People v. Williams, 87-0060

CourtUnited States Appellate Court of Illinois
Citation538 N.E.2d 564,131 Ill.Dec. 189,182 Ill.App.3d 598
Docket Number87-0187,No. 87-0060,87-0060
Parties, 131 Ill.Dec. 189 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Emmaline WILLIAMS and Roy Williams, Defendants-Appellants.
Decision Date27 January 1989

Adam Bourgeois, Bourgeois & Null, Mitchell Ware, Jones, Ware & Grenard, Chicago, for Roy Williams.

Richard M. Daley, State's Atty., County of Cook, Inge Fryklund, Michael Brown, Asst. State's Attys. (Marie Quinlivan Czech, Sp. Asst. State's Atty., of counsel, Chicago), for plaintiff-appellee.

Presiding Justice MURRAY delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a joint-bench trial, at which defendants were represented by the same attorney, Roy Williams (defendant) was convicted of rape and sentenced to a 19-year term, and his wife Emmaline Williams (codefendant) was convicted of indecent liberties The complainant was 13 years old in 1982 when she was adopted by defendant and codefendant. In 1984 she was living with them and several other children in a Chicago house. Complainant slept in an upstairs bedroom while defendant and codefendant had a bedroom on the first floor of the residence.

[131 Ill.Dec. 190] with a child and sentenced to a 12-year term. In these consolidated appeals defendant and codefendant contend that their joint representation was improper due to their counsel's conflict of interest; that counsel was incompetent; and that improper hearsay evidence was presented at trial. Codefendant raises an additional argument concerning the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain her conviction.

Complainant testified that about 9 p.m. on a date in April 1984 complainant was in her bedroom when codefendant called her and asked her to come downstairs. When complainant did, codefendant asked complainant to do her a favor as they both went into the first-floor bedroom. There complainant saw defendant lying naked on the bed. Codefendant then obstructed complainant's exit from the bedroom, removed complainant's clothes and forced complainant onto the bed where defendant began to sexually molest complainant as codefendant disrobed. At one point complainant was lying on the bed between defendant and codefendant. Defendant eventually got on top of complainant and raped her as codefendant held one of complainant's hands telling complainant that she loved her. Codefendant then sexually molested complainant both in the bedroom and when complainant went into the bathroom shortly thereafter.

Complainant told the accused's 19-year-old daughter of the occurrence but the latter did not believe her. Two weeks after the incident she addressed a letter, which was presented at trial, to her former foster mother explaining the occurrence, but she did not mail it. In June 1985 complainant left her adoptive parents' home after codefendant beat and tried to sexually molest her, and she returned to the home of her former foster mother who notified police. She then gave police the letter.

Chicago police officer Joseph Lux investigated the matter and on the evening of June 17, 1985, he arrested codefendant at her home upon serving her with a search warrant. After he advised codefendant of her Miranda rights, she waived those rights and told Officer Lux that she was present when defendant had consensual intercourse with complainant. Officer Lux then arrested defendant, and he too waived his Miranda rights. Defendant told Officer Lux that codefendant had brought complainant to their bedroom while he was lying naked on the bed. Codefendant instructed complainant to remove her clothes, then both held complainant down on the bed by her arms so defendant could have sexual intercourse with her. Thereafter both forcibly fondled complainant. The substance of this statement was reduced to writing and defendant signed it.

The police then confronted codefendant with defendant's statement. Codefendant told the officer that those events must have occurred if defendant said that they did.

Codefendant testified. She denied that the events recounted by complainant occurred. She also denied making any oral incriminating admissions to police.

Defendant testified. He denied having sexual relations with complainant, and he denied that he knew the contents of the written statement he signed. First, he claimed that Officer Lux told him that codefendant made a written statement, that no one would believe him because he was a black man and that he would receive a substantial sentence. However, if he confessed, Lux told him that he could receive probation. Then an assistant State's Attorney presented him with a written account, which defendant did not read or know its content before he signed, although he told the latter that nothing had occurred with complainant.

