People v. Reed, No. 1-96-3899

CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtSHEILA M. O'BRIEN
Citation698 N.E.2d 620,298 Ill.App.3d 285
Docket NumberNo. 1-96-3899
Decision Date27 July 1998
Parties, 232 Ill.Dec. 529 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Keith REED, Defendant-Appellant.

Page 620

698 N.E.2d 620
298 Ill.App.3d 285, 232 Ill.Dec. 529
The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Keith REED, Defendant-Appellant.
No. 1-96-3899.
Appellate Court of Illinois,
First District, First Division.
July 27, 1998.

Page 624

[298 Ill.App.3d 289] [232 Ill.Dec. 533] Office of the State Appellate Defender, Chicago (Donna Finch, of counsel), for defendant-appellant.

State's Attorney of Cook County, Chicago (Renee Goldfarb, James Fitzgerald, Jessica R. Ball, of counsel), for plaintiff-appellee.

Justice SHEILA M. O'BRIEN delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a bench trial, defendant, Keith Reed, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(1), (a)(2) (West 1996)) and sentenced to 60-years' imprisonment. On appeal, he contends: (1) he was denied his sixth amendment right to counsel when the trial court ordered his attorney to withdraw from the case; (2) his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance; (3) the trial court evidenced personal bias against him; (4) the State failed to prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (5) the trial court abused its discretion when sentencing him; (6) the cumulative effect of the errors denied him a fair trial; and (7) one of his two murder convictions should be vacated. We affirm defendant's conviction under section 9-1(a)(1), and vacate his conviction under section 9-1(a)(2).

At trial, Crystal Thomas testified she met defendant on May 23, 1992, and they became boyfriend and girlfriend. Crystal had a 21-month-old son, Kevin, by a previous relationship, and she and Kevin sometimes spent the night with defendant at his house on 5927 South Carpenter.

Crystal testified that in June 1992, her sister gave defendant's phone number to Kevin's father, who proceeded to call defendant's house on numerous occasions in order to speak with Crystal. Defendant apparently did not like Kevin's father calling Crystal, and after one such phone conversation between Kevin's father and Crystal, defendant threw some furniture and slammed a door.

On July 20, 1992, Kevin was playing in the bedroom of Crystal's mother's house. As he jumped up and down on the bed, Kevin tumbled over and hit his head on a window pane. Crystal applied some ice to Kevin's head, after which he resumed his play. Later that afternoon, Kevin hit his head on a glass table in Crystal's mother's living room. [298 Ill.App.3d 290] Crystal applied some cold water to stop the bleeding, and Kevin again resumed his play.

Later that evening, Crystal and Kevin went to defendant's house, where they spent the next five days. On July 21 and July 22, 1992, Crystal noticed some new injures to Kevin, specifically, a discoloration of his eye and a little cut on the side of his lip. She asked defendant about the cause of Kevin's injuries, and defendant responded that the cut lip was from a "rug burn" and the discolored eye resulted from some bacteria or dust.

On July 24, 1992, Crystal and defendant had an argument concerning the frequent phone calls from Kevin's father. Defendant wanted the phone calls to stop, and he wanted to know whether Crystal intended to get back together with Kevin's father. During the argument, defendant knocked over some items that were sitting on the dining room table, punched and broke a fan, and swung a trophy around.

Later that evening, Crystal gave Kevin a bath. She did not notice any injuries to his chest or abdomen at that time. Kevin slept in defendant's room that night, while defendant and Crystal slept in the living room.

The following morning, July 25, 1992, Kevin woke up, walked into the living room, and sat down next to Crystal and defendant. Crystal testified that Kevin had no problem walking out from the bedroom.

Defendant then brought Kevin back into defendant's bedroom, where Kevin went back to sleep. Crystal took a bath and got ready to run some errands. Before leaving, she checked on Kevin, who was sleeping in only a

Page 625

[232 Ill.Dec. 534] diaper. Crystal did not notice any marks on Kevin's chest, nor did she notice anything wrong with him.

Crystal returned to the house around 3 p.m. and was met there by defendant's brother, who told her that Kevin was at Wyler's Children's Hospital. Crystal went to the hospital, where she was told that her baby was in surgery. A policeman then took her to 39th and California, where they questioned her and told her that Kevin was dead.

