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People v. Ousley

July 10, 1998


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Slater


Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 14th Judicial Circuit, Rock Island County, Illinois,

No. 95--CF--346

Honorable John D. O'Shea, Judge, Presiding.

After a jury trial, defendant, Angelo M. Ousley, was found guilty of home invasion, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, rob-bery, and residential burglary (720 ILCS 5/12--11, 12--14(a)(2), 12--14(a)(4), 18--1, 19--3 (West 1994)). The jury returned a not guilty verdict on the charge of criminal sexual assault (720 ILCS 5/12--13 (West 1994)). On appeal, defendant contends, among other things, that: (1) his convictions for aggravated criminal sexual assault should be reversed outright because they are legally inconsistent with his acquittal on the lesser-included charge of criminal sexual assault; and (2) his other convictions should be reversed and remanded for a new trial due to the trial court's error in admitting certain inadmissible, plea-related statements. For the reasons that follow, we reverse each of defendant's convictions and remand defendant's cause for a new trial on the charges of home invasion, robbery, and residential burglary. Due to our Disposition of defendant's cause, we decline to address the other claims of error raised in defendant's brief.


At trial, Teresa Hammond testified she went to the home of JoAnn McConville, a friend, on April 5, 1995, to do her laundry. Hammond took her laundry to the basement and returned upstairs. She then observed a man, whom she identified in court as defendant, standing at a sliding glass door which opened onto the kitchen. She opened the door to ask whether she could help the man. The man then forced his way into the house, pushed her into the living room, and informed her that he had a knife. The man struck Hammond in the face, pulled off her sweatpants and underpants, and had forced sexual intercourse with her. After the attack, the man demanded money. Hammond retrieved $31 from the basement which she surrendered to her assailant. The man fled. Hammond called for emergency assistance.

Susan Lenger, a neighbor of JoAnn McConville, testified that on April 5, 1995, she observed a man, whom she identified in court as defendant, run towards the alley. She then saw the man struggle to open the driver's side door of a light blue car and watched him as he experienced difficulty starting the vehicle. The man eventually succeeded in starting the car and driving away. In court, Lenger identified the car in photographs as the vehicle she had seen. Lenger also identified a jacket and a pair of pants as the same type of clothing worn by the man.

Police investigator Stephen Harder testified he questioned defendant on April 7, 1995. At that time, defendant confessed to sexually assaulting and robbing Hammond. Defendant told Harder that he and Demerick Pugh *fn1 were walking to school on April 5, 1995, when Pugh pointed out a parked car which Pugh said was unlocked and could be started without a key. Defendant stated he drove the car until he saw a woman carrying laundry into a house. Defendant forced his way into the house, had sex with the woman, and took her money. Defendant made a statement recorded on audiotape which was played for the jury.

Defendant testified on his own behalf. On direct examination, defendant denied he ever went to Teresa Hammond's house, ever entered her house and robbed her, or ever entered her house with the intention of assaulting her. In view of the fact that defendant was charged with sexually assaulting Hammond at the McConville residence, rather than Hammond's residence, it is likely defendant's answers were intended as a denial that he ever entered the McConville home or committed the crimes as alleged by the State. On cross-examination, defendant denied he was in the light blue car on the day Hammond was assaulted. Defendant also testified that he was home from school on the day of the assault and was not in the company of Demerick Pugh. Defendant testified his confession to police was false. Defendant explained that he made the statement because he was led to believe he would be allowed to go home if he did so.

The prosecutor then asked defendant whether he had stated a week before "in open court" that he "stayed in the car while Demetrius went in." Defendant denied making the statement. The prosecutor's question referred to a statement defendant made at an aborted guilty plea hearing. At that hearing, the trial court had refused to accept defendant's plea in light of defendant's responses to the court's ques-tions aimed at eliciting the factual basis for the plea.

At a conference on jury instructions, the trial Judge expressed his concern about the prosecution's reference to the statement made at the aborted guilty plea hearing. The trial Judge asserted that the prosecu-tion had an obligation to follow up its impeachment of defendant.

The prosecution moved for leave to reopen its case in order to perfect impeachment of defendant's testimony. The trial court allowed the motion. The prosecution called Investigator Harder to the stand. Harder testified he was present in court when defendant was asked whether he entered the McConville home. Harder recalled that defendant stated: "Dude did it. Dometric went in. I almost went in but I stayed in the car." The prosecution then called Sherry Bolt, the court report-er at defendant's aborted guilty plea hearing. Bolt testified her typed notes from the proceeding indicate defendant made the following statement at the hearing: "Well, it was a dude. Dude was with me. Dometric. That's the one that did it. I almost went in the house."

Defendant requested that the jury be allowed to consider the lesser-included offense of criminal sexual assault. The court granted defendant's motion. People's Instruction No. 6C (Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions, Criminal, No. 2.01R (3d ...

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