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People v. Groves

February 04, 1998


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County No. 95 CR 19632 Honorable Reginald Baker, judge Presiding.

Leavitt, P.j., and Gordon, J., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Cahill delivered the opinion of the court:

After a jury trial defendant, Dewayne Groves, was found guilty of attempted first degree murder, armed violence, aggravated battery, and aggravated battery of a child. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Defendant appeals. We affirm.

At trial, Michael Watson and John Wade testified for the State about the events that led up to a shooting on June 4, 1995. About a half hour before the shooting, Watson was talking with a neighbor in the alley behind his house when he saw defendant and a group of men, including Wade, gathering in the alley. Watson had lived at 148th and Maplewood for 28 years and had known defendant "all his life."

Two of the men, Shantell and Antoine, separated from the rest of the group as though they were about to fight. They had fought each other the day before and Shantell had stabbed Antoine in the shoulder. According to Wade, Shantell was "acting kind of crazy" and "pretending to have a gun."

Before blows were struck, Donald Hargrove walked up to the group and broke up the fight, telling everyone to go home. Hargrove yelled "GD, GD, GD" which, the record reveals, stood for Gangster Disciples. Both Watson and Wade recalled that Hargrove walked up to defendant, who was a Black Disciple (BD), and "got in his face" by yelling "GD!" and holding his finger in defendant's face. According to Wade, who was in the alley, Hargrove also pushed defendant and told him he would harm him if the fight went forward.

Defendant and the rest of the group began to disperse, and Wade heard defendant say, as he walked out of the alley with David Carothers, that he was going to "get some of his BD's." Defendant and codefendant Carothers then got into a black car and drove off. Shantell calmed down and the rest of the group, including Watson, Wade, Hargrove, Shantell and Antoine, walked from the alley to the front of the houses.

About a half hour after defendant and Carothers left, Watson, Wade, Antoine, Hargrove and some of the other men from the alley were standing in front of Wade's house at 148th and Maplewood, on the west side of the street. Several neighborhood children were playing nearby.

Four-year-old Shaneal was on her bike, next to Hargrove, as a black car came down the street toward the group. The car, which both Wade and Watson recognized, was coming toward them at a normal rate of speed. Defendant was in the front passenger seat and Carothers was driving; neither man attempted to hide his identity and both were looking at the group. Neither Watson nor Wade could see if anyone was in the back seat of the car, because the back windows were tinted and they were opened only slightly.

Just as the car reached the group, it slowed to one or two miles per hour, and an arm holding a gun emerged from the partially opened rear passenger window behind the driver's side. The shooter began firing at the group. Watson and Wade were unable to identify the shooter. However, they were certain defendant, who was visible and sitting in the front passenger seat, was not the shooter. The shooting stopped for a moment as the car crawled forward, and it appeared to Wade as though the shooter moved closer to the window for a better shot.

Watson and the other men began pushing the children down on the ground, and the shooter fired a second round of shots. The shooting stopped again for a moment and then the shooter fired a third round of shots. The car then sped off, turned around in a cul-de-sac, and drove back down the street. Both Wade and Watson estimated that a total of five or six shots were fired.

As Wade got up from the ground, he saw that Shaneal had been shot. Wade's brother picked up the little girl and took her to Wade's van. Wade drove Shaneal to the hospital.

Meanwhile, Watson ran into his house to call the police. Watson and some of the other men then started down the street to tell Shaneal's mother what had happened.

After Wade drove back from the hospital he saw defendant and Carothers walking into a minimart at 150th Street and Dixie Highway, about four block east of the scene of the shooting. Wade went home to see if the police were still at the scene. Upon learning that the police had left, Watson, Wade and several other men got into a van and went to the minimart to meet defendant and Carothers.

Defendant and Carothers walked out of the minimart, eating chips and drinking pop. They did not flee or resist when the group confronted them. The group detained defendant and Carothers until the police came and arrested them.

The defense presented no witnesses. The jury found defendant guilty.

Defendant first argues that the trial court erred in denying defendant's motion to suppress his statement. He claims it was obtained in violation of the fourth and fifth amendments of the United States Constitution and in violation of the Illinois Constitution and Illinois law. Specifically defendant argues that he was not brought in front of a Judge until four days after his arrest and this delay and the surrounding circumstances negate the voluntariness of his confession.

The State argues that the issue is waived because it was not specifically raised in defendant's posttrial motion. We find the issue was properly preserved since defendant stated in his posttrial motion that the court erred in admitting his out-of-court statements. People v. Brown, 150 Ill. App. 3d 535, 540-41, 501 N.E.2d 1347 (1986) ...

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