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People v. Campbell

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, First Division

July 27, 2015

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
WALTER CAMPBELL, Defendant-Appellant

Page 892

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 893

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 05 CR 8217. Honorable Timothy Joseph Joyce, Judge Presiding.

Michael J. Pelletier, State Appellate Defender, Office of the State Appellate Defender, Chicago, IL, (Alan D. Goldberg and Caroline E. Bourland, of counsel), for APPELLANT.

Anita Alvarez, State's Attorney, County of Cook, Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago, IL, (Alan J. Spellberg, Jon Walters and Nancy Colletti, of counsel), for APPELLEE.

Delort, Presiding Justice and Connors, Justice concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

Page 894

HARRIS, JUSTICE.

[¶1] Defendant, Walter Campbell, appeals his conviction of first degree murder after a jury trial and his sentence of natural life in prison. On appeal, defendant contends his conviction must be reversed because (1) the jury improperly received the entire grand jury testimony of witness Chanarra Gunn which contained matters not brought up during the trial, violating his constitutional right of confrontation; (2) the State elicited a hearsay statement from a witness identifying defendant as the shooter when the witness herself could not identify defendant in court or in a lineup; and (3) his trial counsel was ineffective in failing to present an alibi defense, failing to present other witnesses who could have supported the defense, and failing to rehabilitate a defense witness with a prior consistent statement. For the following reasons, we affirm.

[¶2] JURISDICTION

[¶3] The trial court sentenced defendant on March 1, 2013. The trial court denied defendant's motion to reconsider sentence on March 26, 2013, and he filed a notice of appeal that same day. Accordingly, this court has jurisdiction pursuant to article VI, section 6, of the Illinois Constitution and Illinois Supreme Court Rules 603 and 606, governing appeals from a final judgment of conviction in a criminal case entered below. Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, § 6; Ill. S.Ct. R. 603 (eff. Oct. 1, 2010); R. 606 (eff. Mar. 20, 2009).

[¶4] BACKGROUND

[¶5] Defendant's conviction arose from a shooting that occurred on May 7, 2003, at 6959 Dante Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, resulting in the death of Kevin Hoard, Jr. At trial, Judith Rodgers testified that in the early evening of May 7, 2003, she was standing by her car at 69th and Dante when she observed four young men walk past her on the other side of her car. The tallest one had a gun in his hand. They walked into the middle of the street and the tall man and another started shooting south toward 70th and Dante. She could not see the target of the shooting. After about 10 shots were fired, the group ran past 69th Place into an alley. Rodgers then drove to 70th and Dante where she saw the victim on the ground. He had been shot in the head.

[¶6] Within five minutes, Rodgers spoke with officers at the scene and provided a description of the offenders. She described two of the shooters as around five feet six inches tall, and the other two as about five feet four inches tall. When shown photographs six days later, Rodgers identified the tallest man with the gun. However, she was unable to identify anyone in a lineup the following day because " either the hair was different or he was bald, and I didn't want to identify an innocent person. I couldn't recognize him." Rodgers also testified, over defense counsel's objection, that she later learned the person she identified in the photograph was Walter Campbell.

[¶7] Chanarra Gunn testified that at the time of the shooting she was 14 years old. That evening, she and her sister, Tianna Clark, were on the front porch of a row house at 6959 South Dante with Tira Brown, Anthony (" Ant" ) Lofton, Daryl (" Man Man" ) Hamilton, and the victim Kevin (" Boo" ) Hoard. Gunn heard more than 10 gunshots and she ran to the side of a wall in front of the house. The victim pushed her sister down and then fell to the ground. When the shooting stopped, Gunn saw three or four boys wearing black hoodies run down the alley on Dante.

Page 895

[¶8] At trial, when asked whether she recognized two of the boys, Gunn responded, " I really didn't." Gunn acknowledged that she spoke to the police five days after the shooting and she told them that she recognized two of the boys, one of them being defendant. Gunn was familiar with defendant because he lived across the street from her. She also gave that information to an assistant State's Attorney. In photo arrays, Gunn identified defendant and Keon Corley as two of the shooters and she gave a handwritten statement to that effect. In her statement, Gunn said that after she heard the gunshots, she saw Corley and defendant standing in the street and defendant was shooting a gun in her direction.

[¶9] Gunn also testified before a grand jury in 2005. At trial, she acknowledged that she had spoken to the grand jury. Gunn stated that she did not remember telling the grand jury that she saw five or six guys in black hoodies carrying guns, and that she recognized defendant, Corley, and another person she identified as " Mark." She also did not recall telling the grand jury that no threats or promises were made to her in exchange for her testimony. Gunn stated that she had been under the influence of marijuana at the time of the shooting, and admitted that she first told the assistant State's Attorney of this fact two days prior to trial.

[¶10] On cross-examination, Gunn testified that she identified defendant to police because she had been told that information by others. She stated that she did not see the faces of the shooters because they were wearing black hoodies. She could not recall whether she was under the influence of marijuana during the shooting, but stated she was " high" when she gave her statement to police. She acknowledged that her initials and signatures appear on the statement.

[¶11] Tina Brown testified that on May 7, 2003, she was on the front porch of 6959 South Dante with Gunn, the victim, and others when she heard gunshots. It was early evening and although it was not sunny, it was still bright outside. She turned in the direction of the gunfire and saw " [s]ome boys standing at the end of the alley." Brown stated that she saw three boys and recognized two of them, defendant and Corley. She knew them " from around the neighborhood." Defendant and Corley " had guns aimed our way in our direction." The following day Brown went to the police station and named defendant as one of the shooters. Brown returned to the police station the next day and police officers showed her an array of photographs. After viewing the photos, Brown identified defendant and Corley as the shooters. Brown also identified defendant in court. On cross examination, Brown stated that defendant had an altercation with either her brother or sister. She stated it was a " one day thing" and not a continuous problem. On redirect examination, Brown stated that she " clearly" saw defendant fire a gun.

[¶12] Illinois State Police firearms examiner Fred Tomasek examined the firearms evidence recovered from the scene and from the victim. Both .40 caliber cartridge cases and 9 millimeter Luger cartridge cases were recovered, as well as .22 fired cartridge cases. One fired bullet was retrieved from the victim. Tomasek concluded that three or four guns were used based on the recovered cartridge cases and the fired bullet.

[¶13] After the State rested, defendant moved to preclude admission of his prior murder conviction should he testify. After weighing the probative value of the evidence against its prejudicial effect, the trial court found that " the nature of ...


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