People v. Henderson

Citation154 Ill.Dec. 785,142 Ill.2d 258,568 N.E.2d 1234
Decision Date30 November 1990
Docket NumberNo. 65457,65457
Parties, 154 Ill.Dec. 785 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. Demetrius HENDERSON, Appellant.
CourtSupreme Court of Illinois

Charles M. Schiedel, Deputy Defender, Springfield, and Charles W. Hoffman, Asst. Defender, Chicago, both of the Office of the State Appellate Defender, for appellant.

Neil F. Hartigan, Atty. Gen., Springfield, and Cecil A. Partee, State's Atty., Chicago (Terence M. Madsen, Asst. Atty. Gen., Chicago, and Inge Fryklund, Renee Goldfarb, Kevin Sweeney and David R. Butzen, Asst. State's Attys., of counsel), for the People.

Justice STAMOS delivered the opinion of the court:

Defendant, Demetrius Henderson, was convicted of the murder of Kim Boyd (Ill.Rev.Stat.1985, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)) following a jury trial in the circuit court of Cook County. On the State's motion, a death penalty hearing was held before the trial judge, defendant having waived his right to a jury at the death penalty hearing. The trial judge found defendant eligible for the death penalty, for he was 18 years old at the time of the murder and had committed the murder during the course of another felony. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1985, ch. 38, par. 9-1(b)(6).) The trial judge also found that no mitigating factors existed sufficient to preclude imposition of the death sentence (Ill.Rev.Stat.1985, ch. 38, par. 9-1(h)), and so sentenced defendant to death. In addition to the murder conviction, defendant was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault (Ill.Rev.Stat.1985, ch. 38, par. 12-14(a)), for which he was sentenced to 45 years' imprisonment, and aggravated kidnapping (Ill.Rev.Stat.1985, ch. 38, par. 10-2(a)), for which he was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. Defendant's post-trial motions were denied. Execution was stayed pending direct review by this court. (Ill. Const.1970, art. VI, § 4(b); Ill.Rev.Stat.1985, ch. 38, par. 9-1(i); 107 Ill.2d Rules 603, 609(a).) We affirm.


The sexual assault, kidnapping, and murder of 16-year-old Kim Boyd took place during the early morning hours of July 13, 1986. On the night of July 12-13, there was a party at the house of codefendant Curtis Croft attended by defendant, Boyd, codefendants Croft, Kevin Campbell, and Alonzo Woodard, and others, including Anthony Woodard, who testified for the prosecution. There were various comings and goings during that night until around 3 a.m., when Boyd was alone in the house with defendant, Croft, Campbell, and Alonzo and Anthony Woodard. What happened next was revealed by the testimony of Anthony Woodard, by defendant's signed statement given to Assistant State's Attorney Bernard Murray and Chicago police detective Lee Almanza on July 18, 1986, and by the testimony of Dr. Mitre Kalekar, the deputy medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Boyd.

According to defendant's statement, he called Boyd and Anthony into a separate room and angrily asked Boyd why she was having sexual relations with both Anthony and Alonzo Woodard. Boyd made a "smart remark," so defendant picked up a roll of wallpaper and hit her in the head. Defendant then called Croft, Campbell, and Alonzo Woodard into the room, and defendant and those three forced Boyd to engage in a variety of sexual acts. After they were finished, defendant talked to Croft and Campbell about what to do with Boyd. Defendant said they could not just let Boyd go, even though she said she would not say anything, because if he were a girl he would tell what had happened. Instead, defendant said they would have to kill her because he was "not going to spend no time in jail for a bitch." Defendant then went outside to give a friend's car a jump. As he returned to the house, he saw Croft and Campbell indicating he should keep quiet and drive his car to the back of the house. When defendant did so, he saw Boyd standing blindfolded; Croft, Campbell, and Anthony and Alonzo Woodard were present. After Anthony began walking back toward the front of the house, Croft and Campbell put Boyd in the trunk of defendant's car. Campbell said that he, Anthony, and Alonzo would follow, in a second car, defendant's car containing defendant, Croft, and Boyd. Before driving away, defendant stopped and gave another jump to his friend's car. Defendant then intentionally evaded the following car, explaining that he did so because he did not want the others to be present when Curtis and he killed Boyd.

