People v. Morgan, No. 67692

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtTHOMAS J. MORAN
Citation142 Ill.2d 410,568 N.E.2d 755,154 Ill.Dec. 534
Parties, 154 Ill.Dec. 534 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. Derrick MORGAN, Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 67692
Decision Date22 February 1991

Page 755

568 N.E.2d 755
142 Ill.2d 410, 154 Ill.Dec. 534
The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee,
v.
Derrick MORGAN, Appellant.
No. 67692.
Supreme Court of Illinois.
Feb 22, 1991.

Page 758

[142 Ill.2d 428] [154 Ill.Dec. 537] Charles M. Schiedel, Deputy Defender, and Allen H. Andrews, Asst. Defender, of the Office of the State Appellate Defender, Springfield, for appellant.

Neil F. Hartigan, Atty. Gen., Springfield, and Cecil A. Partee, State's Atty., Chicago (Terence M. Madsen, Asst. Atty. Gen., Chicago, and Renee Goldfarb and William D. Carroll, Asst. State's Attys., of counsel), for the People.

Justice THOMAS J. MORAN delivered the opinion of the court:

The defendant, Derrick Morgan, was indicted along with Milbon Lockridge (a.k.a. Poncho) and Sam Green (a.k.a. B-Bop) by a Cook County grand jury on two counts of murder and one count of armed violence for the shooting death of David "Swift" Smith (Smith). The armed violence charge against the defendant was later dismissed. After a jury trial, defendant was found guilty of murder. The jury subsequently found him eligible for the death penalty and sentenced him to death. Defendant appeals directly to this court (107 Ill.2d R. 603).

Concerning pretrial proceedings, the defendant raises as issues whether: (1) a Batson violation occurred; and (2) the trial court erred by excusing potential jurors who expressed reservations about the death penalty and by refusing defendant's request to further question a juror [142 Ill.2d 429] about whether his attackers in a beating had been African-American.

Pertaining to the guilt phase of his trial, the defendant raises as issues whether: (1) he was proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) the trial court erred by granting the State's motion in limine so that he could not present evidence that another person had committed the crime; (3) the trial court erred by allowing two defense witnesses to refuse to testify on the grounds of the fifth amendment; (4) the trial court properly informed two defense witnesses of the consequences of testifying

Page 759

[154 Ill.Dec. 538] on his behalf; (5) the trial court erred in advising some witnesses of the consequences of perjury, and in not advising others; (6) actions and comments by the trial judge denied him a fair trial; (7) he was denied his sixth amendment right to confront and cross-examine witnesses when the State elicited hearsay testimony that Smith told his girlfriend that if anything happened to him, he would be with the defendant; (8) his rights of confrontation were violated when a police officer testified that he spoke with Milbon Lockridge, a convicted accomplice who did not testify about the murder, which led to the officer's investigation of him; (9) he was denied the opportunity to present a defense when his alibi witness was stricken because she was allegedly not disclosed as an "alibi witness"; (10) the trial court erred when it struck all of his alibi witness' testimony and, if it did, whether it erred in striking all of it when some of it did not pertain to the alibi; (11) reversible error was committed in the State's closing argument; (12) the trial court erred in refusing to allow him to call a police officer as a witness for the purpose of impeaching the officer with his own police report; (13) the trial court erred in refusing to grant a hearing on his oral motion to suppress an in-court identification; and (14) the trial court further made errors in admitting certain evidence and [142 Ill.2d 430] not admitting other evidence, and by sustaining objections to his closing argument.

The defendant also raises as issues pertaining to his sentencing hearing whether: (1) he was eligible for the death penalty; (2) his eighth amendment right to a fair sentencing hearing was denied when Smith's girlfriend was allowed to state that she was pregnant when he was killed, and when a photo of Smith and his child were admitted into evidence; (3) the State misstated the law and the evidence at the first stage of sentencing, thus denying defendant a fair sentencing hearing; (4) he was denied a fair sentencing hearing at the second stage when he was not allowed to show that a third party had recently threatened Smith, and that the third party had the opportunity to convince key witnesses to falsely implicate the defendant; (5) the trial judge denied him a fair sentencing when he made several statements during voir dire that the jurors were not responsible for imposing the death penalty; (6) he had a right of allocution; (7) he was denied a fair sentencing when the State was not limited to one closing argument at sentencing; (8) he was denied an impartial jury when the judge refused to ask jurors whether, if they found him guilty, they would automatically impose the death penalty; (9) he was denied a fair sentencing when the jury was told to disregard sympathy; and (10) he was denied a fair sentencing when evidence of charged, but unconvicted, crimes was admitted.

