Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 99 CR 19756 Honorable Stanley J. Sacks, Judge Presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Hall
Modified Upon Denial of Rehearing
Following a jury trial, the defendant, Terrence Richardson, was found guilty of the first degree murder of Destiny Redeaux and the attempted first degree murder of Woodrow Hubbard. The defendant was sentenced to 60 years for the murder of Ms. Redeaux and 30 years for the attempted murder of Mr. Hubbard. The trial court ordered the sentences to run consecutively to each other and to an 85-year sentence imposed in Wisconsin for attempted murder and first degree criminal sexual assault. *fn1
The defendant appeals his convictions and sentences, raising the following issues on appeal: whether the use of a witness's prior consistent statement deprived the defendant of a fair trial; whether the prosecutor's closing argument deprived the defendant of a fair trial; and whether the defendant's sentence exceeded the maximum term allowable under section 5-8-4(c)(2) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Code) (730 ILCS 5/5-8-4(c)(2) (West 1996)). *fn2
At trial, Mr. Hubbard testified that, on November 5, 1996, Ms. Redeaux and he, accompanied by the defendant and William Summers, got into a car driven by Robert Parker. While driving around, the defendant accused Mr. Hubbard of telling the police something about the defendant. Mr. Hubbard denied talking to the police, but Mr. Summers told him he was lying. Eventually, the car drove into an alley. The defendant grabbed Mr. Hubbard by the collar and told Mr. Summers to get Mr. Hubbard out of the car. Mr. Hubbard noticed that the defendant had a gun. Mr. Summers removed Mr. Hubbard from the car while the defendant grabbed Ms. Redeaux. Ms. Redeaux was taken to the front of the car by Mr. Summers.
The defendant took Mr. Hubbard to the back of the car and ordered him to lie down on the ground. The defendant shot Mr. Hubbard in the face. Mr. Hubbard heard Ms. Redeaux hollering not to kill her. Mr. Hubbard jumped up and tried to grab Ms. Redeaux, but he was unable to get her loose from Mr. Summers's grip. When Mr. Hubbard saw the defendant coming towards him with the gun, he ran. As he ran, he heard the defendant shooting at him.
After failing to secure help at a gas station, Mr. Hubbard returned to the alley. The defendant, Mr. Summers and Mr. Parker were gone, and Ms. Redeaux appeared to be dead. Mr. Hubbard flagged down a fire truck. The firemen began working on Ms. Redeaux. When the police arrived, Mr. Hubbard described what had happened and gave the police the names of the defendant and the two other men. Mr. Hubbard was hospitalized for a week or two.
Mr. Hubbard acknowledged that, in 1993, he had pleaded guilty to attempted murder and had been sentenced to six years in the Department of Corrections. He further acknowledged that he had a pending charge for possessing a gun but that no promises had been made to him with respect to that case.
On cross-examination, Mr. Hubbard denied having been interviewed by defense counsel a year prior to trial.
Dr. Eupil Choi, deputy chief medical examiner for Cook County, testified that Ms. Redeaux died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Robert Parker testified that he met the defendant, whom he knew only as "Tim," through Mr. Summers a couple of months prior to incident in this case. He had known Mr. Summers for about two years. Mr. Parker also knew Mr. Hubbard through Mr. Summers. On November 5, 1996, Mr. Parker and his date were watching movies when he received a page from Mr. Summers, stating that he was about to be stranded at a gas station. Mr. Parker ignored the first page because this was his first date with the young lady. However, after he received a second page, he called the telephone number and spoke with Mr. Summers. Mr. Summers convinced him that he really needed a ride home.
Mr. Parker then drove to a Mobile gas station on 55th Street. While waiting there, he received another page from Mr. Summers directing him to 106th Street and Eggleston Avenue, where Mr. Hubbard's residence was located. When Mr. Parker arrived at Mr. Hubbard's residence, the defendant, Mr. Summers, Mr. Hubbard and Ms. Redeaux got into Mr. Parker's car. Mr. Summers directed Mr. Parker to drive around. Mr. Parker needed gas to do so and stopped at a Mobile gas station at 98th Street and Halsted Street.
After leaving the gas station, Mr. Summers told Mr. Parker that the defendant wanted to go west. Mr. Parker entered the Dan Ryan expressway, driving northbound. The defendant stated that he needed to make a telephone call, so Mr. Parker exited the expressway at 43rd Street and proceeded to an Amoco gas station at 43rd Street and Wentworth Avenue. The defendant and Mr. Summers used one of the pay telephones, while Mr. Parker used the other one to call his date and tell her he would be back after dropping the defendant off.
After the men returned to the car, the defendant accused Mr. Hubbard of giving him up to the police, which Mr. Hubbard denied. The defendant then asked Mr. Parker to drive around the block. The defendant continued to accuse Mr. Hubbard of giving him up. The defendant then stated that he wanted to talk to Mr. Hubbard in private and instructed Mr. Parker to turn into an alley between Wentworth Avenue and Wells Street.
At the defendant's direction, Mr. Parker stopped the car at about the middle or towards the end of the alley. The defendant told Mr. Summers to get out of the car and to grab Mr. Hubbard. The defendant then put his arm around Mr. Hubbard and Ms. Redeaux and pulled a gun out, which he placed at her side. After everyone else exited the car, Mr. Parker pulled the car over to the side of the alley.
As Mr. Parker sat in the car facing southbound, he heard a shot. As he looked in the rearview mirror, he saw Mr. Hubbard running northbound and the defendant shooting at him. Ms. Redeaux begged the defendant not to kill her, but the defendant told her to lie down. The defendant then put the gun to Ms. Redeaux's head and shot her twice.
After shooting Ms. Redeaux, the defendant and Mr. Summers got back into Mr. Parker's car. Mr. Summers warned Mr. Parker that if he said anything, the police would be after him. The defendant directed Mr. Parker to drive to 55th Street. The defendant and Mr. Summers got out at the Mobil gas station at 55th Street, and Mr. Parker drove back to his date's residence.
Mr. Parker acknowledged that he had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first degree murder in connection with this incident for which he received a sentence of four years in the Department of Corrections. He also agreed to testify in this case.
Mr. Parker admitted that he did not call the police following the shootings of Mr. Hubbard and Ms. Redeaux but stated it was because he feared for his life.
On November 9, 1996, Mr. Parker was arrested. When first questioned by the police, he denied any involvement in the shootings. Mr. Parker was then questioned by the prosecutor as follows:
"Q. There came a point in time during that day and the date of November 10 of 1996 when you in fact told the police and state's attorney what had actually happened in front of you back on November 5 of 1996, isn't that correct?
Q. And your statement or the same testimony you had given before these ladies and gentlemen was taken down - -
MR. KATZ (defense counsel): Objection.
THE COURT: Sustained. Disregard where he told the police same thing on - - November 10, 1996."
On cross-examination, Mr. Parker testified that, while he was in police custody, he had been handcuffed to a wall, was not permitted to use the restroom when he requested and was not allowed to make any telephone calls for quite some time. Finally, he was permitted to use the telephone. After contacting his mother, he agreed to speak to the police.
Mr. Parker was charged with first degree murder. After discussing the sentencing ranges with his attorney, Mr. Parker entered into a plea agreement with the State. Under the terms of the agreement, the State would drop the first degree murder charge, Mr. Parker would be sentenced to four years for ...