Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. No. 10 CR
17488-02 Honorable Luciano Panici, Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE MASON delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Pucinski and Hyman concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 On May 12, 2010, Corey Anderson and several companions
(including codefendants Jabriel Anderson, no relation to
Corey, and Jason Burns) went looking for Tomaras Qualls to
fight him. The group saw a silver Monte Carlo pull up nearby,
and Jabriel said, "That was them." Burns fired
several times at the Monte Carlo. Qualls was not in the car,
but Adam Martinez, Brian Lawson, and Robert Alvarado were,
and Martinez was fatally shot.
2 The State sought to hold Corey accountable for the shooting
based upon allegations that (i) the gun used in the shooting
belonged to Corey, (ii) Corey threatened Qualls's mother
earlier that evening, and (iii) when Jabriel pointed out the
Monte Carlo, Corey reached for his gun before Burns grabbed
it and fired. Following a jury trial, Corey was found guilty
on an accountability theory of the first degree murder of
Martinez, the attempted murder of Lawson and Alvarado, and
aggravated discharge of a firearm at Lawson and Alvarado.
Corey was sentenced to 95 years' imprisonment.
3 On appeal, Corey argues that he was denied a fair trial
because (i) the State failed to prove up its assertion that
Corey threatened Qualls, upon which it relied heavily in its
argument to the jury, and (ii) the State improperly used
prior consistent statements to bolster the credibility of
Marquell Carter, the only witness who testified that Corey
had a gun. We agree and reverse and remand for a new trial.
5 On the evening of May 12, 2010, Xavier Smith was hosting a
party at his home in Park Forest. Also present were Jabriel,
Qualls, and Carter. Jabriel and Qualls got into an argument
that escalated into a fistfight. Qualls left the party. He
returned 10 to 15 minutes later with two friends and tried to
convince Jabriel to come outside and fight them. Jabriel
refused, whereupon Qualls and his friends left and did not
6 Jabriel made a phone call to his friend Raymond Darden,
asking Darden to come pick him up. Later that evening, six
individuals in two cars arrived, including Darden, who was
accompanied by Corey (whose nickname was "Lord"),
Burns, Cortez Robinson, Darden's girlfriend Latoya Kelly,
and Burns's girlfriend Jasmine Johnson. The women stayed
in the cars while the four men exited. Carter saw a gun in
Corey's waistband. Jabriel ran outside to meet the group
and told them about his earlier fight with Qualls. Then
Jabriel, Corey, Burns, Darden, and Robinson walked to
Qualls's house. At trial, Darden testified that he
intended to mediate the conflict by talking to Qualls's
brother, but in his earlier sworn testimony before the grand
jury and at Burns's trial,  he stated that the group went to
7 According to Darden, when the five of them reached
Qualls's house, Jabriel knocked on the door, and
Qualls's mother answered. Darden claimed not to remember
the conversation that followed. The State attempted to
impeach him with his prior sworn testimony before the grand
jury and at Burns's trial. Darden admitted stating before
the grand jury that Jabriel said, "Tell your son I am
going to f*** him up." The State then tried to elicit
testimony about what Corey said:
"Q. Do you recall being asked this question on cross
examination [during Burns's trial] and giving this
answer: Question: 'When they were in front of the door,
Lord [Corey] said to B.D. [Jabriel], quote, Get out of the
way. I am going to fan their ass.' Answer: 'Yes.'
Do you remember being asked that question at the prior
testimony on June 20th of 2012?
A. Yes." On cross-examination, the defense also asked
Darden about what Corey said:
"Q. Now, you testified that although you don't
recall, in that prior proceeding in 2012 and at the police
station, you said something to the effect about Corey stating
he was going to fan their ass or something to that effect, do
you remember that?
A. I don't recall."
8 After their confrontation with Qualls's mother, the
five men left and walked back to Smith's house. As they
neared Smith's house, a silver Monte Carlo drove past
them and parked. Carter, standing in the doorway of
Smith's house, heard someone say "That's the
people? Is that them?" Carter saw Corey reach toward the
gun in his waistband, but Burns snatched the gun from him and
fired at the Monte Carlo.
9 Three days after the shooting, on May 15, 2010, Carter went
to the Park Forest Police Department and identified Corey and
Burns in photo arrays. On direct examination, the prosecutor
presented Carter with the photo arrays and asked:
"Q. Did you make a notation, did you actually physically
write something next to the photograph of Jason Burns?
Q. And what did you write?
A. 'This is the person I saw get the gun from Lord and
shot at the Monte Carlo.' "
prosecutor then showed Carter the photo array in which he
identified Corey and asked:
"Q. And can you tell the jury, what did you write on
this photo array?
A. 'This is the person I know as Lord. He told me his
name was Lord. I saw a gun in his waistband. The other guy
took the gun from Lord and shot at the Monte Carlo.'
The State displayed the photo arrays with Carter's
annotations on a video screen for the jury to view, and
Carter reconfirmed his ...