Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

People v. Pena

November 08, 2000

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
HUGO C. PENA, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County. Nos. 98--CF--93 98--CM--302 Honorable Michael R. Morrison, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Inglis

Following a jury trial, defendant, Hugo C. Pena, was found guilty of home invasion (720 ILCS 5/12-11(a) (West 1998)), armed robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-2(a) (West 1998)), unlawful use of a weapon by a felon (720 ILCS 5/24-1.1 (West 1998)), and resisting or obstructing a peace officer (720 ILCS 5/31-1(a) (West 1998)). Defendant appeals and contends (1) that he is entitled to the reversal of his convictions of armed robbery and home invasion because the State failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of those offenses as a principal and because he could not be convicted of those offenses as an accomplice due to the omission of language regarding accountability in certain jury instructions; and (2) that his conviction of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon must be reversed because it violates the one-act, one-crime rule. We affirm.

In case No. 98--CF--93, the State charged defendant by indictment with one count each of home invasion, armed robbery, and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. In case No. 98--CM--302, the State charged defendant by complaint with resisting or obstructing a peace officer. The four charges were tried simultaneously.

At trial, Saul Camacho testified that on the evening of January 9, 1998, he was at home with his four children in his residence, a single-family house. At about 10 p.m., Camacho heard a knock on the front door. Camacho went to the front door and looked through the peephole but could not discern who was there. Camacho opened the door and saw a man whom he did not know. Camacho later identified the man as defendant. Defendant asked for Jose. Camacho told defendant that there was no Jose in his house. Camacho testified that defendant then pulled a gun and forced his way into Camacho's house. Camacho did not invite defendant into his house.

Camacho further testified that, after defendant entered his house, defendant pointed the gun at Camacho, took Camacho into the kitchen, opened the back door of Camacho's house, and let four or five other persons into Camacho's house. These persons, who had been waiting on the back porch, wore masks. The intruders made Camacho lie on the kitchen floor and asked Camacho where the drugs were. Camacho replied that he did not have any drugs. One of the intruders then hit Camacho on the head with an object. The blow caused a cut on Camacho's head. Camacho did not know which of the intruders hit him or what he was hit with. While at least one of the intruders stayed with Camacho and pointed a gun at him, other intruders went into a first-floor bedroom and ransacked it while looking for drugs. The intruders did not find drugs in the bedroom. Camacho testified that during these events he believed that his children, who were ages 15, 14, 12, and 5, were somewhere upstairs in the house. However, Camacho did not know exactly where the children were.

Camacho further testified that after the intruders ransacked the first-floor bedroom they took him down to the basement of his house. The intruders made Camacho kneel down on the basement floor and continued looking for drugs. One of the masked intruders pointed a gun at Camacho. The intruders also brought Camacho's 14-year-old daughter, Anna, down into the basement and made her kneel next to Camacho. Camacho feared that the intruders might use their guns. At that point, Camacho heard a shout and the intruders suddenly ran out of Camacho's house. Camacho testified that the intruders took his wallet from his house. The wallet contained less than $100.

Camacho further testified that shortly after the intruders ran out of his house the police arrived. Later the same evening, the police asked Camacho to look at three men. Camacho identified one of the men as the man who forced his way into Camacho's house. The man that Camacho identified was defendant.

As People's exhibit No. 1, the State introduced a wallet into evidence. Camacho identified People's exhibit No. 1 as the wallet that the intruders took from his house. The wallet contained Camacho's driver's license. Camacho testified that the wallet no longer contained the money that it had contained when the intruders took it.

As People's exhibit No. 2, the State introduced a silvery handgun into evidence. Camacho testified that the police showed him a similar gun on the night of the intrusion. Camacho recalled that the gun that the police showed him looked a lot like the gun that defendant had when he forced his way into Camacho's house.

On cross-examination, Camacho acknowledged that there was no mention of his wallet in a police report that was made after the incident. Camacho testified that it was not possible that he had dropped his wallet outside his house or left his wallet outside in his car on the night of the intrusion. Camacho was sure of that because he had paid bills on the day of the intrusion and recalled counting the money in his wallet on that night. Camacho testified that when the wallet was taken it contained United States currency totaling $70 in $20, $10, and $1 bill denominations.

