Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, First Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 13-CR-21817; the
Hon. William G. Lacey, Judge, presiding.
Michael J. Pelletier, Patricia Mysza, and Manuel S. Serritos,
all of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Chicago, for
M. Alvarez, State's Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J.
Spellberg, Matthew Connors, and Iris G. Ferosie, Assistant
State's Attorneys, of counsel), for the People.
JUSTICE MIKVA delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Cunningham and Harris concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 After a bench trial, defendant Anthony Stephenson was
convicted of burglary and possession of burglary tools and
was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of nine and three
years, respectively. On appeal, Mr. Stephenson contends that
the charging instrument was fatally deficient based on its
misidentification of the owner of the burglarized property.
For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the
3 Mr. Stephenson was charged by indictment with two counts of
burglary and one count of possession of burglary tools. The
indictment for count I stated that Mr. Stephenson committed
the offense of burglary on or about October 24, 2013:
"[I]n that HE, KNOWINGLY AND WITHOUT AUTHORITY, ENTERED
A BUILDING, TO WIT: A WAREHOUSE BUILDING, THE PROPERTY OF
ANOTHER, TO WIT: ARONSON FURNITURE CORPORATION, LOCATED AT
2020 NORTH AUSTIN AVENUE, IN CHICAGO, COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS,
WITH THE INTENT TO COMMIT THEREIN A THEFT,
IN VIOLATION OF CHAPTER 720 ACT 5 SECTION 19-1(a) OF THE
ILLINOIS COMPILED STATUTES[.]"
4 Because Mr. Stephenson has focused his appeal on the
adequacy of the charging instrument, we will address the
evidence presented at trial only to the extent necessary for
an understanding of the appeal.
5 The State presented two witnesses at trial: Keith
Henderson, Jr., and Carlos Salvador, both employees of Peter
Aaronson. Each testified that Peter Aaronson owned the
warehouse at 2020 North Austin Avenue (the warehouse). When
asked whether Peter Aaronson was "of the Peter Aronson
Furniture Company, " Mr. Henderson responded "[n]o,
6 Mr. Henderson and Mr. Salvador testified that, at
approximately 7:30 a.m. on October 24, 2013, they were
driving together in a pickup truck when they saw three men
coming out of the main door of the warehouse, where only
employees were permitted to be. Both Mr. Henderson and Mr.
Salvador testified that the three men did not have permission
to be in the warehouse and that they were carrying bags. Mr.
Henderson and Mr. Salvador also both testified that one of
the three men was Mr. Stephenson and they saw him carrying a
fish tank with a hammer inside of ...