People v. Boyd, 78-482

CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois
Citation88 Ill.App.3d 825,410 N.E.2d 931,43 Ill.Dec. 798
Docket NumberNo. 78-482,78-482
Parties, 43 Ill.Dec. 798 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Walter L. BOYD, Defendant-Appellant.
Decision Date11 September 1980

Page 931

410 N.E.2d 931
88 Ill.App.3d 825, 43 Ill.Dec. 798
The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Walter L. BOYD, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 78-482.
Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, Fourth Division.
Sept. 11, 1980.
Rehearing Denied Oct. 9, 1980.

[88 Ill.App.3d 828]

Page 934

[43 Ill.Dec. 801] Richard J. Aronson, Chicago, for defendant-appellant.

Bernard Carey, State's Atty., Chicago, for plaintiff-appellee; Marcia B. Orr and Mary Ellen Dienes, Asst. State's Attys., of counsel.

LINN, Presiding Justice:

At the conclusion of a jury trial in the circuit court of Cook County, defendant, Walter Boyd, was convicted of three counts of murder (Ill.Rev.Stat.1975, ch. 38, par. 9-1) and three counts of attempt armed robbery (Ill.Rev.Stat.1975, ch. 38, par. 18-2). He was sentenced to three concurrent prison terms of 100 to 300 years for the murders and three concurrent prison terms of 3 to 15 years for the attempt robbery convictions.

On appeal, defendant contends: (1) he was denied his constitutional [88 Ill.App.3d 829] right to a speedy trial; (2) the introduction of an inculpatory hearsay statement deprived him of his constitutional right to confrontation; (3) the trial court erred in ruling that defendant's statements to the police were voluntary and therefore admissible; (4) the trial court erred in admitting into evidence the photographs of the victims; (5) his guilt was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt; (6) the trial court erred in admitting into evidence the weapons found at the scene of the crime; (7) the trial court erred in refusing to admit defendant's testimony about statements made to him by a person who later died; (8) reversible error occurred when the prosecutor cross-examined defendant about pre-trial plea bargaining; (9) the trial court erred in unduly restricting the direct examination of a defense witness; (10) reversible error occurred when the prosecutor improperly argued to the jury that defendant was a drug addict; (11) reversible error occurred during closing argument when the prosecutor referred to the grand jury proceedings; (12) the trial court improperly restricted defendant's closing argument; (13) the trial court abused its discretion by refusing the juror's request for transcripts of testimony; and (14) the sentences imposed by the trial court were excessive.

We affirm.

Defendant was convicted of the murder and attempt robbery of three members of the Thomas family: Tyrone and Virginia, the parents; and Michelle, their seven or eight year old daughter. The Thomas' five month old baby girl, present at the scene of the slayings, was not harmed.


At trial, 1 the State's first witness, Larry DePerry, testified that he was an acquaintance of defendant and Tyrone Thomas. On June 29, 1976, after 10 p. m., DePerry went to Tyrone's home to purchase narcotics. Tyrone asked him to go to the store and DePerry agreed because Tyrone promised "to tighten up the package" which DePerry explained meant Tyrone would give DePerry more drugs.

As DePerry left the Thomas home, he saw defendant standing on the street curb, next to a yellow car. Defendant appeared to be talking with someone who was seated in the car. DePerry nodded to defendant in recognition and noted that defendant wore light colored clothing. Approximately five minutes later, DePerry returned to the

Page 935

[43 Ill.Dec. 802] Thomas residence. The yellow car was parked in the same location. He did not see the defendant, but he did see a man walking south. DePerry did not recognize this man; he could not see the man's face because he was wearing a hat which covered his eyes. DePerry asserted he was sure this man was not the defendant.

[88 Ill.App.3d 830] DePerry continued to walk toward Tyrone's house and, when he arrived at the back door, he rang the bell but no one answered. He waited 10 to 15 minutes, and then went to a phone booth and telephoned Tyrone, but no one answered the telephone. He returned to Tyrone's home and, not gaining entry, he left. Approximately one or two hours later, DePerry returned again to Tyrone's residence. He first rang the bell at the back door and then went to the front door. DePerry rang the bell and looked through the front glass. After discovering the burglar gates were open, he pushed the door open and saw Tyrone's body lying on the floor. As DePerry continued to push the door open, he saw Virginia and Michelle. Their bodies were on the floor and were stained with blood.

