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People v. Blue

September 30, 2003

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
MURRAY BLUE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Marcus R. Salone, Judge Presiding.

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

UNPUBLISHED

A jury convicted defendant, Murray Blue, of the first degree murder of Officer Daniel Doffyn, the attempted first degree murder of Officer Milan Bubalo, Victor Young, and Lawrence Walker, the aggravated battery with a firearm of Officer Bubalo and Victor Young, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and sentenced him to death. On direct appeal, the supreme court reversed and remanded for a new trial. See People v. Blue, 189 Ill. 2d 99 (2000).

On remand, the jury again convicted defendant of the first degree murder of Officer Doffyn, the attempted first degree murder of Officer Bubalo and Victor Young, the aggravated battery with a firearm of Officer Bubalo and Victor Young, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Defendant was sentenced to natural life imprisonment for the murder of Officer Doffyn; an 80-year concurrent term of imprisonment for the attempted murder of Officer Bubalo; a 30-year term of imprisonment for the attempted murder of Victor Young, consecutive to the natural life and 80-year sentences; and concurrent sentences of 15 years' and 7 years' imprisonment on the two convictions for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. On appeal, defendant argues: (1) the trial court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on self-defense and second degree murder based upon an unreasonable belief in self-defense; (2) the trial court erred in the giving of certain jury instructions relating to felony murder; (3) the trial court erred in admitting evidence unrelated to the charged offenses; (4) the State failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver; (5) the trial court erred in sentencing him to 80 years' imprisonment for the attempted murder of Officer Bubalo; and (6) the trial court erred by imposing consecutive sentences in violation of Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 147 L. Ed. 2d 435, 120 S. Ct. 2348 (2000). We affirm defendant's convictions for murder, attempted murder, and aggravated battery with a firearm; we reverse defendant's convictions for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver; and we reduce defendant's sentence for the attempted murder of Officer Bubalo from 80 years' imprisonment to 60 years' imprisonment.

At trial, Victor Young testified that he had known defendant all his life and that in 1990 and 1991 he sold heroin and cocaine for defendant at the corner of Maypole and Kildare Streets in Chicago. By 1995, Young was selling heroin and cocaine for one of defendant's competitors, Willie Love, two blocks away at Karlov and Maypole Streets.

Young testified that at approximately 3 p.m. on March 8, 1995, he was walking on Maypole Street with Lawrence Walker and Jermaine Lloyd when they saw Young's nephew, Terrance Thomas, and stopped to speak with him. After speaking with Thomas, Young continued to walk with Walker and Lloyd down Maypole Street. As they walked, defendant leaned out the first- window of a building on 4245 West Maypole Street and said to Young, "I heard you been talking to [the police] about me [and] if I hear you been talking to them *** about me again I'm going to f--- you up."

Young testified that he turned away from defendant. Young then heard defendant call his name again. Young turned around and saw defendant holding a gun out the window. Young started to run away from the apartment building. Defendant fired several shots at Young and hit him in the left buttocks.

Young testified that he fell to the ground and then looked over his shoulder and saw defendant and two other drug dealers, Clyde Cowley and Jimmie Parker, standing in front of the building. Defendant fired several more shots, none of which hit Young. Defendant then said, "Big down. Kill that bitch." Parker ran in front of defendant and fired a shotgun at Young, but the blast missed him. Defendant then said, "it's too hot, man. Let's get out of here." Defendant, Parker, and Cowley ran through a vacant lot and drove away.

Geneva Walker testified that at approximately 3:20 p.m. on March 8, 1995, she was inside her apartment at 754 North Lorel Avenue when she heard the sound of glass breaking outside her apartment. Ms. Walker looked out her window and saw a man perched on the window ledge of the first-floor apartment near the 750 North Lorel Avenue entrance to the building. Ms. Walker saw the man drop broken glass to the ground. Fearful that he was attempting to break in, Ms. Walker called 911.

