Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 13 CR 22405
Honorable Carol M. Howard, Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE CUNNINGHAM delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Connors and Delort concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 Following a bench trial, the defendant-appellant, Jarrod
Curry, was convicted of armed violence (count I), possession
of a controlled substance with intent to deliver more than 15
grams but less than 100 grams of heroin (count II), and
possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver
less than 1 gram of cocaine within 100 feet of a park (count
III). He was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment on count
I, 15 years' imprisonment on count II, and 5 years'
imprisonment on count III, with all three sentences to run
concurrently. The defendant now appeals. For the following
reasons, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court of Cook
County in part, vacate the judgment in part, order the
mittimus to be corrected, and order the fines and fees to be
3 At the defendant's bench trial, Sergeant David Koenig,
Officer Jose Rojas, and Officer Richard Piek of the Chicago
Police Department testified on behalf of the State. The
officers testified that on October 19, 2013, at 8:40 a.m., 12
police officers executed a search warrant at the second-floor
rear apartment at 1444 South Trumbull Avenue, Chicago,
Illinois. The search warrant was based on a report that a man
named "Tony" was selling drugs out of that
apartment. The officers were all in civilian dress, but were
readily identifiable as police officers because they wore
vests, outer stars, weapons, radios, handcuffs, and duty
belts. The police officers approached the apartment from the
rear alley and saw the defendant standing on the second-floor
landing near the back door of the apartment. They saw the
defendant turn, face them, and "pull like his right
side, like the waistband area, and proceed to run into the
second-floor apartment, " closing the door behind him.
Within minutes, the police officers knocked on the door,
yelled "Chicago Police, " and made a forced entry
through the back door.
4 Once inside, Officer Rojas saw the defendant running toward
the front door and pursued him into the interior stairwell.
Sergeant Koenig and Officer Piek followed a few feet behind
Officer Rojas. Once they were inside the interior stairwell,
Officer Rojas observed the defendant "go into his right
waistband area along with his right hand and his left hand go
into the [front sweatshirt pocket]" and discard two
items onto the second-floor landing. Sergeant Koenig also saw
the defendant retrieve something from the right side of his
body and "flee as he was discarding the items."
Officer Rojas picked up the discarded items, which consisted
of a "plastic baggie containing numerous pink tinted
Ziploc baggies of suspect heroin, " and a .25-caliber
Beretta with six live rounds, including one in the chamber.
Sergeant Koenig pursued the defendant down the stairs and out
of the building, where the defendant was detained by two
officers who had been waiting on the sidewalk.
5 The police officers searched the apartment. They found two
females who lived in the apartment. They also recovered
"three rubber band pink tinted Ziploc baggies of suspect
heroin, as well as four clear plastic knotted baggies of
suspect crack cocaine, and [$37] on top of the kitchen
6 The police officers then took the defendant to the police
station, where Officer Rojas and Officer Piek interrogated
him. Both officers testified that the defendant told them he
was selling heroin and crack for a guy named "Young
Money, " who dropped drugs off at the apartment every
day at 7 a.m. He also told them that he had been living in
the apartment for a couple of months and that the drugs and
gun belonged to him and "not the girl that was in the
apartment." The defendant explained that he had the gun
because "he didn't want to be robbed or stuck up by
someone or a crew."
7 The parties stipulated that Daniel Bryant, a forensic
scientist with the Illinois State Police, would testify that
38 items found by the police in the apartment tested positive
for 15.2 grams of heroin and another item tested positive for
0.1 gram of cocaine.
8 After the State rested, the trial continued with the
defendant's testimony. The defendant testified that, on
October 19, 2013, he went to retrieve a bus card from his
friend, Charita, who lived at the apartment. He arrived at
the apartment at 8 a.m. and was there with Charita and her
mother for 15 minutes when the police officers came in with
guns drawn and masks on. He put his hands up when told to do
so by the police. The police officers then put defendant in
handcuffs in the living room while they searched the
apartment. Two officers emerged from the kitchen and showed
the gun and drugs to the defendant, saying "We found
your merch." The defendant told the officers that they
could put it back in their pockets as that is where they got
9 The defendant denied that he ever told the police officers
that he had a gun for protection, that he sold drugs, or that
he worked for someone named "Young Money." He
further denied that he ran, threw a gun, or threw any drugs.
The defense rested after his testimony.
10 At the end of the trial, the court stated that it found
the officers to be more credible than the defendant. The
trial court then found the defendant guilty of armed violence
(count I), possession of a controlled substance with intent
to deliver more than 15 grams but less than 100 grams of
heroin (count II), and possession of a controlled substance
with intent to deliver less than 1 gram of cocaine within 100
feet of a park (count III). In finding the defendant guilty
of armed violence, the court stated: "In this situation,
the officers saw the defendant with both the drugs and the
gun. So he was armed with a gun at the same time that he had
the drugs on his possession."
11 The trial court sentenced the defendant to 15 years'
imprisonment on count I, 15 years' imprisonment on count
II, and 5 years' imprisonment on count III, with all
three sentences to run ...