Supreme Court Summaries

Opinions filed November 21, 2013



People v. Pikes, 2013 IL 115171

Appellate citation: 2012 IL App (1st) 102274.

      CHIEF JUSTICE GARMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

      Justices Freeman, Thomas, Kilbride, Karmeier, Burke, and Theis concurred in the judgment and opinion.

      On August 21, 2006, a drive-by shooting occurred in Chicago in which Lorne Mosley was killed. At the subsequent trial arising from his murder, there was testimony that he had been in a group which included Quentez Robinson, a member of the Gangster Disciples street gang. There was also testimony that a car drove toward the group and that this defendant, Keith Pikes, and his codefendant, Lamont Donagen, were in the vehicle and began shooting at the group. Both of these last-named individuals were members of the rival Four Corner Hustlers gang. They were both charged in the murder and were tried simultaneously before separate juries in the circuit court of Cook County. Pikes, the defendant whose cause is at issue in this appeal, was convicted and received a 27-year prison term.

      Evidence had been introduced at trial concerning a previous incident in which only the codefendant, Donagen, was involved. In that event, which occurred a few days earlier, Donagen had begun shooting, without success, at Robinson, who was on a scooter. A car with Gangster Disciples in it which was following the scooter then drove into Donagen.

      The appellate court was of the view that other-crimes evidence had been improperly introduced and it reversed, remanding for a new trial. In this decision, the Illinois Supreme Court did not agree. It said that the appellate court had erred in analyzing the issue under the rules concerning evidence of other offenses committed by a defendant with which he had not been charged. Since the defendant had no involvement in the earlier incident, those rules do not apply here. Rather, the question is one of relevance. Evidence of a continuing gang war and a motivation for shooting at a group containing a rival gang member was admissible, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion.

      Because the appellate court had reversed without addressing other issues raised by the defendant in his appeal, the cause was remanded to the appellate court so it could give consideration to those other issues.