner of the gas station. She stared at T.S. because ...


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