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People v. Wilson

May 17, 2002

THE PEOPLE 0F THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
DEMETRIUS WILSON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County. No 97--CF--3027, Honorable Christopher C. Starck, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice O'malley.

Defendant, Demetrius Wilson, appeals from his conviction of murder (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(1) (West 1996)). We affirm.

A jury found defendant guilty of one count of murder and four counts of armed robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-2(a) (West 1996)). This court affirmed his armed robbery conviction and modified his sentence for that offense but reversed his murder conviction and remanded the cause for a new trial on that charge. See People v. Wilson, 312 Ill. App. 3d 276 (2000). On remand, another jury found defendant guilty of murder, and defendant was sentenced to a 40-year term of imprisonment. Defendant's posttrial motions were denied. This appeal followed.

Defendant first contends that the trial court erred in admitting into evidence the prior testimony of a witness who did not appear to testify at the second trial.

Jemeil Amlet, who was an eyewitness to the shooting death of David Taylor and was also charged with armed robbery in connection with this case, testified at defendant's first trial. Just as jury selection was to begin for the retrial, the State notified the court that Amlet had made representations that he would refuse to testify at the retrial. The court issued a writ of body attachment and began jury selection. The following day, Amlet, who was already under subpoena, voluntarily appeared before the court. The following colloquy then took place:

"THE COURT: Mr. Amlet, I am glad you came in here this morning. I issued a body attachment or a warrant. They would of [sic] picked you up and threw [sic] you in jail. Thank you for coming in today. The State does intend to call you as a witness in the case. Are you going to testify?

MR. AMLET: No, sir.

THE COURT: If you don't testify, then I am going to have find [sic] you in contempt and throw you in jail.

MR. AMLET: I know.

***

I am willing to get locked up in order to look out for the future, my family. Whatever consequences you are going to give me.

THE COURT: I would suggest that you reconsider because when it comes time for you to testify if you refuse, the State will ask me to find you in contempt of court for not testifying. If you continue to refuse to testify, I will have to take some action against you. You understand that[,] I take it?

MR. AMLET: Yes, ...


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