At trial, DePerry identified several photographs of the victims as accurately depicting the victims as he had seen them. DePerry also testified that Tyrone's house had burglar gates across the back and front doors and burglar bars all over the house. DePerry also stated that a person would have to be a good friend of Tyrone to get into the house via the front door.

The State's next witness, Police Officer Chester Zubrzycki, testified that on the morning of June 30, 1976, he and his partner went to the location of the Tyrone Thomas home. In the hallway, they discovered the body of a man covered with blood. The man's throat had been cut; a cord had been tied around his neck. In the living room, the police officers found the bodies of a woman and a young girl. Both bodies were covered with blood. The young girl's throat had been cut. The police officers also found an infant, who was alive. A dead German Shepherd dog was lying on the floor. Officer Zubrzycki identified several color photographs which depicted the bodies of the victims. The bodies were covered with blood.

Police Officer Raymond Peterson testified to the removal of the man's body to the morgue. He also identified a color photograph of the bodies of the woman, the little girl, and the dog. Police Officer William Sherlock, a Mobile Unit Technician, asserted that he examined for physical evidence, the bodies of the victims and the scene. The evidence he recovered included a revolver found near Tyrone's body, a pair of scissors found under Virginia's body, a knife discovered partially under Tyrone's body, another knife located on the hallway floor, and another revolver discovered in the front room on the floor under the baby's crib.

Sherlock further stated that samples of blood were obtained from inside the apartment and the front porch. Samples of the victims' clothing were sent to the crime laboratory. Another officer found a blue jacket in a nearby vacant lot. According to Sherlock, the jacket appeared to have bloodstains on it. Sherlock checked all the windows and doors and observed that all were barred and intact. He also identified, as an accurate depiction, a photograph of the knife found on the floor near the bathroom and another photograph of the wound in Tyrone's back.

[88 Ill.App.3d 831] Police Officer Richard Binkus testified that on the night of the incident he examined a trail of blood outside the Tyrone Thomas home. The trail consisted of clusters of six to ten drops of blood. Each of the drops was approximately two to three feet apart. In a northerly direction, Binkus followed the trail from the house and then west through a vacant lot to the alley between Wentworth and Wells Streets. The trail continued south through the alley for a few feet and then stopped. Binkus proceeded south in the alley at 45th Street, and found the trail again. Binkus followed the trail into a weeded area in the back of a house at 45th and Wells Streets. There Binkus found a blood-stained light blue jacket. The trail continued southwest and stopped at 45th Street.

Page 936

[43 Ill.Dec. 803] Police Officer Joseph Pikowski testified that on June 30, 1976, he examined the area around 4442 South Wentworth. He found a bloodstained carving knife between two garages located behind 4423 South Wentworth, approximately six feet from the alley which runs between Wells and Wentworth Streets.

Police Officer Patrick McNulty testified that on July 2, 1976, he removed a piece of a living room throw rug and sent it to the crime laboratory. The parties then stipulated that a technician took a blood sample from defendant and determined that he had Type O blood.

Sergeant Donald Smith of the Firearms Identification Unit testified he examined a gun and bullet recovered from the scene of the slayings but he could not make a positive identification because the bullet was mutilated. He also examined a .38 caliber bullet and determined that it had not been fired from the .38 caliber gun recovered at the scene.

A Chicago Police Department micro-analyst, George Speyrene, testified that he analyzed the blood of the three victims. Both Tyrone and Michelle had Type AB blood; Virginia had Type A blood. Speyrene further stated that the scissors and the knives found in the house and the carving knife found near the alley were stained with Type AB blood. No blood was found on the orange rug sample but the blue jacket discovered near Tyrone's residence contained orange fibers morphologically similar to the fibers from the carpet sample.

Speyrene further stated that the collar, right sleeve, left panel and back of the blue jacket were stained with Type O blood. Speyrene further discovered Type AB blood on the jacket's left front panel, front sleeve, and right sleeve. He examined other items but none of these contained Type O blood. The porch outside Tyrone's home was stained with Type B blood. Speyrene asserted that none of the victims had Type O blood.

Dr. Robert Stein testified he removed a small caliber bullet from the head of the dead dog found at the scene of the slayings. Dr. Ty An examined the bodies of the victims. Two bullet wounds were found in Virginia's body; one bullet was found at the base of the nose, and the other [88 Ill.App.3d 832] was found in the left occipital area of the skull. The cause of her death was a bullet laceration in the brain. Dr. An further stated that the examination of Tyrone's body revealed a large...

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