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People v. Meyers

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division

October 21, 2016

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
MICHAEL MEYERS, Defendant-Appellant.

          Rehearing denied November 14, 2016

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, No. 89-CR-27587; the Hon. Lawrence E. Flood, Judge, presiding.

         Affirmed.

          Michael J. Pelletier, Alan D. Goldberg, Patricia Mysza, and Christopher L. Gehrke, of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Chicago, for appellant.

          Anita M. Alvarez, State's Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J. Spellberg and John E. Nowak, Assistant State's Attorneys, of counsel), for the People.

          Panel JUSTICE HOFFMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Cunningham and Rochford concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          HOFFMAN JUSTICE.

         ¶ 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, we affirm.

         ¶ 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 a jury.

         ¶ 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 ...


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