Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

People v. Foster

December 20, 2004

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
TERRENCE FOSTER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 02 CR 18239. Honorable James J. Moran, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Cahill

Defendant was convicted in a bench trial of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a church and sentenced to six years in prison. On appeal, defendant argues: (1) he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt because the State did not offer evidence that the New Hope Church was a place used primarily for religious worship; (2) the State failed to prove a proper chain of custody; and (3) section 5-4-3(a)(3.5) of the Unified Code of Corrections (Code) (730 ILCS 5/5-4-3(a)(3.5) (West 2002)) violates defendant's constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. We affirm.

[9]     The following evidence was presented at defendant's trial.

Officer Scott Korhonen testified that at approximately 1 p.m. on June 14, 2002, he was conducting surveillance at 4310 West Crystal Street in Chicago. Korhonen saw defendant, who lived at the address, "shouting [']rocks['] *** to passing vehicles and people walking up and down the street." Two men approached defendant and gave him money. Defendant removed a bag from his pocket, removed two items from the bag and handed one item to each of the men. Korhonen then witnessed a similar transaction between defendant and Mark Geyer. As Korhonen approached defendant and Geyer, Geyer dropped a bag containing a white, rock-like substance on the ground. After arresting defendant and Geyer, Korhonen retrieved the bag from the ground. Korhonen later inventoried the item by placing the bag in a sealed container and assigning it a number. The parties stipulated that the item recovered by Korhonen was inventoried under number 2724465 in a sealed condition. The item was then sent to the crime lab for analysis. Korhonen also searched defendant and recovered $140.

The parties stipulated that if called as a witness, Tom Nyhan would testify he measured the distance from 4310 West Crystal Street to the New Hope Church located at 4255 Division Street. The distance between the two locations measured 580 feet.

The State also offered by way of stipulation the testimony of Angelo Bommarito, a forensic chemist. If called as a witness, Bommarito would testify he received an item under inventory number 2724465 and that "it is his opinion within a reasonable degree of scientific certainty that the chain of custody remained proper." The item was in a sealed condition and contained a chunky substance that weighed .1 gram. Bommarito performed tests accepted in the scientific community on the item to test for the presence of cocaine. The item tested positive for cocaine. Defendant "stipulated with respect to the chain of custody as to the chemist." When asked to clarify the stipulation, the following colloquy took place:

"THE COURT: When you said you stipulate as to the chain at the lab, I don't understand.

MS. RUBIN [defense attorney]: Meaning that once the forensic chemist received the items, the forensic chemist followed the proper procedures for chain of custody and maintaining that object.

THE COURT: So you are not stipulating that the officer placed the item in an inventory?

MS. RUBIN: Right. I never stipulate to the officer's chain of custody.

MS. FORESTER [Assistant State's Attorney]: Okay. Your Honor, with that the State rests."

Defendant moved for a directed verdict, arguing the State failed to show a proper chain of custody. Defendant cited Officer Korhonen's failure to testify as to the procedures he used to inventory the item. The State responded that Korhonen's testimony that he retrieved the item and personally inventoried the item by placing it in a sealed container was sufficient to establish a proper chain of custody. The trial court denied defendant's motion.

Defendant called Alvin Petty, who testified he went to defendant's home at approximately 1 p.m. on June 14, 2002. Defendant was asleep. Petty woke defendant to tell him Mark Geyer was outside. Petty then went into the basement of defendant's home to visit with defendant's brother. Petty testified the police entered the basement and searched the house. Petty was then taken outside and the police told him he was free to leave. Petty said he did not see defendant selling drugs.

Mark Geyer testified he went to defendant's home at approximately 1 p.m. on June 14, 2002, to speak with defendant's brother. Defendant came outside and Geyer spoke with defendant about his brother. Geyer then saw an unmarked police car approaching. Geyer had a small bag of crack cocaine in his hand that he ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.