People v. Gonzales, No. 36987

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtSOLFISBURG; WARD
Citation40 Ill.2d 233,239 N.E.2d 783
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Defendant in Error, v. Santiago Osorio GONZALES, Plaintiff in Error.
Docket NumberNo. 36987
Decision Date29 May 1968

Page 783

239 N.E.2d 783
40 Ill.2d 233
The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Defendant in Error,
v.
Santiago Osorio GONZALES, Plaintiff in Error.
No. 36987.
Supreme Court of Illinois.
May 29, 1968.
Rehearing Denied Sept. 24, 1968.

[40 Ill.2d 234]

Page 785

Alan J. Scheffres, Chicago, appointed by the court, for plaintiff in error.

William G. Clark, Atty. Gen., Springfield, and John J. Stamos, State's Atty., Chicago (Fred G. Leach, Asst. Atty. Gen., and Elmer C. Kissane and Richard A. Rinella, Asst. State's Attys., of counsel), for defendant in error.

SOLFISBURG, Chief Justice.

The defendant, Santiago Osorio Gonzales, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 199 years imprisonment following a jury trial in the circuit court of Cook County. In this court the defendant contends that his constitutional right to counsel was impaired; that his motion to suppress [40 Ill.2d 235] statements was erroneously denied; that a shotgun was improperly admitted into evidence; that the trial court erroneously refused

Page 786

to give the jury an instruction on manslaughter; and that the closing argument of the prosecutor contained inflammatory and prejudicial remarks.

On September 10, 1959, at approximately 10 P.M. Guido J. Garro was shot and killed while standing in front of a tavern. A witness testified that at the time of the shooting he observed an automobile pull up to the front of the tavern and a person rise from the rear seat with an object. A flash and noise followed and the witness then noticed Garro lying on the ground, mortally wounded from a shotgun blast. None of the persons at the scene of the shooting were able to identify the occupants of the automobile.

On October 28, 1959, a Chicago police officer, Howard Roos, carrying a warrant for the defendant's arrest, went to Kingston, New York, where he took custody of the defendant and returned him to Chicago that same afternoon. After having lunch with Roos and two other police officers, the defendant was taken to the North Avenue police station where he signed a statement admitting that he had fired a shotgun into the group of men standing in front of the tavern. Present at the taking of this statement were four police officers and a priest. A second statement, similar to the first, was signed by the defendant on the following day, October 29, 1959.

The defendant thereafter retained Manuel Segarra as counsel, and on February 29, 1960, both the defendant and his attorney appeared before Judge Harry G. Hershenson and presented a petition requesting the court to allow Segarra to withdraw as defendant's attorney, or in the alternative 'to appoint a competent attorney to direct and assist him in representing the defendant.' In support of this request the petition asserted, in substance, that Segarra had been practicing law for less than one year and that, in view of the severity of the crime with which the defendant was [40 Ill.2d 236] charged, 'the petitioner feels that unless he is assisted or directed by an experienced trial lawyer * * * the interest of the defendant will not be properly served.' In response to this petition Judge Hershenson entered an order appointing the Public Defender of Cook County as additional counsel to assist Segarra in the trial of the case. At this point Mr. Oakey from the Public Defender's office appeared in court and was advised of the appointment. Segarra and Oakey thereafter entered into a conversation, the nature of which is not disclosed by the record, and afterwards Judge Hershenson noted that Segarra would proceed alone on the remaining motions. Segarra then moved for a severance as well as for an order suppressing the two statements given by the defendant. Both of these motions were denied and on May 9, 1960, the case was called to trial before Judge Joseph Drucker.

Prior to trial the following colloquy took place between a Mr. Flaherty of the Public Defender's office and the trial judge:

MR. FLAHERTY: Your Honor, I understand the court sheet shows that the Public Defender has been appointed in this case to assist counsel here in the case.

THE COURT: Who did that, Judge Hershenson?

MR. FLAHERTY: Yes, that is what I understand.

THE COURT: It has come to the attention of the Court that there is an order entered showing that the Public Defender has been appointed to assist defense counsel Manuel Segarra in the defense of this case, however, the record should show that the assistance is to merely be advisory assistance since the Public Defender has not been called in to assist in the preparation of the case and is being asked by counsel Segarra merely to sit with him and advise him as to legal steps during the course of the trial and not to participate in any way in the activity of the trial.