Officer Joseph Battaglia testified that at about 12:40 p.m. on July 25, 1992, he received a call about a possible child abuse victim at 5927 South Carpenter. He arrived at the house within two minutes of the call. After speaking with defendant's brother and another officer, Battaglia drove to Wyler's Children's Hospital, where he spoke with defendant about the child, Kevin.

Defendant explained to Officer Battaglia that Kevin was his girlfriend's (Crystal Thomas') child, and that Crystal and Kevin had been staying with him that week. Defendant told Officer Battaglia that Crystal went shopping that morning at about 9 a.m. and left [298 Ill.App.3d 291] Kevin with defendant. While Crystal was out, Kevin began to "look sick," so defendant's brother called paramedics via 911. Officer Battaglia asked defendant whether he had ever seen Crystal harm Kevin in any fashion, and defendant responded negatively.

Detectives John McCann and Louis Caesar testified that around 2 p.m. on July 25, 1992, they received an assignment to proceed to Wyler's Children's Hospital regarding a seriously injured child, possibly the result of child abuse. At the hospital, the detectives spoke with Officer Battaglia and learned that Kevin was receiving medical treatment and that defendant was present in the hospital.

The detectives interviewed defendant in a police room in the hospital. Defendant told the detectives that around 9:30 a.m. on July 25, Crystal left his house, leaving defendant alone with Kevin. The baby was asleep when Crystal left.

Defendant further told the detectives that Kevin woke up around noon, and defendant went to change his diaper. At that time, defendant noticed that Kevin was having trouble walking. Defendant picked up Kevin, carried him to a rocking chair, and gave him a bottle. Defendant noticed that Kevin's eyes did not look right and that he appeared "spacey."

Defendant called his brother, who was a former medical technician. The brother came to the house, looked at Kevin, and told defendant that Kevin appeared to have problems with his abdomen and that his hands were white, cold, and clammy. The brother told defendant to call the paramedics. The paramedics arrived and took Kevin to the hospital.

Detectives McCann and Caesar testified they checked on Kevin after talking to defendant. The doctor showed them Kevin's body; he had been pronounced dead around 2:30 p.m. When viewing the body, Detective Caesar noticed swelling on the back of Kevin's head, a laceration of the lip, a dark eye, and bruises across his chest and abdomen.

Detectives McCann and Caesar testified they later took defendant to the police station at 39th and California, where they spoke with him in an interview room on the third floor. Defendant told the detectives that he had called the paramedics because Kevin "looked funny" when he woke up. Detective Caesar asked about the injuries to Kevin's lip and the back of his head, and defendant responded that Crystal had told him that Kevin hit his head on a table and while playing on a bed at her mother's house. Defendant stated he did not know how Kevin suffered the injuries that caused his death.

Detectives McCann and Caesar attended Kevin's autopsy on July 26, which was performed by Doctor Edmond Donoghue. Doctor Donoghue testified that he found extensive bruising on Kevin's head, chest, [298 Ill.App.3d 292] abdomen, arms, and legs. There was also a large area of hemorrhage beneath the scalp on the right and left side of the head. Doctor Donoghue found 14 internal injuries in the chest and abdominal cavity. Doctor Donoghue testified that Kevin died of multiple injuries due to blunt trauma and that the injuries were of the type seen in an automobile accident or in a child who had fallen

Page 626

[232 Ill.Dec. 535] out of a third-story window. Doctor Donoghue opined that Kevin's internal injuries happened only hours before his death.

Detectives McCann and Caesar testified they thereafter brought defendant back in for questioning. Around 6 p.m. on July 26, Detective Caesar spoke with defendant and asked if he knew how Kevin had been injured. Defendant told Detective Caesar that on July 25, 1992, when he brought Kevin from the front room to the bedroom, Kevin slipped out of his hand. Defendant caught Kevin on his forearm "kind of roughly"; defendant said that Kevin might have hurt his abdomen then. Defendant also told Detective Caesar that he played with Kevin later that morning by tossing him up in the air. Defendant opined that Kevin could have been injured then as well.

Defendant further told Detective Caesar that he had rearranged some furniture in his house on July 25. At one point, defendant retrieved a dolly from the basement in order to move the entertainment center. Kevin got behind him, so defendant slapped Kevin in the chest with the back of his right hand. Kevin fell into the couch and whimpered a little bit.