Both defendant and codefendant contend that representation by the same counsel during their joint-bench trial was improper because a conflict of interest existed. Codefendant In People v. Jones (1988), 121 Ill.2d 21, 117 Ill.Dec. 164, 520 N.E.2d 325, the Illinois Supreme Court considered in consolidated appeals "whether joint representation of defendants establishes a sixth amendment claim of denial of the effective assistance of counsel when it is alleged that the admission of inculpatory and inconsistent pretrial statements from each defendant and codefendant created a conflict of interest." (121 Ill.2d 21, 24, 117 Ill.Dec. 164, 520 N.E.2d 325.) In neither consolidated case in Jones, as here, did defense counsel indicate to the trial court that any potential conflict might exist. One of the consolidated cases involved the appeal of defendant Harris who along with a codefendant Jones was jointly tried for armed robbery. Both defendant and codefendant made pretrial statements; Jones' statement implicated Harris and exculpated himself while Harris' statement exculpated both. At trial Jones denied making his pretrial statement and adopted Harris' version of events. The supreme court noted that Jones had repudiated his earlier inculpatory statement and asserted a claim consistent with Harris' position stating, "Counsel for Harris had no reason to cross-examine Jones when he testified favorably to Harris." (121 Ill.2d 21, 31, 117 Ill.Dec. 164, 520 N.E.2d 325.) Harris' conviction was thus affirmed. In the second consolidated case defendants Mosley and Ross were jointly represented at trial and both had made pretrial statements inculpating both in murder and armed robbery. Mosley repudiated his statement at trial as coerced, but Ross did not testify. The supreme court found that no hostility existed between defendants because Mosley repudiated his confession and Ross did not have to impeach Mosley because no amount of impeachment could have produced a more favorable result. (121 Ill.2d 21, 33, 117 Ill.Dec. 164, 520 N.E.2d 325.) However, since Ross did not testify and his pretrial confession implicated Mosley, the supreme court concluded that his confession went to the jury unrepudiated and unimpeached thereby violating Mosley's right to confrontation. "[W]hen Ross declined to testify, there was no way that Mosley's attorney [who also represented Ross] could effectively deal with the implicating statement." (121 Ill.2d 21, 34, 117 Ill.Dec. 164, 520 N.E.2d 325.) The supreme court then affirmed Ross' conviction but granted Mosley a new trial.

[131 Ill.Dec. 191] claims that this conflict was manifested by the introduction of defendant's statement without restriction which implicated her even though repudiated by defendant. She also maintains that because of their joint representation she was not able to fully cross-examine defendant without using information acquired in counsel's professional responsibility to defendant. Defendant claims that prior to trial the court could not have known that a conflict existed with codefendant. Defendant asserts, however, that when codefendant's statement implicating him in the offense was introduced, a conflict was evident, yet the trial court did not inquire into the conflict nor admonish both accused that they had a right to be represented by counsel with undivided loyalties.

We believe that Jones negates the claims in the present consolidated appeals that their counsel operated under a conflict of interest. Codefendant testified and denied making any incriminating statement, and defendant claimed that his written admission was not intelligently made or true. Consequently, we do not believe that defendant or codefendant can establish a meritorious claim that their joint representation was improper because each could not cross-examine the other as to the respective pretrial statements. There was no conflict of interest in the joint representation of which the trial court was required to sua sponte advise defendant and codefendant.

Both defendant and codefendant advance claims that they were denied effective assistance of trial counsel. Defendant contends that his counsel was ineffective because counsel (1) failed to question the voluntariness of his confession; (2) failed to prepare adequately for trial by not reviewing the discovery materials tendered by the State, specifically, the letter written by complainant to her foster mother; (3) failed to object to the letter as hearsay; (4) failed to move for a severance when codefendant To establish ineffectiveness of trial counsel defendant must show that counsel's conduct fell below an objective standard of reasonableness under prevailing professional norms and that defendant was so prejudiced by counsel's deficient performance that he was denied a fair trial. (People v. Harris (1988), 123 Ill.2d 113, 155, 122 Ill.Dec. 76, 526 N.E.2d 335.) In the present case we believe that many of the claimed deficiencies were merely questions of trial strategy. First, a severance could be granted upon a...

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  • People v. McGee
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • November 30, 1994
    ...... (See People v. DiGuida (1992), 152 Ill.2d 104, 178 Ill.Dec. 80, 604 N.E.2d 336; see also People v. Williams (1989), 182 Ill.App.3d 598, 644-67, 131 Ill.Dec. 189, 538 N.E.2d 564 (Pincham, J., dissenting) (traces history of independent analysis under Illinois Constitution).) Our supreme court has ruled that the Illinois Constitution provides greater protection against governmental invasions of a person's ......
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    ...... It was not until after defendant left that Clerk saw Armstrong with a weapon. .         Moreover, the defendant never reported the April 21 incident to the police. See People v. Williams (1989), 205 Ill.App.3d 751, 150 Ill.Dec. 635, 563 N.E.2d 762 (defendant never reported prior incident where victim allegedly shot defendant, two weeks before defendant killed the victim). .         Nor did the defendant specifically mention the April 21 incident in his statement to the ......
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