Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division
Rehearing denied November 14, 2016
from the Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 89-CR-27587; the
Hon. Lawrence E. Flood, Judge, presiding.
Michael J. Pelletier, Alan D. Goldberg, Patricia Mysza, and
Christopher L. Gehrke, of State Appellate Defender's
Office, of Chicago, for appellant.
M. Alvarez, State's Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J.
Spellberg and John E. Nowak, Assistant State's Attorneys,
of counsel), for the People.
JUSTICE HOFFMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Cunningham and Rochford concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 The defendant, Michael Meyers, appeals from the trial
court's denial of his petition seeking relief pursuant to
the Post-Conviction Hearing Act (Act) (725 ILCS 5/122-1
et seq. (West 1994)). For the reasons that follow,
2 The facts leading up to the defendant's conviction of
two counts of first-degree murder and his sentence to natural
life imprisonment are set forth in detail in this court's
opinion in People v. Young, 263 Ill.App.3d 627
(1994). Consequently, we will set forth only those facts
necessary to an understanding of our resolution of the issues
raised by the defendant in this appeal.
3 The defendant and six codefendants were charged with the
shooting deaths of Dan Williams and Thomas Kaufman, which
occurred near the Stateway Gardens housing complex (Stateway
complex). The shootings occurred on November 9, 1989, at
approximately 10 p.m. and originated from the ground and
first floor porches of a building at 3517-3519 South Federal
Street (building), which is located in the Stateway complex.
The defendant and five codefendants were tried jointly before
4 At trial, Deanda Wilson, who was 12 years old at the time
of the shooting, testified that he saw seven men dressed in
black clothing, one of whom was the defendant, shoot at
Williams. Specifically as to the defendant, Wilson testified
that he saw him step out from under the building, retrieve a
gun from under his coat, and fire at Williams. According to
Wilson, Williams stumbled through a play lot toward a
building occupied by the Illinois Institute of Technology
(IIT) and eventually fell in the revolving door of the
building. The defendant and the other six men fled the scene
with guns in their hands.
5 The trial testimony of IIT security personnel established
that the group of assailants chased Williams towards the IIT
building, firing multiple gunshots. Several of the bullets
struck and killed Kaufman, an IIT security guard stationed
inside of IIT's front door.
6 A.W., the minor girlfriend of one of the codefendants,
Kevin Young, testified that, several hours before the
shooting, she was in an apartment located in the Stateway
complex with five men, including the defendant. According to
A.W., the five men left the apartment at approximately 10
p.m., each dressed in black and carrying a gun. She testified
that, when the defendant and his four companions returned to
the apartment approximately 20 minutes later, they were
wearing ski masks or stocking caps over their faces.
7 Following the trial, the jury found the defendant guilty of
two counts of first-degree murder, and he was sentenced to
natural life imprisonment. On appeal, this court affirmed the