The defendant also raises issues as to the constitutionality of the death penalty statute, as well as to whether the trial court erred in denying his pro se, post-trial motion alleging ineffective assistance of counsel.

On December 17, 1985, at about 9:15 p.m., police officers responded to a radio dispatch regarding a shooting. Chicago police officer Thomas Kampenga testified as follows: that he and his partner, Officer Robert Skahill, found the victim, David Smith, lying in a pool of blood; [142 Ill.2d 431] that he noticed several gunshot wounds to Smith's head; and that he saw a clear plastic bag containing a white powder lying next to the body. Both Officers Kampenga and Skahill testified that they had earlier seen the defendant and Smith exit the building where Smith lived, enter a grocery store across the street, and leave the store a short time later. Officer Skahill said that, as he was interviewing people around the building where Smith lived, he only noticed Smith leave the building, with the defendant following him. Officer Kampenga further stated that since he knew where Smith lived, he and his partner went to his apartment and informed his live-in girlfriend that he had been killed; she told them that Smith may have been with the defendant; and their subsequent search for the defendant was not successful.

Lashone Joyner testified as follows: that she was Smith's girlfriend and they lived together; that on December 17, 1985, at 4

Page 760

[154 Ill.Dec. 539] p.m., she was home alone cooking when two men whom she knew only as "B-Bop" and "Poncho" visited; that she had known the men since 1975 from visiting their disco at the El Rukn Temple; that the men asked if Smith was home, and she told them he was not; that later that evening Smith came home, and then went out again; that at about 8 or 8:30 Smith came home alone, but then let the defendant (whom she knew only as "Tate") in; that she had known defendant for seven or eight years, and that he and Smith were friends; that she overheard defendant tell Smith that he had something for them to do; and that, as he left the apartment, Smith told her that "if anything happen [sic ] to him, he would be with [defendant]."

Dr. Eupil Choi, an assistant Cook County medical examiner, testified that Smith was killed from multiple gunshot wounds to the head, and that he found six bullets in Smith's head.

[142 Ill.2d 432] Peter Poole, a forensic chemist then employed by the Chicago police department, testified as follows: that he performed a series of tests on the bag of white powder found next to Smith's body; that based on those tests, he determined that the powder did not contain any controlled substance or common adulterants; and that the substance appeared to have the color and consistency of flour.

Chicago police detective John Robertson testified as follows: that four months after Smith's murder, he was working on an unrelated case and he had become quite familiar with the El Rukn street gang; that as part of that investigation he spoke with Milbon Lockridge (nicknamed "Poncho"); that Lockridge told an assistant State's Attorney (as well as a grand jury), in his presence, about defendant's involvement in Smith's murder; that he then secured a warrant for defendant's arrest; that he later learned that defendant was in custody in LaPorte County, Indiana; and that he visited defendant in the LaPorte County jail, where he was being held under the alias "Larry Tate" and informed him of the arrest warrant. Officer Robertson also stated that he later learned that the defendant had confessed to an inmate, Stephen William Benjamin (Benjamin), at the LaPorte County jail. Robertson further testified that he went to the prison with a photo array, and Benjamin identified the defendant as the person who confessed to the murder.

Benjamin testified that he was in the LaPorte County jail in May 1986, serving a 115-day sentence for driving while intoxicated. He said that on a Saturday evening in mid-May, he had a conversation with the defendant, whom he then knew as "Larry Tate." According to Benjamin, the defendant told him: that there was a "hold" on him from Chicago for a murder that he and two other El Rukn gang members, B-Bop and Poncho, had committed;[142 Ill.2d 433] that he had been paid by "a big dope dealer" $2,000 before and $2,000 after he murdered a man that defendant called "Swift"; that on the night of the murder, he had placed a bag of flour in an abandoned apartment, and then went to Swift's house to pick him up; that he wanted Swift to believe that the bag contained cocaine; that when he picked Swift up, he told him that he had some cocaine for them to pick up; that he and Swift then walked to the abandoned apartment; that in the meantime, B-Bop was at the apartment to make sure that "the hit went down," and either B-Bop or Poncho was in the getaway car; and that as Swift finished tasting the flour, defendant pulled out a .357 and...

