People v. Valladares, Docket No. 1–11–2010.

CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois
Citation994 N.E.2d 938,374 Ill.Dec. 1,2013 IL App (1st) 112010
Docket NumberDocket No. 1–11–2010.
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff–Appellee, v. Berly VALLADARES, Defendant–Appellant.
Decision Date24 July 2013

2013 IL App (1st) 112010
994 N.E.2d 938
374 Ill.Dec.

The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff–Appellee,
Berly VALLADARES, Defendant–Appellant.

Docket No. 1–11–2010.

Appellate Court of Illinois,
First District, Third Division.

July 24, 2013.

[994 N.E.2d 941]

Samuel Adam and Lauren Kaeseberg, of Chicago, for appellant.

Anita M. Alvarez, State's Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J. Spellberg and Jon Walters, Assistant State's Attorneys, of counsel), for the People.

[994 N.E.2d 942]

Justice HYMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

[374 Ill.Dec. 5]OPINION

¶ 1 Defendant Berly Valladares provided a gun to a fellow gang member, Narcisco Gatica, who was upset after being denied entrance to a neighborhood party. Gatica then fired the gun into a crowd at the party, killing Francisco “Frankie” Valencia and seriously injuring Daisy Camacho. After a jury trial, Valladares was convicted, under an accountability theory, of first degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. Valladares's position, from the time of his police interview through his trial testimony, was that he had never been told, nor did he have any idea, that Gatica would use the gun he provided to commit a crime. Valladares was sentenced to 55 years for first degree murder, which included 15 years for the enhancement, armed with a firearm, and a consecutive sentence of 15 years for aggravated battery with a firearm.

¶ 2 Valladares contends his conviction must be reversed, claiming he received ineffective assistance of counsel because trial counsel failed to meet with him, did not file a motion to suppress his statements to the police, and agreed to the admission of prejudicial gang evidence. Valladares also contends the jury instructions did not properly instruct the jury on the law of accountability. Lastly, Valladares contends his conviction cannot stand where the State failed to present any corroborating evidence, other than his own statements, to prove corpus delicti, in other words, that a crime occurred.

¶ 3 Based on a thorough review of the record, we are unpersuaded trial counsel's representation was ineffective where counsel chose to proceed without filing a motion to suppress Valladares's statements to the police or limit the admission of gang evidence, decisions, in light of the defense theory, properly considered by the trial court to be ones of trial strategy. We also find the trial court's question concerning accountability during voir dire legally permissible and hold the trial court properly refused to instruct the jury with the defense-requested instruction, where an Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction on accountability informed the jury of the law. Lastly, the evidence, when viewed in a standpoint most favorable to the State, supports Valladares's convictions where the prosecution offered sufficient evidence of corpus delicti of first degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. Accordingly, we uphold Valladares's convictions.


¶ 5 Jacqueline Iberra testified at trial that on Halloween, October 31, 2009, she rented a house at 1752 N. Rockwell, Chicago, to throw a birthday party for her then-boyfriend Marco Rios. A gate blocking the gangway limited access to the house. The party began at 10:30 p.m. and most of the invited guests came from Elgin, dressed in costume. Around 12:30 a.m., Iberra learned that three uninvited men, including Gatica, were trying to enter the party through the gangway. She had never seen the men before. Iberra and Rios asked them to leave and when the men lingered for a few minutes, escorted them out. No physical altercation occurred.

¶ 6 A short time later, Iberra heard what she thought were firecrackers. She ran to the door and saw guest Alejandro Sanchez carrying Daisy Camacho inside. Camacho was bleeding from her neck. Iberra went outside where she saw Frankie Valencia, who had come to the party with Camacho, sitting next to a wall and bleeding. Neither Camacho nor Valencia was involved in asking the three uninvited men to leave.

[994 N.E.2d 943]

[374 Ill.Dec. 6]¶ 7 Marco Rios testified that he and Iberra controlled access to the party by opening and closing the gate. After escorting the three uninvited men from the party, he heard five gunshots. Rios ran outside and saw Camacho bleeding from her neck and Valencia holding his chest.

¶ 8 Alejandro Sanchez testified he arrived at the party around 1 a.m. expecting to see Manuel Molina and Camacho. He called Molina to come open the gate for him and walked through the gangway with Molina, Camacho, and Valencia before hearing four to six gunshots coming from the gate. After he saw that Camacho had been shot, he carried her inside. Sanchez was unable to identify the shooter.

¶ 9 Camacho testified concerning the events leading up to the moment she realized she and Valencia had been shot. Camacho and Valencia attended DePaul University together. The party was thrown by Camacho's high school friends. She testified she did not see the shooter.

¶ 10 Valencia was shot three times-twice in the chest and once in the arm. Dr. Arangelovich testified Valencia died from multiple gunshot wounds and that the manner of death was homicide.