Page 787

MR. FLAHERTY: That's right, Judge. I might apprise [40 Ill.2d 237] the Court I know nothing about the factual situation here and anything else about the case. I will give whatever assistance I can in a legal way.'

Following this conversation the case proceeded to trial before a jury resulting in defendant's conviction for the murder of Guido J. Garro.

Defendant first contends that his constitutional right to counsel was violated by the manner in which the court responded to his attorney's petition requesting either leave to withdraw or the assistance of co-counsel. He particularly urges that once Judge Hershenson had appointed associate counsel to assist Segarra at the hearing on the motion to suppress, it was error to allow Segarra to proceed alone in view of his admission of inexperience. As we have pointed out earlier, after Judge Hershenson had informed Oakey that the Public Defender's office was to assist Segarra, Oakey and Segarra entered into a discussion, the contents of which was off the record. We are unable to determine therefore the reason behind Judge Hershenson's decision to...

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49 practice notes
  • People v. Bartall, No. 56658
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • October 21, 1983
    ...evidence of the intent requisite to constitute the offense of murder." 49 Ill.2d 162, 166, 273 N.E.2d 829; cf. People v. Gonzales (1968), 40 Ill.2d 233, 241-42, 239 N.E.2d 783 (where defendant admitted firing a shotgun into a group of men standing in front of a tavern, no error occurred in ......
  • Mandolidis v. Elkins Industries, Inc., Nos. 13926
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • June 27, 1978
    ...companion and watched the companion make numerous reckless moves before fatal collision is guilty of murder); People v. Gonzales, 40 Ill.2d 233, 239 N.E.2d 783 (1968) (Firing shotgun into group of men implies criminal malice); Commonwealth v. Malone, 354 Pa. 180, 47 A.2d 445 (1946) (Playing......
  • People v. Boyd, No. 78-482
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • September 11, 1980
    ...the defendant and with the crime." (People v. Jones (1961), 22 Ill.2d 592, 599, 177 N.E.2d 112, 116; See also People v. Gonzales (1968), 40 Ill.2d 233, 239 N.E.2d 783.) Defendant asserts that the State failed to show that the weapons were connected to him or the crime since neither his fing......
  • People v. Smith, No. 1-89-2727
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • February 18, 1994
    ...the act of firing a gun at a person because the natural tendency of such an act is to destroy another's life. (People v. Gonzales (1968), 40 Ill.2d 233, 242, 239 N.E.2d 783; People v. Manzo (1989), 183 Ill.App.3d 552, 560, 131 Ill.Dec. 884, 539 N.E.2d 237.) Defendant acknowledged in his sta......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
49 cases
  • People v. Bartall, No. 56658
    • United States
    • Illinois Supreme Court
    • October 21, 1983
    ...evidence of the intent requisite to constitute the offense of murder." 49 Ill.2d 162, 166, 273 N.E.2d 829; cf. People v. Gonzales (1968), 40 Ill.2d 233, 241-42, 239 N.E.2d 783 (where defendant admitted firing a shotgun into a group of men standing in front of a tavern, no error occurred in ......
  • Mandolidis v. Elkins Industries, Inc., Nos. 13926
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • June 27, 1978
    ...companion and watched the companion make numerous reckless moves before fatal collision is guilty of murder); People v. Gonzales, 40 Ill.2d 233, 239 N.E.2d 783 (1968) (Firing shotgun into group of men implies criminal malice); Commonwealth v. Malone, 354 Pa. 180, 47 A.2d 445 (1946) (Playing......
  • People v. Boyd, No. 78-482
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • September 11, 1980
    ...the defendant and with the crime." (People v. Jones (1961), 22 Ill.2d 592, 599, 177 N.E.2d 112, 116; See also People v. Gonzales (1968), 40 Ill.2d 233, 239 N.E.2d 783.) Defendant asserts that the State failed to show that the weapons were connected to him or the crime since neither his fing......
  • People v. Smith, No. 1-89-2727
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • February 18, 1994
    ...the act of firing a gun at a person because the natural tendency of such an act is to destroy another's life. (People v. Gonzales (1968), 40 Ill.2d 233, 242, 239 N.E.2d 783; People v. Manzo (1989), 183 Ill.App.3d 552, 560, 131 Ill.Dec. 884, 539 N.E.2d 237.) Defendant acknowledged in his sta......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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