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People v. Fayne

October 16, 1998


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Goldenhersh


Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County.

Nos. 93-CF-786, 93-CF-944, 93-CF-945, & 94-CF-66

Honorable Michael J. O'Malley, Judge, presiding.

Defendant, Lorenzo Fayne, was charged in the circuit court of St. Clair County with five separate charges of first-degree murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a) (now 720 ILCS 5/9-1(a) (West 1996))). In cause No. 93-CF-785, defendant was charged with the murder of Aree Hunt, age six; in cause No. 93-CF-786, defendant was charged with the murder of Faith Davis, age 17; in cause No. 93-CF-944, defendant was charged with the murder of Fallon Flood, age nine; in cause No. 93-CF-945, defendant was charged with the murder of Glenda Jones, age 17; and in cause No. 94-CF-66, defendant was charged with the murder of Latonda Dean, age 14. The first case that proceeded to trial was No. 93-CF-785. In that case, after a jury trial, defendant was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Aree Hunt. At a separate sentencing hearing, the jury could not agree that there were no mitigating factors sufficient to preclude the imposition of the death penalty. The trial court subsequently sentenced defendant to natural life in prison. Defendant's conviction and sentence were affirmed by this court in People v. Fayne, 283 Ill. App. 3d 382, 669 N.E.2d 1172 (1996).

In one of the remaining untried cases, No. 93-CF-786, defendant filed a motion to dismiss and to bar a death penalty sentencing hearing on the basis that the decision not to impose the death penalty after the murder conviction for the death of Aree Hunt barred any successive capital sentencing hearing. Defendant argued he would be subjected to double jeopardy since in the Aree Hunt sentencing hearing the State had already presented evidence of all the murders. Defendant later filed motions to dismiss in the other remaining cases, No. 93-CF-944, No. 93-CF-945, and No. 94-CF-66. The trial court denied the pretrial motions to dismiss, and the cases were consolidated for appeal. The issue we are asked to address is whether the State is barred from seeking the death penalty in the remaining four cases pending against defendant when the question whether defendant should be put to death was already decided in No. 93-CF-785 and the jury chose to impose a sentence other than death. We affirm.


We recite only those facts necessary for an understanding of this appeal. On July 24, 1993, defendant was arrested in conjunction with the murder of Faith Davis, after the East St. Louis fire department was called to the Davis home to extinguish a fire. An investigation of the fire determined that Davis had been murdered. A trail of blood led from Davis's home to the home of defendant's grandmother, where defendant was residing. After the police talked to witnesses, defendant was arrested and brought to the East St. Louis police department for questioning. The East St. Louis police department contacted the Illinois State Police to assist in the investigation. Ultimately, defendant confessed not only to the murder of Davis, but also to the murders of four other victims.

The first of the five murder cases to be prosecuted was No. 93-CF-785. For a full recitation of the facts in that case, see People v. Fayne, 283 Ill. App. 3d 382, 669 N.E.2d 1172 (1996). Defendant, who was age 23 at the time of that trial, asserted an insanity defense, which the jury rejected by returning a guilty verdict. The State sought the death penalty. A sentencing hearing was conducted from August 16, 1994, through August 18, 1994. At the hearing, the State introduced evidence concerning each of the four remaining murders with which defendant was charged. For example, the State introduced People's Exhibit 39, which contained five- by seven-inch color photographs of each of the five victims defendant was accused of killing, along with each person's age, residence, date of death, manner of death, and location where the body was found. Graphic pictures of each of the crime scenes and the victims were introduced into evidence over defendant's objection. In addition to Aree Hunt, defendant's victims were identified as Fallon Flood, Glenda Jones, Faith Davis, and Latonda Dean.

Flood's body was found on the floor of a local high school in an abandoned locker room with a belt tightened around her neck and her underwear around her ankles. Defendant's statement admitting to the murder of Flood was introduced into evidence. In that statement, defendant admitted that he choked Flood and attempted to rape her.

Glenda Jones died as a result of stab wounds. Her body was badly decomposed when it was found. Jones's body was clothed, but her bra was turned inside out. Defendant's statement, in which he admitted that he stabbed Jones and had sex with her, was admitted into evidence. In that statement, defendant stated that he first approached Jones with a knife but that later she consented to sex with defendant. According to defendant, Jones even discussed starting a relationship with him. However, something "snapped" in defendant, and he ended up stabbing Jones.

Faith Davis's nude body was found face-down bent over a coffee table with her knees on the floor and her legs spread apart. She had several stab wounds in her upper chest and back. The crime scene indicated that she died in one area and then was dragged over to the coffee table. A large amount of petroleum jelly was spread on her buttocks, and she had been sexually assaulted. Defendant's statement admitting to stabbing Davis and then returning to sexually assault her was introduced into evidence.

Latonda Dean's nude body was found lying in a bathtub. She died as a result of 24 stab wounds, mainly in her chest and abdomen. Defendant's statement admitting that he raped and stabbed Dean was admitted into evidence.

Defendant presented a number of witnesses in mitigation. The evidence showed that defendant's mother drank heavily and took drugs throughout her pregnancy with defendant. Defendant's mother admitted to hitting defendant in the head as a form of punishment. She believed that this was the way to punish a child. It was not until after a child care agency intervened and specifically told her that this was an improper means of disciplining that she realized that anything was wrong with it. Defendant's mother, a crack cocaine addict and an alcoholic, beat defendant with anything within reach, including broom handles and extension cords. Defendant's biological father was found in a Veterans Administration mental hospital and is a diagnosed schizophrenic. Defendant has had virtually no contact with him. Defendant's stepfather was an alcoholic, and he often beat defendant. On one occasion, he choked defendant until defendant lost consciousness.Defendant's grandmother and sister testified about the abusive home environment in which defendant was raised. Defendant's grandmother explained that defendant was raped by a neighborhood boy when defendant was seven years old. The boy who raped defendant was approximately four years older. The police were not called. Instead, defendant's stepfather beat him after defendant told him that he had been raped. There was testimony that defendant had been raped on other occasions, usually when he was serving time in a juvenile facility for one of his many brushes with the law. Experts testified that defendant has limited intellectual abilities and a low IQ. Defendant ...

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