Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County Honorable Kenneth J. Wadas Judge Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Quinn
Following a jury trial, the defendant was found guilty of armed robbery and possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of 15 and 3 years, respectively defendant appeals his armed robbery conviction, arguing that he was denied a fair trial when the trial court improperly instructed the jury as to the law regarding identification testimony. The defendant also contends that the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing the defendant to 15 years for armed robbery. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the defendant's convictions and sentence.
The victim, Jin Rong Mei, testified that on the evening of December 24, 1998, he was working as a delivery person for a restaurant named Jung Ho Cho. At approximately 9:20 p.m., he made a delivery to a house at 6824 South Throop Street. After making his delivery, he walked down the front steps to return to his vehicle. As he walked down the steps, he observed two black males begin to approach him. He continued to walk to his vehicle, but the two stopped him before he could enter his vehicle. The defendant stood facing the victim while the other offender stood behind the victim. The defendant then stated to the victim, "you know what I want," and when the victim ignored him, defendant pulled out a handgun and struck the victim in the forehead. After being struck, the victim handed the defendant the money he had from his previous deliveries. Defendant then said that he should have more and struck him on the left side of the face with the gun. The victim then handed him all the change he had in his pocket, and defendant told him to drive away. The victim immediately radioed the restaurant, where an employee called the police. The police arrived within two minutes to the location of the robbery, and the victim met them there. The victim described the offender as being about 20 years old, black, male, around 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 170 to 200 pounds, and wearing a brown jacket with fur trim.
Among the police that responded to the call was Officer Andeverde, who arrived on the scene and began walking toward the victim, who was already with other officers. As he approached, he noticed a parked car that had foggy windows. Officer Andeverde approached the car and spoke with the defendant, who was seated in the car. The defendant was wearing a brown leather coat with fur trim. Officer Andeverde was proceeding toward the group of officers when he heard the description of the offender. After hearing the description, he turned around and saw defendant exit the car, place the jacket inside, and run to 6813 South Throop Street. Officer Andeverde, along with other officers, pursued defendant into the house where they apprehended him. The police took the defendant and four other black males from inside the house and brought them outside and lined them up. The victim viewed the five men and identified defendant as the one who robbed him. The defendant was 21 years old, was 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 180 pounds. Both men were then placed under arrest. The officers then returned to the car defendant had exited and looked inside. They found the brown leather jacket worn by defendant and lifted it up. They found two handguns underneath the jacket. At trial, the victim identified one of these guns as looking like the gun used in the armed robbery. Defendant had $100 in cash in his pants pocket. The police also recovered from the jacket a $20 bill along with about $5 in loose change, and, hidden in the cuff, they recovered 35 individual plastic bags of cocaine.
At trial, a jury instructions conference was held. Illinois Pattern Jury Instructions, Criminal, No. 3.15 (3d ed. 1992) (hereinafter IPI Criminal 3d No. 3.15), regarding witness identification testimony, was accepted without objection. IPI Criminal 3d No. 3.15 in the form it was presented to the jury as People's instruction number 9 is as follows:
"When you weigh the identification testimony of a witness, you should consider all the facts and circumstances in evidence, including but not limited to, the following:
The opportunity the witness had to view the Offender at the time of the offense.
The witness's degree of attention at the time of the offense.
The witness's earlier description of ...