from the Circuit Court of the 10th Judicial Circuit, Peoria
County, Illinois. Circuit No. 16-CF-180 Honorable John P.
Vespa, Judge, Presiding.
Attorneys for Appellant: James E. Chadd, Peter A. Carusona,
and James Wozniak, of State Appellate Defender's Office,
of Ottawa, for appellant.
Attorneys for Appellee:Jerry Brady, State's Attorney, of
Peoria (Patrick Delfino, Thomas D. Arado, and Jasmine D.
Morton, of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's
Office, of counsel), for the People.
JUSTICE O'BRIEN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justice Wright concurred in the judgment and
1 The defendant, Orlando Charles Alexander, appeals from his
conviction for unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.
3 The defendant was charged with unlawful possession of a
weapon by a felon (720 ILCS 5/24-1.1(a) (West 2016)). At
trial, the State alleged that the defendant ran from a
traffic stop with a gun in his hand. Officers gave chase and
found the defendant hiding by a porch, and the gun was found
discarded on the defendant's route.
4 City of Peoria police officer David Logan testified that he
attempted to effectuate a traffic stop around 7:30 p.m. on
March 8, 2016, on a black Chrysler vehicle after he observed
it cross the center line. Logan activated his lights, and the
Chrysler pulled to the curb but then fled from the curb after
Logan and his partner had exited their vehicle. Logan radioed
what had happened and received a radio transmission from City
of Peoria police officer Bryan Sylvester stating that
Sylvester had located the vehicle and people were running
from the vehicle. Logan testified that Sylvester stated over
the radio that one person was running eastbound with a gun in
his hand. Logan's report indicated that Sylvester stated
that both males ran east from the vehicle and were armed with
guns. Logan's report stated that the gun was found in the
path of the defendant's flight.
5 Sylvester testified that he had put out a radio
transmission on March 8 for assistance in stopping a black
Chrysler. When Logan indicated that he was stopping the
vehicle, Sylvester drove on a parallel street in the area.
After the black Chrysler fled the stop, it turned on the
street in front of Sylvester. Sylvester testified that the
Chrysler came to a stop and two males exited on foot.
Sylvester described one as tall, wearing a white sweatshirt
and stonewashed jeans. The other male was shorter, wearing
dark clothing. Sylvester identified that taller male as the
defendant. Sylvester testified that he was about 20 feet
away, with his headlights on, when he saw the defendant exit
the vehicle with a large, black semiautomatic firearm. The
defendant fled eastbound down a driveway, continuing between
the houses. The other male, in black clothing, also initially
ran east, but just to the sidewalk, and then proceeded
southbound. Sylvester attempted to follow the defendant, but
when the defendant turned north, Sylvester went back to the
sidewalk and ran north to the street. The defendant was found
by other officers by a house on the next street. The other
male was found by other officers in a nearby backyard. The
gun was found in the garden area next to the driveway that
the defendant ran down.
6 Sean Johnston, also a police officer with the City of
Peoria, testified that he responded to help locate the two
males that fled from the Chrysler. He parked one street over
to the east and began searching the yards. Johnston found the
defendant hiding underneath a deck of a house on that street.
The defendant was wearing a white sweatshirt.
7 Sergeant James Chiola testified that he followed the path
that Sylvester told him that the defendant took and found a
semiautomatic firearm on the other side of the fence along
the driveway, about 15 to 18 feet from the driveway. Chiola
testified that the gun was about 60 feet from the sidewalk in
front of the house. It was a black Beretta, a .22 caliber.
There was dirt on top of the gun, as if it had been freshly
thrown, and no moisture on it.
8 Officer Brock Lavin testified that the other male was
located in the backyard of a house on the street where the
Chrysler stopped, about a half a block away. Officer Brittany
Martzluf, a member of the Peoria Police Department Crime
Scene Unit, described the gun as a .22 caliber. It was laying
in the yard and had some dirt on it that Martzluf described
as fresh. The gun had no moisture on it. She took custody of
the gun and swabbed it for potential DNA and tested it for
fingerprints. She did not find any fingerprints. Ann Yeagle,
a forensic scientist employed by the Illinois State Police,
testified that there was some DNA on the gun but not in a
sufficient amount to make a comparison to the defendant. She
could not include or exclude anyone based on the
incompleteness of the DNA profile.
9 The defendant's sister, Lantrese Alexander, testified
that she was driving the Chrysler and the defendant was in
the back seat along with the other male. She pulled over for
the police, but then drove off because she was driving with
no insurance and no license and she panicked. When she pulled
over again, everyone ran out of the car. ...