Summaries 9/23/08 – Reeves

People v. Reeves, No. 1-06-0594


This case was a capital case in front of Judge Urso in the Rolling Meadows Courthouse.  It involved two defendants, Reeves and Chambers.  The defendant’s were both convicted by juries but the sentencing was done by bench, and Judge Urso sentenced them to life in prison and not death.


Reeves raised six issues on appeal:


(1) reasonable doubt as to the  aggravated kidnapping;

(2) discovery violations on the part of the State;

(3) denial of the right to exercise his peremptory challenges “in a meaningful way”;

(4) improper admission of testimony about a three-way sexual encounter with an unrelated woman and codefendant Chambers in the days before the murder;

(5) death eligibility as required for a sentence of natural life; and

(6) improper imposition of sentences consecutive to natural life.

Issues 1 and 5 were affirmed without too much discussion of the matter.  Number 3 was affirmed because the issue was minimal – the defense attorney talked to the jurors about the fact that evidence of a false confession was going to be presented.  The State objected and the Court told the attorney to present the issue in selection as less a fait d’accompli than that.  They never went back to the subject and therefore essentially, but not specifically, waived the issue.


Issue four was affirmed for the following reason:  defendant and co-defendant had engaged in many discussions of going through with this type of crime by email and phone, etc over a long course of time.  Reeves testified that he followed through on the plans because he was scared of Chambers, the co-defendant.  The court allowed testimony of the tryst and the appellate court affirmed that decision because they felt that evidence of group sex with your co-defendant was appropriate rebuttal to the issue of whether you were scared of him.


The discovery issue in number 2 is a cautionary tale to defense lawyers.  The tape was of the defendant sleeping in a holding cell in the Carol Stream Police Department.  It had been disclosed but not tendered – it was made available to the Defendant’s attorney for viewing.  The defense put forth a theory that his confession was not trustworthy because he’d been awake for two days in holding.  Unfortunately the tape showed him sleeping, and  the defense attorney had never viewed it.  Making it available is all they need to do, of course, under the supreme court rules.


And finally, as to number 6, the Appellate court said that the sentences for aggravated kidnapping and could not be consecutive pursuant to prior court rulings, primarily People v. Dixon, 366 Ill. App. 3d 848, 853 N.E.2d 1235.

Explore posts in the same categories: Crime, crime and punishment, Law

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