People v. Stanley

Citation186 Ill.Dec. 295,615 N.E.2d 1352,246 Ill.App.3d 393
Decision Date30 June 1993
Docket NumberNo. 4-92-0246,4-92-0246
Parties, 186 Ill.Dec. 295 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Keith Allen STANLEY, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois

Daniel D. Yuhas, Deputy Defender, Office of State Appellate Defender, Springfield, Lawrence J. Essig, Assistant Defender (argued), for defendant-appellant.

Donald M. Cadagin, State's Atty., Norbert J. Goetten, Director State's Attys. Appellate Prosecutor, Springfield, Robert J. Biderman, Deputy Director, David E. Mannchen, Staff Atty. (argued), for plaintiff-appellee.

Justice COOK delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a jury trial, defendant Keith Allen Stanley was convicted of first degree murder and aggravated battery. (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 38, pars. 9-1, 12-4.) The trial court sentenced Stanley to concurrent terms of 95 years' imprisonment for murder and 10 years' imprisonment for aggravated battery. Stanley appeals the convictions and sentences, arguing: (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion attacking the propriety of the jury selection process; (2) the trial court erred in admitting blood-frequency probabilities; (3) the conviction for aggravated battery should be vacated as an included offense of first degree murder; and (4) defense counsel's failure to present mitigating evidence at sentencing amounted to ineffective assistance of counsel. We affirm in part and vacate in part.

On April 18, 1991, defendant was charged by information with four counts of first degree murder (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 38, pars. 9-1(a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3)) and aggravated battery (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 38, par. 12-4(a)). The charges stemmed from an incident that occurred on or about January 6, 1991, in which John Miletta was stabbed and killed. The incident occurred at Miletta's home, where he lived alone. Miletta was 73 years old at the time of his death, suffered from Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, and walked with a cane.

Carolyn Madison testified she met John Miletta in 1985 or 1986, and did housework for him for four to five years prior to his death. Miletta paid her approximately $200 per month for housekeeping. After four to six months, the two developed a sexual relationship. Madison testified she met defendant at a rehabilitation center in October 1990 and they became intimately involved shortly thereafter. Defendant began going to Miletta's house to help Madison with the housework. Madison testified that she and defendant forged some of Miletta's checks.

On January 4, 1991, Madison held a birthday party for her son at her mother's house, attended by both Miletta and defendant. She drove Miletta home sometime between 7:30 and 9 p.m. She stayed at Miletta's home overnight and awoke at approximately 10:30 a.m. She and Miletta then got dressed and went to the bank. Miletta attempted to cash a check at the drive-in window but the teller informed him his account balance was extremely low. Miletta went inside the bank and was later joined by Madison. A bank officer told Miletta his account was almost empty and that someone was forging his checks. Madison then told Miletta that defendant was the person forging Miletta's checks. Miletta appeared visibly upset when the two left the bank at approximately 1 p.m.

Madison returned home alone at approximately 3:30 p.m. where defendant was waiting for her. Madison accused defendant of stealing from Miletta and informed him that Miletta had discovered the forgeries. At approximately 7 p.m., she returned to Miletta's house, where she received several phone calls from defendant. Madison told defendant she would meet him at a McDonald's restaurant. She left Miletta's house at approximately 9:30 p.m. to meet defendant but did not see him at the McDonald's restaurant so she went home. At approximately 4 a.m., Madison was awakened by defendant, who told her he had driven to Miletta's house but did not see the car so he left. Defendant was wearing jeans, a green army jacket, and black shoes. Defendant told Madison he was going to leave Springfield and that he had left his mark on Springfield. Defendant stayed with Madison overnight and awoke at approximately 10:30 a.m. Madison drove defendant to the place he was staying at noon, then drove alone to Miletta's house. She went inside but did not see Miletta. She returned several times to Miletta's house but each time she found the house empty. The next morning Madison returned to Miletta's house but he was still not there. Later, the police arrived and she allowed them to search the house. At that time, the police discovered Miletta's body covered with clothes in the basement.