Defendant told Detective Caesar that he later noticed Kevin by a table, playing with some books and a prom mug. When Kevin grabbed the mug, defendant again back handed him on the chest, causing Kevin to fall down. Defendant then picked Kevin up and placed him on a couch. Around noon, he prepared a bath for Kevin. However, when defendant tried to walk Kevin toward the bath, Kevin was unable to walk correctly; he kept falling down. Defendant then called his brother, who came over and said the baby did not look right. Specifically, defendant's brother stated that Kevin's abdomen looked abnormal, that he was...

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17 practice notes
  • People v. Turner, No. 1-00-3452.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 24 Enero 2003
    ...the substance of the petition's allegations, we may affirm the trial court on any basis supported by the record. People v. Reed, 298 Ill.App.3d 285, 295, 232 Ill.Dec. 529, 698 N.E.2d 620 (1998). Here, the record amply demonstrates that defendant did not file his petition within the limitati......
  • People v. Rivera, No. 112467.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 25 Marzo 2013
    ...133 Ill.2d 226, 253, 139 Ill.Dec. 728, 549 N.E.2d 240 (1989) (quoting Wheat, 486 U.S. at 160–61, 108 S.Ct. 1692). ¶ 41 People v. Reed, 298 Ill.App.3d 285, 232 Ill.Dec. 529, 698 N.E.2d 620 (1998), is on point with the facts in this case. The defendant argued that he was deprived of his sixth......
  • People ex rel. Ryan v. Village of Hanover Park, No. 1-98-3752
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 30 Diciembre 1999
    ...inquiry is whether a reasonable, innocent person in his situation would conclude that he was not free to leave." People v. Reed, 298 Ill.App.3d 285, 298, 232 Ill.Dec. 529, 698 N.E.2d 620 (1998). In the context of DUI driving offenses, Illinois courts refer to the same standard while also ac......
  • People v. Bloomingburg, No. 1-02-2359.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 3 Febrero 2004
    ...of the Strickland standard. People v. Johnson, 128 Ill.2d 253, 270, 131 Ill.Dec. 562, 538 N.E.2d 1118 (1989); People v. Reed, 298 Ill.App.3d 285, 301, 232 Ill.Dec. 529, 698 N.E.2d 620 (1998); People v. Elam, 294 Ill.App.3d 313, 320, 228 Ill.Dec. 603, 689 N.E.2d 662 (1998). Prejudice is only......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • People v. Turner, No. 1-00-3452.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 24 Enero 2003
    ...the substance of the petition's allegations, we may affirm the trial court on any basis supported by the record. People v. Reed, 298 Ill.App.3d 285, 295, 232 Ill.Dec. 529, 698 N.E.2d 620 (1998). Here, the record amply demonstrates that defendant did not file his petition within the limitati......
  • People v. Rivera, No. 112467.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 25 Marzo 2013
    ...133 Ill.2d 226, 253, 139 Ill.Dec. 728, 549 N.E.2d 240 (1989) (quoting Wheat, 486 U.S. at 160–61, 108 S.Ct. 1692). ¶ 41 People v. Reed, 298 Ill.App.3d 285, 232 Ill.Dec. 529, 698 N.E.2d 620 (1998), is on point with the facts in this case. The defendant argued that he was deprived of his sixth......
  • People ex rel. Ryan v. Village of Hanover Park, No. 1-98-3752
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 30 Diciembre 1999
    ...inquiry is whether a reasonable, innocent person in his situation would conclude that he was not free to leave." People v. Reed, 298 Ill.App.3d 285, 298, 232 Ill.Dec. 529, 698 N.E.2d 620 (1998). In the context of DUI driving offenses, Illinois courts refer to the same standard while also ac......
  • People v. Bloomingburg, No. 1-02-2359.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 3 Febrero 2004
    ...of the Strickland standard. People v. Johnson, 128 Ill.2d 253, 270, 131 Ill.Dec. 562, 538 N.E.2d 1118 (1989); People v. Reed, 298 Ill.App.3d 285, 301, 232 Ill.Dec. 529, 698 N.E.2d 620 (1998); People v. Elam, 294 Ill.App.3d 313, 320, 228 Ill.Dec. 603, 689 N.E.2d 662 (1998). Prejudice is only......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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