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People v. Martinez

July 31, 2003

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
JUAN MARTINEZ, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Michael P. Toomin, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Hartman

UNPUBLISHED

A jury convicted defendant Juan Martinez of home invasion, residential burglary, and first-degree felony murder of his co-felon Raymond Medrano, but found him not guilty of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. He was sentenced to concurrent terms of 30 years for first-degree felony murder and 10 years for home invasion. On appeal defendant contends that: (1) he was convicted improperly of first-degree felony murder because the shooter's actions were lawfully justified; (2) he was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel; and (3) his conviction and ten year sentence for home invasion must be vacated because it was a lesser included offense of felony murder.

Manuel Andrade testified that in the early morning hours of November 12, 1999, he and his roommate, Francisco Garcia, were sleeping in their apartment at 315 East Kensington. Prior to going to bed, Andrade had locked both the bolt lock and the chain on his apartment door. The only way to open the bolt lock was with a key. Andrade was awakened by the sound of someone trying to open his apartment door. He grabbed a flashlight and his gun and saw defendant and Medrano trying to enter his apartment. They already had unbolted the door and were trying to unhook the chain. When Andrade asked them what they wanted, they broke down the door and entered the apartment. Medrano, who was wearing a mask, pointed a gun at Andrade and told him to hand over his money and gun. Defendant was not wearing a mask and did not have a gun.

Andrade ran into the kitchen and started banging pots and yelling for help. When Andrade tried to hide behind the refrigerator door, Medrano threw objects that were on top of the refrigerator at him. Medrano then shot at Andrade five or six times, hitting him once in the arm. Andrade shot at Medrano. Medrano then ran out of the apartment. Defendant pointed his finger at Andrade pretending that he had a gun. Andrade yelled to Garcia who was hiding in a closet to get his other gun. Defendant then ran. Andrade walked out of his apartment door and saw Medrano lying on the ground outside the building.

Officer Keith Threatt testified that he responded to a call of shots fired at 315 East Kensington at 3:50 a.m. on November 12, 1999. At the scene he saw Medrano's body lying on the ground near the rear of the building. Medrano was dressed in black from head to toe, including black gloves and a black ski mask. Inside the apartment, Threatt found a wounded Andrade.

The parties stipulated that Medrano died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Joachim Torres, owner of the building at 315 East Kensington, testified that defendant previously had rented the same apartment occupied by Andrade. Defendant failed to return the apartment keys when he moved out and the locks were never changed.

On November 14, 1999, defendant gave a videotaped statement to the assistant states attorney. Defendant stated that on the morning of November 12, 1999, Medrano informed defendant of his plan to rob a house. Medrano planned to grab the homeowner in a headlock while defendant took the most valuable things from the apartment. When Medrano picked up defendant a few hours later, he gave defendant a mask and they proceeded to 315 East Kensington. The two men entered the apartment building and walked up to Andrade's apartment, the same apartment defendant had lived in a year earlier. As Medrano was knocking down the door, Andrade showed his gun. Medrano then showed his gun to Andrade. Defendant claimed that he did not know Medrano had a gun with him. Andrade began shooting. As soon as defendant heard gunshots he ran.

Defendant presented no evidence. The jury found defendant guilty of home invasion, residential burglary, and first-degree felony murder of Medrano and not guilty of attempted murder of Andrade and aggravated battery with a firearm against Andrade. Defendant unsuccessfully moved for a new trial. The circuit court merged defendant's conviction for residential burglary into his conviction for home invasion and sentenced defendant to concurrent terms of 30 years for first-degree felony murder and 10 years for home invasion.

I.

Defendant first contends that his conviction for felony murder must be reversed because (1) the killing of Medrano was lawfully justified and therefore not within the statutory definition of felony murder; (2) the killing was not foreseeable; and (3) the jury was not instructed properly as to the elements of felony murder.

A.

Defendant argues that his conviction for felony murder must be reversed because one of the essential elements of the offense, lack of lawful justification, was absent.

Pursuant to section 9-1(a)(3) of the Criminal Code of 1961 (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(3) (West 2000)) (section 9-1(a)(3)), "[a] person who kills an individual without lawful justification commits first degree ...


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