Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 92 CR 11116. The Honorable Thomas A. Hett, Judge Presiding.
Released for Publication October 9, 1997.
The Honorable Justice Leavitt delivered the opinion of the court. Cousins, P.j., and Gordon, J., concur.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Leavitt
The Honorable Justice LEAVITT delivered the opinion of the court:
A jury found DeAngelo Anderson guilty of five attempted murders and not guilty of two murders. On August 29, 1995, a judge sentenced Anderson to five concurrent, extended terms of 45 years in prison. We reverse and remand.
On April 17, 1992, Latrice Cooper held a party at her house located at 6740 South Dorchester to raise funds for the funeral of a Gangster Disciple. There was Gangster Disciple graffiti on her home, and her brother, Eddie Cooper, was a Gangster Disciple.
Latrice's backyard is adjacent to the Illinois Central Railroad tracks, which lie along an embankment elevated six to seven feet above the yard. At around one o'clock in the morning, there were between 100 and 300 people on Latrice's property. Between 15 and 50 of them were in the backyard. Sometime after one o'clock, shots were fired at the house from the direction of the railroad tracks. Two people were fatally shot. Two others testified at trial that they were shot and injured. Two persons who were not harmed testified that they observed three others who had been shot and wounded.
Michael Sullivan, Andre Mauldin and Anderson, all members of the Four Corner Hustlers, a rival street gang of the Gangster Disciples, were charged with the murders and attempted murders. In a trial prior to Anderson's, separate but simultaneous juries convicted Sullivan and Mauldin of the crimes.
Two eyewitnesses testified at Anderson's trial: Latrice Cooper and Jonathon Foster. Foster was a member of the Gangster Disciples present at Latrice's party. Latrice, too, had very close ties to the Gangster Disciples. Neither Latrice nor Foster spoke to police when officers arrived at the crime scene.
Police picked Foster up the day after the shooting. He accompanied officers to the third district station where he saw Sullivan and identified him as one of the shooters. Foster later identified Anderson as one of the shooters.
Foster testified that he was in Latrice's kitchen when the shooting began. He said he ran to a three-inch square window that overlooked the backyard, looked out and saw rival gang member Sullivan coming toward the house from the railroad tracks, firing an automatic weapon as he walked. Foster also testified that Anderson, whom he knew as DeAngelo and as Atlo and whom he knew was a Four Corner Hustler, was standing by a garage just south of Latrice's property holding a weapon. Foster admitted previously telling detectives and an assistant state's attorney that Anderson was in Latrice's backyard rather than the yard south of Latrice's.
Foster said he left the kitchen and walked downstairs to the basement where he saw Tasha Thomas and Shelley O'Dell who had both been fatally shot. Foster testified that before Shelley O'Dell died, he said, "don't let me die." However, the medical examiner testified that O'Dell's injury killed him instantly.
Foster acknowledged, at trial, that when an investigator from the public defender's office showed him a picture of Anderson, he wrote on the back of it "this is not the gun man I saw." He said he wrote that because he thought the man pictured was Anderson's brother, Reggie, who was a Gangster Disciple and who looked like Anderson. Foster admitted a 1991 conviction for possessing a stolen motor vehicle, but denied a 1991 burglary conviction, a certified copy of which was introduced into evidence by the defendant.
On April 19, 1992, two days after the shooting, police picked up Latrice who then, for the first time, spoke to officers about the shooting. In two separate line-ups, Latrice identified Anderson and ...