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People v. Parker

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Third District

June 14, 2019


          Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 14th Judicial Circuit, Rock Island County, Illinois, Appeal No. 3-16-0455 Circuit No. 14-CF-827 Honorable Walter D. Braud, Judge, Presiding.

          JUSTICE CARTER delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion Presiding Justice Schmidt and Justice O'Brien concurred in the judgment and opinion.



         ¶ 1 Defendant, Deanthony Terrance Parker, appeals following his conviction for robbery. He raises numerous contentions of error relating to his trial and sentencing. We affirm.

         ¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 The State charged defendant with one count of armed robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-2(a)(1)

(West 2014)). The charging instrument alleged that defendant, while armed with a knife and threatening the imminent use of force, took jewelry and $1400 from Corrina Shaffer.

         ¶ 4 Defendant filed a motion in limine requesting that the court bar the State from introducing evidence relating to, inter alia, defendant's prior criminal record. In the same motion, defendant also sought to bar the introduction of "[a]ny fingerprint evidence[, ] as the testimony by the State's witness[es] regarding this evidence will lead to comments, discussions or inferences of Defendant's prior criminal history or arrest record."

         ¶ 5 The court considered defendant's motion prior to trial. First, the parties agreed that the State would introduce evidence of three prior convictions for impeachment purposes only if defendant elected to testify at trial. On the topic of the fingerprint evidence, defense counsel relayed to the court an agreement between he and the State:

"I talked with [the prosecutor] a little bit about this yesterday. I think he's in agreement, if Your Honor allows all the fingerprint evidence in, that we have to tip-toe kind of carefully around some of the issues. My understanding is that Rock Island police officer Mr. Alderson that got the fingerprints analysis, first runs it through the AFIS, or their local computer system has a hit. I don't want that mentioned, because that indicates that his fingerprints are in the system already, thus being arrested or charged with-.

         " The court interjected, stating: "All right. The fingerprints will be admitted. State will be careful." The State explained that its witness would not discuss the computer match or mention the date on which the known prints had been collected. The court concluded: "[The fingerprints] will be admitted, but the jury will not be advised that they-that the source of the fingerprints was from the police database."

         ¶ 6 At trial, Shaffer testified that she and her friend, Shanice, went to a number of bars or clubs on the evening of September 26, 2014. At one point, Shaffer and Shanice met Shanice's friend, Zach, and defendant. Shaffer identified defendant in court. The four remained at a club until 3 a.m., at which time they decided to go to Zach's house to smoke marijuana. Defendant rode in Shaffer's car while Shanice drove with Zach. The plan had been for Shaffer to follow Zach to his house. However, Zach and Shanice were pulled over by the police almost immediately. After briefly waiting at a gas station, Shaffer decided to return to her house with defendant.

         ¶ 7 After arriving at Shaffer's house, Shaffer and defendant sat in her living room and talked. Shaffer testified that they also drank wine and smoked marijuana. During that time, Shaffer also made a number of phone calls in an effort to find Shanice to determine how she could help her. Shaffer eventually learned that Shanice's bond would be $200. Shaffer went upstairs to retrieve the money while defendant spoke to Zach on the phone. When Shaffer returned to the living room, she and defendant decided they would go to the police station together.

         ¶ 8 Shaffer described what happened next: "I stood up, and that is when [defendant] blind-sided me and punched me in the face." Defendant then demanded that she show him where her safe was, as well as "all the pounds of weed." Shaffer testified that she did not have a safe, nor did she have pounds of marijuana. Defendant produced a box cutter and threatened to cut or rape Shaffer.

         ¶ 9 Defendant and Shaffer went upstairs, where he instructed her to pack her shoes and purses into bags. Defendant also put jewelry from Shaffer's jewelry box into his pockets. Shaffer recounted the jewelry that was taken: "a diamond Rolex, a Movado watch, a Michael Kors watch, a custom-made Johnny Dang diamond watch, a diamond pendant." Defendant also took Shaffer's cell phone and the keys to her car. Defendant forced Shaffer to take the bags of stolen items to the car. Shaffer put the bags in the trunk. As defendant turned to reenter the house, Shaffer ran away. When she arrived at a gas station half a block away, the cashier called 911. Police officers arrived in 5 to 10 minutes.