¶ 11 Chicago police forensic investigator Joseph Dunigan arrived at the scene around 3:15 a.m. Five fired shell cases were recovered from the front yard of the property. A little over a block away, at 1844 N. Rockwell, Dunigan recovered a semiautomatic firearm from under the porch. No latent impressions or fingerprints suitable for comparison were recovered from the firearm. The parties stipulated that the recovered firearm matched the fired bullets, five fired shell cases, and a fired bullet jacket fragment found at the scene as well as bullets found in Valencia's body.

¶ 12 The parties stipulated that a video recording system was operating in the area of 1752 N. Rockwell. One camera captured images of the sidewalk and surrounding area, one camera captured images of the gangway between 1752 and 1754 N. Rockwell, and one camera captured images from the alley behind 1752 and 1754 N. Rockwell. The individuals on the video were not identifiable.

¶ 13 The parties also stipulated to the records of Valladares's Sprint Nextel cellular telephone and Gatica's T–Mobile cellular telephone. FBI special agent Joseph Raschke performed an analysis of the two phones for the period from 12:44 a.m. to 1:48 a.m. on November 1, 2009, and plotted out the geographic locations of the phones. In his opinion, the two phones were consistently co-located in close proximity to each other and the crime scene. There were a total of eight calls between the two phones from 12:45 to 1:46 a.m., four from Valladares's phone and four from Narcisco Gatica's phone, each lasting under a minute.

¶ 14 Chicago police detective Michael Landando was assigned to the case on November 2, 2009. He reviewed reports and videotapes showing the front and rear of the rented house.

¶ 15 The detectives concentrated their investigation on the members of the Maniac Latin Disciples (MLD) gang because there were two factions of the gang in that area of Rockwell. Detective Landando testified he interviewed several MLD members. The detectives spoke with individuals who stated they had seen Valladares walking with Gatica around the time of the shooting. Eliezer “Peanut” Contreras, who did not testify at trial, told detectives he saw Gatica holding a gun and fire it at the rented house. He said he did not see Valladares hand a gun to Gatica. Jovanny “Magic” Carrera, who also did not testify at trial, told detectives he was a few houses down from the rented house at the time of the shooting and that he saw Valladares and Gatica walking southbound on [374 Ill.Dec. 7]

[994 N.E.2d 944]

Rockwell and then heard gunshots a few minutes later. He did not see the shooting, but heard from others that Gatica had been the shooter.

¶ 16 On the morning of November 3, Detectives Landando and John Valkner went to Melrose Park to interview Valladares at his place of work. Detective Landando told Valladares he was investigating a homicide that took place on Halloween night on Rockwell and that because several people had seen Valladares during the shooting, Detective Landando wanted to interview him. Valladares agreed to accompany the detectives and talk with them. Detective Landando drove Valladares to Area 5 police headquarters.

¶ 17 Detective Landando testified that during the ride, and before any conversations, he advised Valladares of his Miranda rights because the police were unsure of the extent of Valladares's knowledge or involvement in the shooting. Valladares acknowledged he understood his rights and indicated he would talk with the detectives. Valladares stated he was a member of the MLD gang and that on the night of the shooting, he had been at North and Washtenaw drinking. Around midnight, as he was walking northbound, he saw four fellow gang members, whom he identified as Joe, Peanut, Silencer and Mickey. Valladares stated Mickey told him he had been pushed and asked Valladares to get a gun. Valladares thought Mickey might have been pushed by a rival gang member, a Cobra or Spanish Lord. Valladares told the detectives they would probably find his fingerprints on the gun because he gave it to Mickey. Detective Landando testified that at this point in Valladares's statement, he became a suspect and was placed under arrest. Valladares was not questioned any further until they arrived at Area 5.

¶ 18 Detective Landando testified Valladares “readily agreed” to go to Area 5 with the detectives and that he was cooperative, answering all the questions in the car without hesitation. Detective Landando stated he had no reason to believe Valladares would have stopped talking about the incident on his own and that he stopped questioning Valladares in the car because he wanted to preserve what Valladares said.

¶ 19 At Area 5, the detectives activated the audio and video recording...

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12 cases
  • People v. Richardson, 1–11–3075.
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • 25 March 2015
    ...). In the instant Richardson has not presented an arguable claim of prejudice. See People v. Valladares, 2013 IL App (1st) 112010, ¶ 70, 374 Ill.Dec. 1, 994 N.E.2d 938 (if a claim of ineffectiveness may be disposed of due to lack of prejudice, a reviewing court is not required to address wh......
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    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 13 April 2020
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    • 22 August 2017
    ...assistance of counsel is fulfilled by competent, not perfect representation. People v. Valladares, 2013 IL App (1st) 112010, ¶ 52, 374 Ill.Dec. 1, 994 N.E.2d 938. ¶ 36 Ramsey claims his lawyer failed to object to leading questions asked of F.S. on direct examination and was unable to impeac......
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