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People v. Campbell

December 16, 1999


Appeal from Circuit Court of Sangamon County No. 97CF495 Honorable Sue E. Myerscough, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Garman

JUSTICE GARMAN delivered the opinion of the court:

A jury convicted defendant Cornell Campbell of attempt (armed robbery) (720 ILCS 5/8-4, 18-2(a) (West 1998)) and two counts of first degree murder (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(1), (a)(2) (West 1998)) and the trial court sentenced him to 75 years. Defendant raises the following arguments on appeal: (1) the trial court denied him a fair trial by allowing the State use his nickname, "Psycho"; (2) Public Act 89-689 (Pub. Act 89-689, eff. December 31, 1996 (1996 Ill. Laws 3775)), which enacted section 115-10.2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (Criminal Procedure Code) (725 ILCS 5/115-10.2 (West 1998)) (residual hearsay statute), violates the single subject rule of the Illinois Constitution (single subject rule) (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, §8(d)); and (3) even if Public Act 89-689 does not violate the single subject rule, the trial court erred in admitting the written statement of witness James "Tanky" Gordon into evidence. We affirm.


On May 9, 1997, about 10 p.m., Michael Satterfield rode his bike to the local Shop-n-Save parking lot, where he met his girlfriend, Yolanda Lacy. Lacy gave Satterfield $10 and he left to buy some crack cocaine. On his way, Satterfield saw his friend, Tommy, who agreed to go with Satterfield to look for cocaine. Satterfield first rode his bike home and, then, he and Tommy drove in Tommy's car to buy the cocaine. The two men bought a $10 piece of crack cocaine and proceeded to a friend's house to smoke it. At about 1:30 a.m., Satterfield, Tommy, and several friends went out driving again in Tommy's car to buy some more cocaine.

Sometime after 1:30 a.m., Satterfield saw Michael Grundler sitting in his car. The car was parked with the engine running. Grundler made a motion toward Tommy's car, which Satterfield interpreted as meaning Grundler was looking for cocaine. Satterfield motioned back to Grundler that he should follow Tommy's car around the corner. Grundler did so, whereupon Satterfield exited Tommy's car and approached Grundler. Grundler told Satterfield that he was looking to buy $40 worth of cocaine. Satterfield agreed to help Grundler look for cocaine in hopes that Grundler would share it with him. They drove to four different locations, but found none.

After some time, Satterfield saw defendant, who was also known by the nickname "Psycho," and James "Tanky" Gordon walking in the same direction that Satterfield and Grundler were driving. Satterfield was acquainted with both of them from the neighborhood and testified that he got along well with defendant, but was not great friends with Gordon. Satterfield asked Gordon if he could supply $40 worth of cocaine. Gordon said he could and climbed into the backseat of Grundler's car. Defendant remained outside the car. Gordon handed Grundler a package of cocaine in exchange for $40. Gordon then threw another package of cocaine toward the front seat and told Grundler to give him $80 for all of the cocaine. Grundler protested that he only had $40. The second piece of cocaine had fallen between the front seats, and Satterfield and Grundler tried to find it.

Satterfield testified that as he and Grundler were searching for the cocaine, defendant came to Grundler's window, reached in, and grabbed Grundler. As defendant reached inside, he said, "Break yourself," which Satterfield testified means "give up everything you got--jewelry, money, anything of value." Grundler struggled with defendant and then put his car in drive. Satterfield heard a "pop" and felt pain in his left arm. He saw Grundler's head fall back. Satterfield and Gordon each testified that they jumped out of the car and ran home.

Two witnesses, James Taylor and Carol Ewing, testified that between 2 and 3 a.m. they were walking home and heard a loud "boom." They saw a red car and thought an accident had occurred because the car had struck a parked truck. Taylor testified that Ewing opened the passenger door, and they saw Grundler inside "bleeding to death."

On May 21, 1997, defendant surrendered to Chicago police after learning that he was wanted by Springfield police in connection with this case. The State charged defendant on June 12, 1997, with two counts of first degree murder. The State later added several charges, including one count of attempt (armed robbery). The State nol-prossed all counts other than first degree murder and attempt (armed robbery).

The jury trial was held from April 20 through April 24, 1998. The jury heard the oral testimony of 15 witnesses, including defendant. Although Gordon was present at trial and called as a witness, he declined to testify on fifth amendment grounds. The State moved to admit into evidence a written statement prepared by Gordon on August 22, 1997, in the presence of his attorney, Scott Hanken, and Pat Ross and Tim Young, two Springfield police officers. The statement was prepared after the State had dismissed a charge against Gordon for delivery of a "lookalike" substance. However, attorney Hanken testified that no quid pro quo was involved. The trial court admitted Gordon's statement into evidence under the residual hearsay statute, over the objections of defendant.

The jury found the defendant guilty of all counts and the trial court sentenced him to 60 years for murder and a consecutive 15 years for attempt (armed robbery). This appeal followed.


A. Use of Nickname

Defendant contends that the trial court denied defendant his right to a fair trial by allowing the State to refer to defendant by his nickname, "Psycho," during trial. Defendant contends that he was prejudiced by the negative connotations associated with that nickname. A trial court's decision on the admission of evidence will not be disturbed absent an abuse of discretion resulting in prejudice to the ...

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