         ¶ 10 Shaffer testified that the only stolen item recovered by police was the Johnny Dang watch. She identified People's exhibit No. 4 as that watch. She identified People's exhibit No. 8 as the box that held that watch. Shaffer also identified People's exhibit No. 17 as a photograph of her living room after her encounter with defendant. She identified a wine glass sitting on an ottoman in the photograph as the one used by defendant. Shaffer testified that she had recently washed the wine glass before giving it to defendant. Shaffer also testified that her cell phone had service through T-Mobile, and that the phone was registered to her grandmother, Marilyn Hoffman.

         ¶ 11 Rock Island police officer Luke Serra was dispatched to Shaffer's residence at approximately 5 a.m. Shaffer had been transported by another officer back to her home. Serra observed bruising and swelling around Shaffer's left eye, in addition to some dried blood. Serra asked if the person who had robbed her had touched anything in the house. Shaffer pointed out the wine glass on the ottoman. Serra took a series of latent prints from the wine glass, preserving them on a fingerprint evidence card.

         ¶ 12 Shannon Kizer of the Rock Island Police Department testified that he was responsible for obtaining fingerprints. Kizer was shown People's exhibit No. 1, a card showing 10 fingerprints, labeled with defendant's name. The following colloquy ensued:

"[PROSECUTOR]: *** what is People's Exhibit No. 1?
[KIZER]: Fingerprints, Deanthony Parker.
Q: And did you obtain those fingerprints?
A: I don't know.
Q: Are they associated with [defendant]?
A: Yes.
Q: Are they [defendant's] fingerprints?
A: Yes."

         Defense counsel objected to the admission of exhibit No. 1 into evidence, arguing that Kizer could not say if he personally gathered the fingerprints and that Kizer likely only testified that the fingerprints were defendant's because the exhibit itself stated as much. The court did not rule on the objection, instead suggesting that defense counsel could cross-examine Kizer at the conclusion of the State's questioning.

         ¶ 13 The State next asked Kizer to view People's Exhibit No. 1a. That exhibit was a Rock Island County booking report dated August 3, 2014. The booking report, which lists 12 "prior bookings," shows Kizer as the "Fingerprint Officer." It also has a photograph of an African American male. The State asked Kizer only if the information on exhibit No. 1a was "associated with the fingerprint card, People's 1." Kizer agreed. The State then asked if the exhibit contained a photograph, and if that photograph was of defendant. Kizer responded affirmatively.

         ¶ 14 On cross-examination, defense counsel asked Kizer a number of questions relating to the procedures he employed in obtaining fingerprints as part of the booking process. Counsel asked Kizer if defendant's fingerprints had been scanned by a computer, and Kizer responded that they had.

         ¶ 15 Eugenio Barrera of the Rock Island Police Department testified that he went to Tony's Pawn Shop in the course of his investigation. The owner of the pawn shop showed Barrera a photograph of a watch that someone had attempted to pawn. The owner provided Barrera with a description of the individual's car, the license plate number, and surveillance footage. Barrera testified that the individual who had attempted to pawn the watch was Joswa Lewis.

         ¶ 16 On October 6, 2014, Barrera confronted Lewis, telling him that the watch was stolen property. Lewis denied taking any part in a robbery. He told Barrera that he had purchased the watch from a man at a car wash. Lewis went into the residence at 1120 19½th Avenue, retrieved the watch, and gave it to Barrera. Barrera testified that the residence belonged to Pearline Morrow, Lewis's grandmother-in-law. Barrera identified exhibit No. 4 as the watch that Lewis gave to him.

         ¶ 17 Following Barrera's testimony, the State moved to admit exhibit Nos. 1 and 1a. Defense counsel objected, again arguing that Kizer had no personal recollection of taking the fingerprints. The court admitted the exhibits, but noted that they would not go to the jury.

         ¶ 18 Garrett Alderson testified that he was a criminalist with the Rock Island Police Department, responsible for, inter alia, comparative fingerprint analysis. After a series of preliminary questions about his qualifications and training, the State submitted Alderson as an expert. Over the defense's objection, the court found Alderson qualified as an expert in the field of fingerprints.

         ¶ 19 Alderson testified that he compared the known prints found on exhibit No. 1 to the latent prints recovered by Serra at Shaffer's home. He concluded that the latent fingerprints were left by the same person who provided the fingerprints in exhibit No. 1. Alderson testified that the fingerprints matched on approximately 20 points, which he considered a high quality match for a ...

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