On redirect examination, Camacho reiterated that he did not lose his wallet. Camacho believed that the wallet was on a table in his house when defendant forced his way into the house.

Jason Bailey, a Rockford police officer, testified that at about 10:30 p.m. on January 9, 1998, he was dispatched to Camacho's house in response to a "911 hangup." When he arrived at the house, Bailey observed that two other police officers, Officers Clark and Cebuhar, had apprehended three suspects. Bailey then went into Camacho's house and observed "a considerable amount of blood on the floor" and that Camacho was bleeding from the head. Later, Bailey went out the back door of the house and followed several sets of footprints in fresh snow. About 45 yards northeast of the house, Bailey found a black and silver Smith and Wesson handgun lying in the snow about two feet away from the sets of footprints. According to Bailey, when he found the gun it appeared as if it had only recently fallen into the snow. Bailey identified People's exhibit No. 2 as the gun he found in the snow.

On cross-examination, Bailey testified that the blood he observed inside Camacho's house was in the kitchen. Bailey agreed that there were a number of drops of blood but there was no "running or streaming" blood. Bailey identified People's exhibit No. 4 as a magazine that was inside the gun when he found it and People's exhibit No. 5 as ammunition that was in the gun when he found it.

Michael Clark, a Rockford police officer, testified that he was dispatched to Camacho's house on the night of the intrusion. When Clark arrived at Camacho's house, another police officer, Officer Cebuhar, was there. Clark and Cebuhar were in the front of the house when they heard a noise and started walking to the back of the house. Clark then observed five persons come out of the back door of the house. Clark identified himself as a police officer and ordered the persons to stop. The persons did not stop; instead, they took off running in a northeasterly direction. Clark and Cebuhar chased the persons and continued to yell for them to stop. Clark and Cebuhar caught up with three of the persons about a block from Camacho's house. The other two persons took off running in different directions and got away. Clark testified that from the time the three persons he and Cebuhar caught up with left Camacho's house until they were caught he never lost sight of them.

Clark further testified that when he and Cebuhar caught up with the three persons, Cebuhar drew his gun and told the three persons to get down on the ground. Two of the persons complied. The third person, whom Clark identified as defendant, did not comply. Rather, defendant remained standing and turning around, leading Clark to conclude that defendant might take off running again. Defendant got down on the ground only after Clark took defendant to the ground.

After defendant was on the ground, Clark handcuffed defendant and went through defendant's pockets looking for identification. Clark testified that he found a wallet in defendant's rear pocket. Clark looked in the wallet and saw that it contained a driver's license and other picture identifications that did not match defendant. Clark identified People's exhibit No. 1 as the wallet that was in defendant's rear pocket. Clark testified that $114 in cash was found on one of the other three persons that he and Cebuhar caught. The cash consisted of "four $20's and one $10, three $5's and nine $1's."

Jason Cebuhar, a Rockford police officer, was also dispatched to Camacho's house on the night of January 9, 1998. Cebuhar's testimony at trial was consistent with and corroborated Clark's testimony.

The parties stipulated that defendant had been convicted of a felony offense in Illinois on December 27, 1994. The State then rested. Without presenting any evidence, defendant then rested.

The jury found defendant guilty of all four charges. After denying defendant's motion for a new trial or to set aside the verdicts, the trial court sentenced defendant to concurrent terms of incarceration of 20 years for the offense of home invasion, 20 years for the offense of armed robbery, 3 years for the offense of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and 30 days for the offense of resisting or obstructing a peace officer. After the trial court denied his motion to reconsider the sentences, defendant filed a timely notice of appeal.

On appeal, defendant first contends that his convictions of armed robbery and home invasion must be reversed because the State failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of these offenses as a principal and because he could not properly be found guilty as an accomplice due to instructional errors. Defendant asserts that the State failed to include recommended language regarding accountability in each of the pattern jury instructions for these offenses that set out the propositions that the State was required to prove. Defendant maintains that this resulted in the jury being instructed on his culpability only as a principal and not as an accomplice. Defendant argues that because of these ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.