Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County No. 12 CR 18676 The
Honorable Joseph Michael Claps, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE HYMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Pucinski and Mason concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 Two police officers saw a masked man committing an armed
robbery and tried to stop him. The man opened fire on the
officers, who responded in kind and chased him for several
blocks. Along the way, the man fired shots at other police
officers. At the end of the chase, discarded beside a house,
the police found a handgun and a mask. Nearby, defendant
Glenn Robinson lay with bullet wounds. A jury convicted
Robinson of several counts of attempted first degree murder.
2 Robinson argues that a state ballistics expert laid an
insufficient foundation for her expert opinion linking
several cartridge casings found along the masked man's
route to the handgun found near Robinson. But any weakness in
that testimony could have been brought out on
cross-examination, and goes to the weight of the evidence,
not its admissibility. Robinson also challenges his sentence
as a habitual criminal, arguing that his earlier convictions
for armed robbery consist of elements different than the
current armed robbery statute. We reject this as overly
formalistic and affirm the conviction and sentence.
4 Around 3 a.m. on September 4, 2012, two police officers,
Cecil Phillips and Shantell Clinton, were driving in unmarked
squad car near the corner of State Street and 75th Street,
when they saw two men standing in front of an electronics
store. One man, wearing a mask and a dark hooded sweatshirt,
pointed a gun at the other man. Phillips and Clinton stopped,
got out, announced they were police officers, and directed
the armed man to drop his weapon. Instead, the man turned and
fired multiple times at Phillips and Clinton. The officers
took cover behind the squad car and returned fire. The armed
man ran north on State Street, and Phillips ran after him.
Clinton used her police radio to report the shots, and drove
north in pursuit.
5 Two other officers, Tiffany Ermon and Evona Earnest, sat in
a marked squad car a block further north, at 74th Street and
State Street, when they heard multiple gunshots. They then
saw the armed man at the corner, firing his weapon southward
on State Street. He turned and fired at the squad car. Ermon
fired back from behind the car; Earnest fired back from the
driver's side window. The man ran east on 74th Street
until Ermon lost sight of him as he passed an alley between
State Street and Wabash Avenue. Ermon and Earnest followed
him in their squad car; Ermon saw the man running south
through the yards of houses on Wabash Avenue.
6 Phillips had followed the man north on State Street, then
east on 74th Street, until he reached the alley between State
Street and Wabash Avenue. He heard the man trying to jump the
fences between the houses. At 7418 South Wabash Avenue,
Phillips jumped a fence into a gangway between two houses. On
the ground, he found a bloodied black hooded sweatshirt with
holes in the front and right arm sleeve, an empty Glock
semiautomatic weapon, gloves, a hat, and a mask.
7 At 7422 South Wabash Avenue, Ermon saw Phillips in the
alley; she then climbed a fence into yards, crossed onto
Wabash Avenue, and saw a man lying on the porch at 7422 South
Wabash Avenue, surrounded by other officers who had converged
there. The man (Robinson) had been shot five times in the
right forearm, scrotum, and abdomen.
8 Police charged Robinson with 16 counts of attempted first
degree murder. The State presented the testimony of all four
officers (as well as a civilian who witnessed the initial
shots fired at Phillips and Clinton). None of the officers
could identify the shooter since he had been wearing a mask.
There were no usable fingerprints on either the handgun or
its magazine, and no useful DNA on the handgun.
9 But, Robinson could not be excluded from the DNA profiles
obtained from the hat and the mask. At 7411 South State
Street (between 74th and 75th Streets), police found car keys
belonging to a Chevy Tahoe parked on 74th Street east of
State Street. Robinson was the Tahoe's registered owner;
police recovered Robinson's driver's license in the
10 The shootout left several dozen cartridge casings strewn
along 75th, State, and 74th Streets. The State presented
firearm examiner Jennifer Hanna from the Illinois State
Police, who had examined the handgun found in the alley,
along with the officers' guns, and the recovered
cartridge casings. Just before Hanna's scheduled
testimony, Robinson's counsel objected, arguing that
Hanna did not have sufficient foundation for the basis of her
opinions. The trial court denied this objection, stating that
counsel should have requested more discovery on Hanna's
methods or filed a motion in limine.
11 Hanna testified that, generally, she identifies firearms
based on their "class characteristics" (common to a
particular type or model of handgun) versus their
"individual characteristics" (imperfections unique
to a particular weapon). She test-fired each of the five
handguns (four from the officers, and the one found in the
gangway) and compared the results to each of the cartridge
casings recovered. She opined, without detail, that 15 of the
casings had been fired by the gun in the gangway, 15 casings
had been fired from Phillips's gun, 8 casings had been
fired from Ermon's gun, 8 casings had ...