Officer Elois Harrington testified that at approximately 3:20 p.m. on March 8, 1995, she heard on her police radio that there was a burglary in progress at 750 North Lorel Avenue. Officer Harrington went to the scene, where she saw Officers Milan Bubalo and Daniel Doffyn walking to the front of the building. Officer Harrington drew her gun and went to a gangway at the south of the building. As she reached the end of the gangway, Officer Harrington saw defendant and Jimmy Parker. Defendant was holding a TEC-9 gun. Officer Harrington radioed that she had an emergency, pointed her gun at the men, and told them to get on the ground.

Officer Harrington testified that defendant ran away towards the rear of the building and that Parker just stood there, looking at her. Eventually, Parker got on the ground. At that time, Officer Harrington heard numerous shots coming from the rear of the building and she heard Officer Bubalo state over the radio that an officer had been shot. Officer Harrington remained with her gun trained on Parker until other officers arrived.

Officer Bubalo testified that on March 8, 1995, he and Officer Doffyn went to the first-floor apartment at 750 North Lorel Avenue to investigate a possible burglary. Officer Bubalo knocked on the door and then heard the sound of breaking glass and of shuffling feet running away from the door towards the backyard of the building. Officer Bubalo and Officer Doffyn then left the building and ran down the north gangway, which led to the backyard.

Officer Bubalo testified that Officer Doffyn, who was leading the way, rounded a corner and reached the backyard first. When Officer Bubalo rounded the corner into the backyard, he saw Officer Doffyn struggling with Clyde Cowley. Officer Doffyn had Cowley in a "bear hug," and Cowley was trying to break free. Officer Bubalo heard multiple gunshots and saw Officer Doffyn and Cowley fall to ground. As soon as they fell, Officer Bubalo observed the defendant holding a TEC-9 gun. Defendant first fired the gun at Officer Doffyn, then he fired the gun at Officer Bubalo, hitting him in the left hip.

Officer Bubalo testified that as he fell to the ground, he saw defendant running towards him. Defendant again fired his gun at Officer Bubalo. Officer Bubalo returned fire and shot the defendant, who fell face forward onto the ground. Officer Bubalo radioed that an officer had been shot, then he crawled over to the defendant and handcuffed his hands behind his back. Officer Podkowa arrived shortly thereafter.

Officer Podkowa testified that he saw Officer Doffyn bleeding from the head and lying on top of Cowley. Officer Podkowa pulled Cowley out from underneath Officer Doffyn and found a loaded, .38-caliber revolver in Cowley's right pants pocket.

Steven Schulz, an ambulance commander and paramedic for the Chicago fire department, testified that at approximately 3:27 p.m. on March 8, 1995, he received a call to respond to a shooting at 750 North Lorel Avenue. When Schulz arrived at the scene, he saw Officer Doffyn lying on the ground with blood and brain matter next to his head. Schulz placed a cervical collar on Officer Doffyn in order to immobilize his neck and prevent further injury, then he moved Officer Doffyn into the ambulance. Inside the ambulance, Schulz established two IVs and hyperventilated Officer Doffyn with oxygen. Schulz also cut off Officer Doffyn's clothes and discovered that he had an additional bullet wound on the right side of his chest. Officer Doffyn later died.

Detective Richard Maher testified that he searched defendant inside the ambulance and found a 9-millimeter pistol in defendant's right front pants' pocket and a box of 9-millimeter bullets in his left pants pocket.

Officer John Naujokas testified that he processed the crime scene at approximately 4:15 p.m. on March 8, 1995, and that he recovered a TEC-9 gun, a Taurus six-shot revolver, and spent cartridges. He also found a black Lincoln automobile a couple of doors south of 750 North Lorel Avenue.

Detective Patrick McCormack testified that he and his partner, Detective John Woodall, arrived on the crime scene after the shooting. They entered the apartment at 750 North Lorel Avenue and saw three clear plastic bags of marijuana on top of a table in the living room. On the bedroom dresser they discovered a brown paper bag filled with cocaine and ...


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