People v. Brown

Decision Date26 November 1963
Docket NumberNo. 37509,37509
Citation194 N.E.2d 326,29 Ill.2d 375
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Defendant in Error, v. Johnnie BROWN, Plaintiff in Error.
CourtIllinois Supreme Court

Maynard B. Russell, Chicago, for plaintiff in error.

William G. Clark, Atty. Gen., Springfield, and Daniel P. Ward, State's Atty., Chicago (Fred G. Leach and E. Michael O'Brien, Asst. Attys. Gen., and Elmer C. Kissane and Matthew J. Moran, Asst. State's Attys., of counsel), for defendant in error.

KLINGBIEL, Chief Justice.

Defendant, Johnnie Brown, was found guilty of rape at a bench trial in the criminal court of Cook County. After judgment he was sentenced to a term of 15 years in the penitentiary. For a reversal of said judgment he now urges that the evidence was insufficient to show his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

It appears from the evidence that on the evening of April 10, 1961, Lilly Mae Thomas attended services at a church near 63rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago, departed for her home at approximately 1:00 o'clock in the morning, took an elevated train to downtown Chicago, transferred to another elevated train to Congress Street and Kedzie Avenue. From there she walked to her home at 3020 West Jackson Boulevard. The defendant was standing on the steps of the building next door when Mrs. Thomas approached her home. She testified that he offered her $10 for a date, she refused and walked past him. He then grabbed her, stuck a knife in her side and threatened to kill her if she screamed. She promised not to scream and then he stated he was going to have intercourse with her. Mrs. Thomas then informed him that her husband would hear them and that there was a big dog in the yard. Then defendant placed the knife at her back and took her into a yard at 3024 West Jackson Boulevard. Threatening her with the knife, he ordered her to remove her panties. Her attempt to persuade him to let her go met with no success; he laid his coat on the ground, picked Mrs. Thomas up and forced her to lie upon it. He then ripped off her panties, placed the knife in the ground nearby and had intercourse with her. When she attempted to reach for the knife he warned her to leave it alone or that she would die.

The prosecutrix further testified that immediately after this happened defendant took $4 from her, picked up his coat and knife and departed. She then went to a nearby basement apartment, aroused the tenants and informed them of what had happened. She called the police, related the occurrence and gave a description of the defendant. On the afternoon of April 19, 1961, the defendant was observed walking down a street by certain police officers; he ran into an alley but was caught and placed under arrest. When asked why he ran away he gave no reply. Later that same day he was identified by Mrs. Thomas in a line-up of 5 men at a police station; he was wearing the same clothes worn by him on the date of the incident.

Defendant denied he had raped the prosecutrix, denied he ran from the police and also denied that he was identified by Mrs. Thomas in the line-up. He testified that he was at home at the time of the assault and that he was also at home on the evenings of April 3 and April 6, 1961. Eunice Brown, the common-law wife of defendant, testified that she returned home at about 2:30 on the morning of April 11, 1961, and saw the defendant playing cards with a friend William. William did not testify. Violet Childs, a neighbor who testified for defend...

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16 cases
  • People v. McKnight
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • May 4, 1979
    ...If clear and convincing, the complainant's uncorroborated testimony in itself will sustain a conviction for rape (People v. Brown (1963), 29 Ill.2d 375, 194 N.E.2d 326; People v. Mack (1962), 25 Ill.2d 416, 185 N.E.2d 154) but, where such testimony is not clear and convincing, corroboration......
  • People v. Sprouse, 79-2302
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • March 23, 1981
    ...find that this alleged discrepancy did not distract from the reasonableness of complainant's story as a whole. (See People v. Brown (1963), 29 Ill.2d 375, 194 N.E.2d 326; People v. Thomas (1960), 18 Ill.2d 439, 164 N.E.2d 36; and People v. Wright.) Complainant's testimony was very straightf......
  • People v. Graham
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • May 18, 1978
    ...from the reasonableness of the victim's story as a whole, her testimony may be found clear and convincing. (People v. Brown (1963), 29 Ill.2d 375, 378, 194 N.E.2d 326, 328; People v. Brown (1975), 32 Ill.App.3d 182, 187, 336 N.E.2d 523, 527.) When the testimony of the complaining witness is......
  • People v. Carter, Gen. No. 51196
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • May 26, 1967
    ...at the outset, and as he left had 'flashed the knife' and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. (See also People v. Brown, 29 Ill.2d 375, 378, 194 N.E.2d 326.) The defendant's use of the broken beer bottle brings the instant case within the Harrison ruling. The fact that Mrs. Mann made......
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