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86 practice notes
  • People v. Gosier, No. 69277
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • September 19, 1991
    ...his right to allocution. This court has held that there is no right to allocution at a death sentencing hearing (People v. Morgan (1991), 142 Ill.2d 410, 469, 154 Ill.Dec. 534, 568 N.E.2d 755; People v. Gaines (1981), 88 Ill.2d 342, 374-79, 58 Ill.Dec. 795, 430 N.E.2d 1046), and therefore t......
  • People v. Howard, No. 65473
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • December 19, 1991
    ...108 S.Ct. at 2332-33, 101 L.Ed.2d at 174-75, (O'Connor, J., joined by Blackmun, J., concurring in the judgment); People v. Morgan (1991), 142 Ill.2d 410, 466-67, 154 Ill.Dec. 534, 568 N.E.2d 755; People v. Steidl (1991), 142 Ill.2d 204, 255-56, 154 Ill.Dec. 616, 568 N.E.2d 837; People v. Fi......
  • People v. Cloutier, No. 72074
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • October 21, 1993
    ...required in Illinois, and the trial court was not required to pose defendant's tendered questions. See, e.g., People v. Morgan (1991), 142 Ill.2d 410, 469, 154 Ill.Dec. 534, 568 N.E.2d 755, reversed (1992), 504 U.S. 719, 112 S.Ct. 2222, 119 L.Ed.2d 492; People v. Brisbon (1985), 106 Ill.2d ......
  • People v. Simms, No. 69078
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • April 18, 1991
    ...of the investigation is admissible even if it suggests that a nontestifying witness implicated the defendant. (People v. Morgan (1991), 142 Ill.2d 410, 447, 154 Ill.Dec. 534, 568 N.E.2d 755; People v. Gacho (1988), 122 Ill.2d 221, 248-49, 119 Ill.Dec. 287, 522 N.E.2d 1146; People v. Holman ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
86 cases
  • People v. Gosier, No. 69277
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • September 19, 1991
    ...his right to allocution. This court has held that there is no right to allocution at a death sentencing hearing (People v. Morgan (1991), 142 Ill.2d 410, 469, 154 Ill.Dec. 534, 568 N.E.2d 755; People v. Gaines (1981), 88 Ill.2d 342, 374-79, 58 Ill.Dec. 795, 430 N.E.2d 1046), and therefore t......
  • People v. Howard, No. 65473
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • December 19, 1991
    ...108 S.Ct. at 2332-33, 101 L.Ed.2d at 174-75, (O'Connor, J., joined by Blackmun, J., concurring in the judgment); People v. Morgan (1991), 142 Ill.2d 410, 466-67, 154 Ill.Dec. 534, 568 N.E.2d 755; People v. Steidl (1991), 142 Ill.2d 204, 255-56, 154 Ill.Dec. 616, 568 N.E.2d 837; People v. Fi......
  • People v. Cloutier, No. 72074
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • October 21, 1993
    ...required in Illinois, and the trial court was not required to pose defendant's tendered questions. See, e.g., People v. Morgan (1991), 142 Ill.2d 410, 469, 154 Ill.Dec. 534, 568 N.E.2d 755, reversed (1992), 504 U.S. 719, 112 S.Ct. 2222, 119 L.Ed.2d 492; People v. Brisbon (1985), 106 Ill.2d ......
  • People v. Simms, No. 69078
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • April 18, 1991
    ...of the investigation is admissible even if it suggests that a nontestifying witness implicated the defendant. (People v. Morgan (1991), 142 Ill.2d 410, 447, 154 Ill.Dec. 534, 568 N.E.2d 755; People v. Gacho (1988), 122 Ill.2d 221, 248-49, 119 Ill.Dec. 287, 522 N.E.2d 1146; People v. Holman ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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