Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. No. 08 CR
17293 Honorable Gregory Robert Ginex, Judge Presiding.
Attorneys for Appellant: James E. Chadd, Patricia Mysza, and
Robert Hirschhorn, of State Defender's Office, of
Chicago, for appellant.
Attorneys for Appellee: Kimberly M. Foxx, State's
Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J. Spellberg and Janet C. Mahoney
and Mari R. Hatzenbuehler, Assistant State's Attorneys,
of counsel), for the People.
CUNNINGHAM, JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Delort and Harris concurred in the judgment
1 Defendant-appellant Terrell Wesley, convicted of first
degree murder in the shooting death of Everett Brown in July
2008, appeals the first stage dismissal of his postconviction
petition. On appeal, the defendant argues that the circuit
court erred in dismissing his petition where he stated the
gist of a claim that he was denied due process and effective
assistance of trial and appellate counsel where the circuit
court admitted into evidence two witnesses' prior
inconsistent statements that were not based on personal
knowledge of the shooting. For the reasons that follow, we
affirm the judgment of the circuit court of Cook County.
3 The facts underlying the defendant's murder conviction
were set forth in great detail in our order on direct appeal
(People v. Wesley, 2015 IL App (1st) 130710-U), and
we repeat only those facts necessary to the disposition of
the current appeal.
4 On July 17, 2008, the defendant shot Brown outside a
grocery store in Maywood, Illinois. At a 2010 bench trial,
only one witness, Jason Ervin, identified the defendant as
the shooter. Ervin testified that he saw the defendant
leaving the grocery store, walking backwards, and holding a
gun. He then saw the defendant enter a black Pontiac driven
by a female. Ervin took down the license plate number of the
Pontiac and called the police. After the incident, Ervin
spoke to police and described the defendant as a black man
with short "dreads."
5 Two other witnesses who were near the store heard gunshots
and observed a black man wearing a white T-shirt walking
backward pointing a gun at the store. Both witnesses
described the man as having "stringy-like hair" or
"dreads." The witnesses saw the man get into a
black Pontiac, though they disagreed about whether he entered
the driver's or passenger's side door. Neither
witness saw the man's face.
6 Shara Cannon, the defendant's girlfriend at the time of
the shooting, testified that, on the day of the shooting, she
was driving a rental car "looking for weed" and the
defendant was not with her. According to Cannon, the
defendant did not have dreads on the day of the shooting.
Cannon admitted that she appeared before the grand jury on
July 21, 2008, but testified that she did not remember either
the questions she was asked or the answers she gave. Based on
this testimony, the court permitted the State to introduce,
as substantive evidence, Cannon's testimony before the
grand jury that was inconsistent with her trial testimony.
7 As we previously recounted, Cannon testified before the
grand jury as follows:
"[The] defendant had a 'two-strand twist'
hairstyle. On the day of the shooting, she drove with
defendant, who was wearing a white t-shirt, looking to
purchase marijuana. At one point defendant asked her to stop
so that he could 'holler' at someone at a convenience
store. She stopped so that he could exit the car, then drove
around before picking him up. Defendant got into the
passenger side of the car and directed her to drive to Leon
Thomas's house. When they arrived, defendant went inside
for a few minutes. Defendant and Thomas then got into the car
and Cannon drove home. Once there, she began to clean.
Defendant and Thomas were later joined by Pierre Robinson,
Devlin Williams, and Tangeric Washington. The men chatted and
smoked marijuana. At one point, Cannon heard defendant say
that he tapped on a window, that a guy ran into the store,
and that he pointed and shot." Id. ¶ 9.
Also before the grand jury, Cannon testified that she
provided a written statement to the police that was
substantially true and correct and tracked her testimony at
8 On cross-examination at trial, Cannon testified that she
was taken into custody because drugs were allegedly recovered
from her home and that the police told her that things would
be easier if she told them that the defendant shot a man. The
State subsequently introduced into evidence Cannon's
videotaped statements, which recounted the same sequence of
events described in both Cannon's written statement and
her grand jury testimony.
9 Pierre Robinson likewise testified inconsistently with his
grand jury testimony during trial. Before the grand ...