The police noticed what they believed to be blood on the carpeting, stairway, and kitchen floor. Near the body the police discovered a dented portable propane torch which appeared to have blood smeared on the canister. The police also observed a bedsheet and paper sack covering what appeared to be a blood trail from the body. When the clothes around the body were removed, the police found the body lying facedown with arms above the head. The police recovered a mop which was behind the kitchen door leading to the basement. The mop had a reddish stain on the sponge and on the handle, and there appeared to be hair on the end of the mop near the sponge. The police also found fingerprints in the reddish stain on the mop handle.

The body had approximately 19 wounds of varying degrees. Dr. Travis Hindman observed two stab wounds in the right shoulder, three wounds to the right of the midline chest, three wounds on the left side at the base of the neck as well as just in front of the left shoulder, a wound along the inside of the lower lip from the left side with damage to a partial denture, a wound over the surface of the base of the thumb joint, a wound at the base of the index finger of the left hand, two wounds to the left side of the back, a wound at the base of the skull on the left side, a wound at the base of the neck, and several wounds on the right side of the back. Hindman stated that some of the injuries were compatible with wounds caused by a knife. Hindman testified that significant force was required to cause the injuries to the lower lip and chest wall, and fracture the skull. He opined the cause of death was hemorrhage due to multiple stab wounds to the body. He testified that the mop and propane tank found at Miletta's house could have caused several of the wounds observed on the back of the skull.

Madison testified that defendant did not like Miletta and had previously told Madison that he would "fix it" so she didn't have to go out there anymore. Madison also recalled that on a previous occasion, when she stayed at Miletta's house, the defendant had discovered her and Miletta sleeping together. While holding a hand sickle, defendant told her that he could have killed both of them. Madison also testified she recalled seeing a knife holder in the kitchen with a full set of six knives. This set was later recovered in the spare bedroom of Miletta's house with only two knives. She also stated that a set of keys recovered at the foot of the stairs by the police belonged to defendant.

On January 8, 1991, the Madison County sheriff's department arrested defendant. Defendant did not admit to the crime but explained that on the night in question he was at a local tavern and eventually went to Madison's house at 3 a.m. Defendant told the police that on the following day he left Springfield for East St. Louis.

At trial, the court admitted the mop with the bloody fingerprint, which was shown to match a fingerprint of the defendant, and defendant's green army jacket and shoes, which were both bloodstained. The jury returned guilty verdicts of first degree murder and aggravated battery. At sentencing, the court found in aggravation that the victim was over 60 years of age and was handicapped, and that the crime was exceptionally brutal and heinous. Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 38, pars. 1005-5-3.2(b)(4)(ii), (b)(4)(iii), (b)(2).

On appeal, defendant initially contends the trial court erred in denying his motion challenging the jury selection. During jury selection, defendant made an oral challenge to the selection process on grounds that no blacks were in the venire thereby precluding defendant, who was black, from receiving a fair and impartial trial. The trial court replied:

"I'm going to allow you to make that motion, but I am going to continue with the jury process. At this time I haven't seen a written motion. A motion such as that needs to be in writing so that the State can respond, and during the course of the trial I'll allow you--you're not waiving that issue, but we're going to proceed."

After the close of the State's evidence, on the fourth day of the jury trial, defendant filed his written motion. The trial court denied the motion as untimely. At the hearing on defendant's post-trial motion, defendant again challenged the jury selection process. In denying the motion, the trial court stated that "no evidence" had been presented to show any pattern of excluding blacks from the jury.

Section 114-3 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 expressly provides that an objection to the manner in which a jury panel has been selected or drawn "shall be in writing supported by affidavit and shall state facts which show that the jury panel was improperly selected or drawn" and such motion "shall not be heard after a jury has been sworn to hear the cause." (Ill.Rev.Stat.1989, ch. 38, par. 114-3(b), (a).) The Illinois Supreme Court has held that such an objection is to be made before the jury has been sworn. (People v. Gill (1973), 54 Ill.2d 357, 363, 297 N.E.2d 135, 139.) If a venire has been improperly chosen, the problem may be remedied by the substitution of a new venire if that is done before the jury is sworn. Accordingly, the trial court...

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    • September 1, 1999
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