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People v. Denton

April 05, 2002

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
DAVID DENTON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit, Peoria County, Illinois No. 99-CF-752 Honorable Donald C. Courson, Judge Presiding

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Homer

Released for publication April 16, 2002.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
DAVID DENTON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit, Peoria County, Illinois No. 99-CF-752 Honorable Donald C. Courson, Judge Presiding

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Homer

PUBLISHED

 A jury convicted defendant David Denton of two counts of home invasion (720 ILCS 5/12--11(a)(1),(2) (West 1998)) and one count of aggravated battery with a firearm (720 ILCS 5/12--4.2(a)(1) (West 1998)). Defendant was sentenced to 35 years in prison--25 years for the two home invasion convictions to be served consecutively to a 10-year term for aggravated battery with a firearm. Defendant appeals, contending that (1) the court erred in denying his motion to suppress identification testimony; (2) the evidence was insufficient to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (3) Public Act 86--980 (Pub. Act 86--980, eff. July 1, 1990), which created the offense of aggravated battery with a firearm, violates the single subject clause of the Illinois Constitution of 1970 (Ill. Const. 1970, art. IV, §8(d)); and (4) one of his convictions for home invasion must be vacated under one-act, one-crime principles. We affirm in part, vacate in part and remand for a new sentencing hearing.

FACTS

Defendant and co-defendant Clifford E. Graves were jointly indicted for offenses arising out of an August 6, 1999, unauthorized entry into the Peoria residence of Charles Woods and the shooting of Melvin Rogers within the residence. Alleging that a photo lineup procedure was unnecessarily suggestive, defendant moved to suppress identification testimony.

At the hearing on the motion, Peoria police detective Lisa Snow testified that on August 7, 1999, she was ordered to conduct photo lineups to identify possible suspects arrested in connection with the incident at Woods' home. Snow said she first called up computerized mug shots of defendant and Graves. She noted defendant's skin tone and distinctive "milky" eye and searched for mug shots of other young males with similar features. After selecting photos of five individuals with facial characteristics generally comparable to each defendant, she prepared two six-photo arrays--one containing the mug shot of defendant, and the other containing a mug shot of Graves.

Snow took the photo arrays to Rogers' room in the intensive care unit of St. Francis Hospital that afternoon. Rogers' friend, Lynette White, was visiting when Snow arrived. White moved away from the bedside during the lineup procedure. Rogers' hands were bandaged, and Snow asked if he could write. Rogers said he could not, having been shot in both hands and in the groin. Snow did not inquire about medications Rogers may have been on at the time of the lineups; however, she noted that he seemed alert and willing to view them. Rogers immediately identified defendant and Graves from the photo arrays as the perpetrators. According to Snow, Rogers said defendant was the person who came in with a gun and told the other person to "pop" Rogers when Rogers grabbed defendant's gun. Rogers told her that Graves was the one who shot him while he was struggling with defendant for control of the gun.

Rogers testified that he was shot nine times from his knees to his arms as he was about to leave Woods' house after a social visit in the early morning of August 6, 1999. Rogers did not recall describing the perpetrators to the police before he was taken to the hospital, but he did remember identifying them from the photo arrays shown to him after he recovered from surgery. He said he believed that there was pain medication in the intravenous tube when Officer Snow showed him the photos, but he had no trouble making the identifications.

Rogers said he had seen both men in the neighborhood previously, but he did not know their names. He said he had heard that defendant's nickname was "Nod," and Graves' nickname was "Snake." He recognized defendant by his "dead" eye and Graves by his long hair. Rogers said he pulled a nylon stocking mask off of "Nod" when he grabbed the gun and struggled with him. "Snake" then pulled off his own nylon stocking mask and began shooting Rogers. Rogers said defendant's gun discharged once during the struggle before the two men ran out of the house. Rogers identified defendant and Graves in person at the hearing. Rogers also said that he had heard that there was a third individual involved in the incident, but only two had entered the house.

Following arguments of counsel, the trial court denied defendant's motion to suppress. The court found that (1) Rogers had ample opportunity to view the perpetrators of the offense, (2) there was no evidence that anyone suggested which mug shot Rogers should select from the photo arrays, (3) the circumstances of Rogers' hospitalization justified the use of ...


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