Anthony Woodard's testimony on behalf of the prosecution varied from defendant's statement primarily by denying that his brother Alonzo and Campbell voluntarily participated in the assault. Anthony testified that defendant and Boyd went into a separate room, that defendant then called him into the room, and that he and Croft Through cross-examination, defendant's attorney tried to discredit Anthony's credibility. Anthony testified that he would try to help out his brother and Campbell, who was like a cousin to him, but that he was not related to defendant or Croft. Anthony admitted that he had not tried to physically stop the assault, but had merely asked defendant and Croft to stop. Nor did he try to escape from the room and get help, even though at certain times, when Croft was with Boyd, he only would have had to get by defendant, whose knife was in his back pocket and who was smaller, although older, than Anthony. Furthermore, Anthony never approached the police to tell them what had happened, waiting until they came to him.

[154 Ill.Dec. 794] joined defendant and Boyd. Defendant ordered Boyd to take off her pants, and when she began fighting back defendant hit her twice in the jaw. While Anthony sat in a chair, defendant and Croft forced Boyd to have sexual intercourse. Anthony told defendant and Croft to [142 Ill.2d 275] stop but did not try to physically stop them because Croft had a knife with a six-inch blade. Anthony could hear his brother Alonzo and Campbell trying to get into the room, but a chair in front of the door prevented them from entering. Later, defendant opened the door and told Alonzo and Campbell to have sex with Boyd; they did so while Croft held a knife on them. Anthony also said that defendant had a knife in his pocket. Defendant then took Boyd into the bathroom, and when they came out Boyd had cleanser on her face. Defendant and Croft tried to confuse Boyd by telling her she was somewhere else. Defendant then said they would have to kill Boyd. While Croft blindfolded Boyd and took her behind the house, defendant went to get his car. Anthony, Alonzo, and Campbell went to the front of the house where they had parked their car, and Anthony saw defendant giving a car a jump. Defendant then drove his car to the back of the house and in a few minutes drove back to the front of the house with Croft in the car. When Campbell asked where Boyd was, Croft patted the trunk of the car. Alonzo offered to take Boyd home, but Croft said he and defendant would do that and tried to ignore the other three. Alonzo, Anthony, and Campbell tried to follow defendant's car in their own car. When they reached the street where defendant should have turned to take Boyd home, Alonzo, who was driving, blew his horn. But defendant continued on and Alonzo soon lost him in traffic.

We have only defendant's statement, and the forensic evidence, to tell us what happened after defendant eluded the other car. Both defendant and Croft expressed some hesitancy about killing Boyd, but in the end decided that they had to do it. Defendant stopped the car in an alley behind the 6000 block of South Carpenter Street in Chicago, and opened the car's trunk, and he and Croft took Boyd out. She told defendant she could "explain," but defendant grabbed a switchblade knife Croft was holding and stabbed her twice in the throat. Croft then took the knife and stabbed Boyd, then defendant did so, and they alternated in this way until Boyd had approximately 40 stab wounds in her head, neck, chest, hands, back, and buttocks. Believing she was not yet dead, defendant and Croft got into the car and defendant drove over her three times. They got out of the car, confirmed that she was finally dead, and drove away. Dr. Kalekar testified concerning the multiple stab wounds, bruises, broken bones, and other wounds to the body consistent with being run over and dragged by a car.

Boyd's body was found later that morning and a police investigation was begun, leading to the arrest of defendant and Curtis Croft on July 17, 1986, at defendant's home. At the Area 3 Violent Crimes police station during the night of July 17-18, Assistant State's Attorney Murray and various detectives questioned defendant, Croft, Campbell, Anthony and Alonzo Woodard, and two girls who had attended the party the night of July 12-13. Initially, defendant denied involvement in the murder, although he admitted being at the party. When Assistant State's Attorney Murray told defendant this was inconsistent with what other witnesses had said, defendant asked what Croft had said. Croft was brought into the room and recounted the Defendant's jury trial was severed from the bench trials of his codefendants; however, all four trials were conducted simultaneously. Additional facts concerning the night of July 12-13, the course of the police investigation, and the conduct of the trial will be related as necessary.

[154 Ill.Dec. 795] statement he had made to the police earlier. Defendant then made both an oral and a court-reported statement.


Defendant presents numerous arguments for our consideration and requests that we grant him a new trial, or, in the alternative, that we vacate his death sentence and remand for a new death penalty hearing or imposition of a sentence other than death. Defendant's arguments concern the selection of the jury, the admission and exclusion of evidence at trial, the conduct of the sentencing hearing, the propriety of his sentences of death...

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