People v. Bonds

Decision Date21 August 1980
Docket NumberNo. 79-835,79-835
Parties, 43 Ill.Dec. 228 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Michael BONDS, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois

James J. Doherty, Public Defender of Cook County, Chicago (Kathleen O'Donovan and Ira Churgin, Asst. Public Defenders, Chicago, of counsel), for defendant-appellant.

Bernard Carey, State's Atty. of Cook County, Chicago (Marcia B. Orr, Joan S. Cherry and Edwin Bishop, Asst. State's Attys., Chicago, of counsel), for plaintiff-appellee.

ROMITI, Justice:

The defendant, Michael Bonds, age 19, was indicted for the offenses of armed robbery and armed violence. After a jury trial he was found guilty of three counts of armed robbery and sentenced to a term of 14 years' imprisonment in the Illinois State Penitentiary. He appeals contending:

(1) the defendant was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt as the identification testimony of the State's main witness was contradictory, doubtful and unconvincing;

(2) the defendant was denied a fair trial since the principal witness' testimony was improperly bolstered by the admission of hearsay evidence;

(3) the court committed reversible error in giving the Prim instruction (People v. Prim (1972), 53 Ill.2d 62, 289 N.E.2d 601, cert. den. 412 U.S. 918, 93 S.Ct. 2731, 37 L.Ed.2d 144), to the venire;

(4) the sentence is excessive.

We find no error and affirm.

The judge made several comments to the venire prior to the selection of the jury. He introduced the parties involved in the trial to the prospective jurors, and informed them of the charges pending against defendant. The judge explained the functions and duties of the jury, informed them of their duty to be fair and impartial in reaching a verdict. He also stated the jury's verdict must be unanimous, that the jurors had a duty to consult with one another and to deliberate with a view toward reaching an agreement, that each juror must decide the case for himself after an impartial consideration of all the facts with fellow jurors. The jurors also were instructed they should not hesitate to reexamine their views and change their opinion if convinced it was erroneous; they were not under any circumstances to surrender an honest conviction as to the weight or the effect of the evidence solely because of the opinion of fellow jurors, or merely to return a verdict.

At trial, Bealy Reynolds, one of the victims, testified that he left the First Lady Disco Lounge at approximately 5:00 a. m., August 19, 1978. Outside the lounge he met Michael Bonds, whom he identified in court as the defendant, and a woman named Thelma. He had never seen either before. Bonds was wearing burgundy colored pants and a matching vest. The lighting conditions were good.

The three walked to the home of David Johnson and Emma Smiley where Bealy was staying. During the ten minute walk, they passed a number of street lights. After the three reached the residence, Bealy went inside and got some money from David Johnson. He then returned to the others. Bonds asked if he could use the washroom before they left. Bealy opened the door, walked into the dining room, pointed down the hallway and told Bonds where the washroom was located. Bealy then returned to the porch and began to talk to Thelma for three to five minutes after which he went to check on Bonds. He went into the house. Just as he stepped into the living room an unknown male voice told him to lie down on the floor. He obeyed and lay face down on the dining room floor in front of Johnson's bedroom. As he lay on the floor he heard the defendant, whose voice he recognized, tell Emma to shut up and tell David to give him the keys to the car. Bealy could see the speaker's trousers and shoes. He was wearing the same trousers Bealy had earlier observed on Bonds.

After this a man who had had his foot on Bealy's head told a young lady who was accompanying them to "take this and watch him." She then put her foot on the back of Bealy's neck and forced his face flat down (before his head had been facing towards the bedroom). Bealy then heard Bonds say "Okay, we have got enough, we have got enough, Mickey, let's go." As the woman took her foot off the back of Bealy's head, Bonds came out of the bedroom and walked past Bealy. Again Bealy could see the trousers they were the same ones Bonds had been wearing outside the lounge.

Bonds told everyone not to move and then fired a shot into the floor about three feet from where Bealy was lying. The bullet was later found in the basement.

The next time Bealy saw Bonds was at the police station when he identified him in a line-up.

Bealy testified on cross-examination that he did not see and could not describe the man who grabbed him. Moreover, he could not identify the female voice as belonging to Thelma. But he reiterated that he recognized Bonds' voice, clothing and shoes. Bealy also admitted that he was subpoenaed to testify and was arrested and brought by the police to testify. On redirect examination he explained that he had not known of the subpoena.

