Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Sixth Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 02 CR 5763
Honorable Luciano Panici, Judge, presiding.
Attorneys for Appellant: James E. Chadd, Patricia Mysza, and
Daniel T. Mallon, of State Appellate Defender's Office,
of Chicago, for appellant.
Attorneys for Appellee: Kimberly M. Foxx, State's
Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J. Spellberg and Sara McGann,
Assistant State's Attorneys, of counsel), for the People.
JUSTICE HARRIS delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Cunningham and Connors concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 Defendant, Timothy Gallano, appeals from the order of the
circuit court dismissing, on the State's motion, his
petition pursuant to the Post-Conviction Hearing Act (725
ILCS 5/122-1 et seq. (West 2008)). On appeal,
defendant does not argue that his petition has substantive
merit. Instead, he argues that postconviction counsel failed
to comply with the requirements of Illinois Supreme Court
Rule 651(c) (eff. Feb. 6, 2013) by failing to amend his
petition to include notarized affidavits from two potential
witnesses. We affirm.
2 I. JURISDICTION
3 In April 2009, defendant filed a postconviction petition.
The State filed a motion to dismiss the petition in September
2015. The circuit court granted the State's motion and
dismissed the petition on February 26, 2016. Defendant 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 651(a) (eff. July 1, 2017)
governing appeals from a final judgment in a postconviction
4 II. BACKGROUND
5 Following a jury trial, defendant was found guilty of the
1999 first degree murder of Stacy Bravo and concealment of
her homicidal death and sentenced to concurrent prison terms
of 60 years and 5 years, respectively. We reversed and
remanded for a new trial based on an error that occurred
during jury deliberations. People v. Gallano, 354
Ill.App.3d 941 (2004). On remand, a second jury found
defendant guilty of the same offenses, and he was given the
same sentences. We affirmed the convictions. People v.
Gallano, No. 1-06-1189 (2007) (unpublished order under
Illinois Supreme Court Rule 23). Defendant filed an
unsuccessful pro se petition to vacate the
conviction pursuant to section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil
Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-1401 (West 2008)), and we affirmed on
appeal, allowing appellate counsel leave to
withdraw. People v. Gallano, No. 1-10-3370
(2012) (unpublished summary order under Illinois Supreme
Court Rule 23(c)). In April 2009, defendant filed the pro
se petition for postconviction relief at issue here.
6 The evidence underlying defendant's convictions is
adequately set forth in our order affirming defendant's
convictions after remand (Gallano, No. 1-06-1189),
and we set forth only the evidence and procedural history
necessary for an understanding of this appeal.
7 The evidence presented at the first and second trials was
substantially similar. The State presented evidence that
Bravo disappeared in 1999. Defendant was Bravo's
boyfriend and told her family that Bravo went to a party with
a girlfriend and never returned. At the time, defendant was
living in Jack Moretti's house. In 2002, Moretti gave a
police detective permission to search his home. On the
basement floor, police found human blood that matched the DNA
of Bravo's parents. Police took defendant into custody
and accompanied him to Arlene Bonta's farm, where they
recovered a 55 gallon plastic drum Bonta had been storing
since 1999 at defendant's request. Bravo's body was
in the drum, covered with concrete and motorcycle parts.
Bravo had been shot in the head five times and had a contact
shot to the back of her head. From inside Bravo's skull,
a pathologist recovered two pieces of lead and five pieces of
jacketing, all from the same firearm.
8 Following defendant's arrest, he told Doug Hoglund,
deputy chief of the Blue Island Police Department, that he
and Bravo were living at Moretti's home in September
1999. One morning, Bravo argued with defendant and pointed a
gun at him. Defendant took the gun away and shot Bravo in the
head more than once. Moretti came out of the bedroom where he
had been sleeping, and he and defendant placed Bravo's
body in the trunk of her car. They later put Bravo's body
in a 55 gallon drum, covering it with cement and motorcycle
parts, and defendant took the barrel to Bonta's farm.
9 In a videotaped interview, defendant told Assistant
State's Attorney Terrence Reilly that Bravo yelled and
pointed a gun at him, he tried to take the gun, and it went
off. The next thing he remembered was Moretti tapping him on
the shoulder. Reilly was also present for Moretti's
videotaped statement, in which Moretti stated the gun used in
the shooting was ...