Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 16 CR 13578
Honorable James B. Linn, Judge, presiding.
E. Chadd, Patricia Mysza, and Maria A. Harrigan, of State
Appellate Defender's Office, of Chicago, for appellant.
Kimberly M. Foxx, State's Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J.
Spellberg, and Brian K. Hodes, Assistant State's
Attorneys, of counsel), for the People.
JUSTICE HARRIS delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justice Cunningham and Justice Connors concurred in
the judgment and opinion.
1 Following a bench trial, defendant Jeremiah Blankenship was
convicted of robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-1(a) (West 2016)) and
sentenced to four years' imprisonment. On appeal,
defendant argues that his conviction should be reversed
because the State failed to prove him guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt where the sole eyewitness's
identification of defendant as the offender was not
reliable. For the following reasons, we affirm.
2 I. JURISDICTION
3 The trial court sentenced defendant on May 31, 2017. He
filed his notice of appeal that same day. Accordingly, this
court has jurisdiction pursuant to article VI, section 6, of
the Illinois Constitution (Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, §
6); and Illinois Supreme Court Rule 603 (eff. Oct. 1, 2010)
and Rule 606 (eff. Mar. 20, 2009), governing appeals from a
final judgment of conviction in a criminal case entered
4 II. BACKGROUND
5 Defendant was charged with one count of armed robbery while
armed with a firearm and one count of aggravated unlawful
restraint while using a deadly weapon, stemming from the
August 17, 2016, robbery of Dewantez Daniels. At trial,
Daniels testified that, between midnight and 2:00 a.m., he
left Lauonta Dyers's house to walk to a gas station to
purchase pain medication and a "swisher." He was
walking down the alley behind the house, looking at his 5-S
iPhone, when he "bumped into" two men he did not
know. Daniels identified defendant in court as one of the
6 The alley was dark and had no artificial lighting, but
Daniels could see defendant was wearing black Adidas pants
with a white stripe and holding a black 9-millimeter gun in
his right hand. The other man had a white scarf covering his
face from his nose to his chin, and defendant had a scarf
around his neck, which he was trying to put over his face.
Daniels was approximately two to three feet away from the men
when defendant pointed the gun at him. Daniels put his hands
up with his phone in his left hand. Wearing brand new Michael
Jordan gym shoes, he immediately kicked them off because he
did not "want no problem" and thought the men would
want the shoes.
7 Defendant asked Daniels, "[W]hat you got?" He
gave the gun to his partner and searched Daniels while the
other man continued to point the gun at Daniels. Defendant
took "[n]ine dollars and three bags of weed and an
iphone" from Daniels. He asked Daniels for the passcode
to the phone and, after checking the passcode, walked away
with the other man. The men did not take Daniels's shoes.
8 Daniels hid in the bushes until the men were far enough
away, and then he ran into Dyers's house. He wanted to
retaliate against the men, but Dyers talked him out of it.
When Daniels checked his "iCloud" phone locator on
a computer, he determined his stolen phone was around the
corner "on the next block." Daniels drove his car
to his phone's location "trying to see if
[defendant] was right there for real." He found
defendant in front of an apartment building, wearing the same
black Adidas pants with white striped lining he was wearing
when he robbed Daniels 30 to 45 minutes earlier.
9 Dyers called the police, and Daniels made a police report.
Daniels and the police officers drove to the apartment
building to identify the person who took his phone. Defendant
was still standing in front of the building where Daniels had
last seen him. When the police turned on their lights, he ran
into the building. The police did not follow him because they
did not know which ...