David Johnson testified that he had been asleep in bed with Emma Smiley, his common-law wife, when Bealy came in about 5:00 a. m. to get twenty dollars. A few minutes later David heard rubbing on the side of the wall. He looked up and saw a man standing with one hand against the wall and a gun in the other. The man was wearing a dark suit with an open vest and no shirt.

The man ordered David to lie face down on the floor and asked "where is the money." David told him it was in his pants' pocket. David heard the man go through his pockets. David then heard Bealy come into the house and say "what is going on." Another voice said "It's a stick up, get on the floor." David heard Bealy when he got on the floor. He said "take your foot out of my back."

David then heard someone go through the bedroom closet. A man asked him if he had a gun and where it was. He told them it was in the closet. The man took both a gun and a sword from the closet. David heard the man cock the gun.

One of the men asked David if he had a car. He said it was a 1975 Oldsmobile, yellow with black top. The license plate of the vehicle was VE 3032. The man asked David to identify the car keys from others on the key ring; and told David he had better make sure it was the right key and if it was not David was dead. David did so. He then heard someone leave the house and start the car which was parked directly in front of the house. Then the rest of them left the house. One said "don't anybody move." A shot was fired in the dining room.

David got up after hearing the man run out of the house and down the steps. He locked the front door. As he went to the door he observed Bealy lying on the dining room floor with his head in the bedroom doorway. When he locked the door, he saw that his car was gone. When he next saw his car it had been wrecked.

David called the police. He then checked the bedroom closet and discovered several articles were missing.

David further testified that there were two entrances to his home, a front door and a rear door. He stated that the rear door was locked before he went to bed and it was still locked when he checked it in the early morning hours of August 19, 1978.

David testified that during the incident there were three voices he did not recognize, two male and one female. He was unable to give any descriptions of the intruders to the police. He did, however, identify photographs of the automobile driven by Bonds when arrested as photographs of his car. The license number of the car driven by Bonds when arrested was VE 3032.

Emma Smiley testified that she was lying on her back during the entire incident pretending to be asleep. She did not recognize any of the voices and never opened her eyes.

On August 19, 1978, at approximately 5:15 a. m., Chicago Police Officer Ida Height and her partner went to 5149 S. Aberdeen in response to a radio assignment of a home invasion and armed robbery. The officers spoke with a sergeant and a lieutenant who were present and to Bealy Reynolds and David Johnson. Bealy told Height that the male Negro and female Negro he met at the lounge committed the robbery and gave her a general description of the two. Bealy did not mention that he could recognize the voice and pants of defendant. The officer stated she did not ask Bealy if he recognized the offenders. The officer stated the report prepared by her was a summary of what happened and did not contain, word for word, everything that was said in her interview with Bealy.

Chicago Police Sergeant Edward Choate was on duty, in uniform, and driving a marked squad car on August 19, 1978 at approximately 8:45 a. m., less than four hours after the robbery occurred, when he observed a black over yellow Oldsmobile "98" approximately 50 feet in front of him. Both that vehicle and his own were traveling at about 30 miles per hour. Choate saw the driver of the Oldsmobile look into his rear view mirror. The car then accelerated first to 40 or 45 miles per hour and then to 50 to 60 miles per hour. Choate then activated his blue mars light and started to follow him. He did not have the mars light on before the driver increased his speed. Choate also put in a call that he was chasing a speeding vehicle and gave its direction and description.

During the chase Choate saw the face of the driver of the Oldsmobile. It was Bonds.

Choate followed the car to an alley where he lost sight of it. Five or ten seconds later, he saw the car leave the alley and hit a bread truck on 69th Street. Another police car followed the Oldsmobile out of the alley. The Oldsmobile then proceeded east on 69th Street through a red light.

Chicago Police Officer Raymond Hutton testified that he was on routine patrol at 8:15 a. m. on August 19, 1978 when he received a call of a chase. He went west on 68th Street...

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    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 17 Julio 1989
    ...are properly admitted, but even if improperly admitted, but not constituting reversible error. (See People v. Bonds (1980), 87 Ill.App.3d 805, 43 Ill.Dec. 228, 410 N.E.2d 228.) We reach this decision in view of the entire record, the declarants' presence at trial, their availability for exa......
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