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Annabel Melongo Second Day Of Trial in Eavesdropping Case

Annabel Melongo Second Day Of Trial in Eavesdropping Case

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Published by anacondakay044
This transcript relates the second day of trial in melongo's case. It contains testimonies of the state witnesses: Laurel Laudien, Pamela Taylor, Robin Sukalo and James Flood. As well as testimony of the defense only witness: Special FBI agent, Dana DePooter.
This transcript relates the second day of trial in melongo's case. It contains testimonies of the state witnesses: Laurel Laudien, Pamela Taylor, Robin Sukalo and James Flood. As well as testimony of the defense only witness: Special FBI agent, Dana DePooter.

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Official Court Reporters
STATE OF ILLINOIS )
) SS:
COUNTY OF COOK )
3 IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY , ILLINOIS
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COUNTY DEPARTMENT - CRIMINAL DIVISION
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
Plaintiff,
vs
ANNABEL MELONGO
Defendant.
JURY TRIAL
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) No. 10 CR 08092-01
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12 REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS had at the hearing of the
13 above-entitled cause before the Honorable MARY M. BROSNAHAN,
14 judge of said court, on the 13th day of January, 2011.
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PRESENT: HON. ANITA M. ALVAREZ
Kathie Kerns, CSR
24 Official Court Reporter
CSR #084-002547
State's Attorney of Cook County
by, MR. ROBERT PODLASEK
MS. JULIE GUNNIGLE
Assistant State's Attorneys,
on behalf of the People;
MR. NICHOLAS ALBUKERK
Private counsel,
Attorney at Law,
on behalf of the Defendant.
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1 I N D E X
2 State's Case:
3 WITNESS PAGE
4 LAUREL LAUDIEN
5 Direct Examination 14
Cross-Examination 30
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7 WITNESS
8 PAMELA TAYLOR
9 Direct Examination 36
Cross-Examination 54
10 Redirect Examination 62
Recross Examination 63
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12 WITNESS
13 ROBIN SUKALO
14 Direct Examination 89
Cross-Examination 104
15 Redirect Examination 111
Recross Examination 113
16 Further Redirect Examination 114
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WITNESS
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JAMES FLOOD
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Direct Examination 115
20 Cross-Examination 121
Redirect Examination 128
21 Recross Examination 128
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STATES RESTS ITS CASE IN CHIEF 129
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1 I N D E X (CONTINUED)
2 WITNESS PAGE
3 DANA DePOOTER
4 Direct Examination 132
Cross-Examination 135
5 Redirect Examination 139
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CLOSING ARGUMENTS
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by Mr . Podlasek 162
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by Mr . Albukerk 172
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by Ms . Gunnigle 183
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1 1 JURY CHARGE 191
12 JURY NOTE 205
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14 SIDEBARS HELD 42
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TRIAL CONTINUED TO JANUARY 14, 2011
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THE COURT: Counsels on Melongo, please.
MR. PODLASEK: Good morning, Judge.
THE COURT: May I have your names for the record.
MR. PODLASEK: Judge, Robert Podlasek,
POD LAS E K, on behalf of the State.
MR. ALBUKERK: Nick Albukerk. ALB U K E R K.
THE COURT: Okay.
MR. PODLASEK: Judge, last night after we broke I
got to talk to, I went to talk to one of the witnesses in this
case, Laurel Laudien. She is a court reporter in Cook County.
She tendered to me at that meeting a copy of the call in Judge
Schreier's room for June 18, 2008 that she had in her
possession. She said no one has ever asked her for it. On this
sheet she makes markings on each of the cases that she is
recording, as many of the court reporters do, and specifically
in this sheet on the second to last page listed as No. 16 is
Annabel Melongo's case on the 08 CR 10502, which is the
reindicted case, and her markings indicate "Flood," meaning
James Flood, the attorney who is representing Annabel Melongo,
five pages, which is how long the transcript would be for that
transcript, and the next date of 7-16, and her final notation is
"arraignment."
Upon finding this out, I went back to my
office, I contacted Mr. Albukerk's office, and I also left a
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1 message by cell phone for him. I was able to talk to his
2 associate and sent a copy to his office by fax last night and we
3 discussed it. And so if Your Honor wants, I will tender you a
4 copy so you can see what we are talking about.
5 THE COURT: Your intent would be it's been
6 tendered, albeit after jury selection, but your intent is to
7 question Miss Laudien about it, use it during her testimony, is
8 that what -- am I reading this correctly?
9 MR. PODLASEK: No. We felt we had an obligation
10 to tender this to counsel. I wasn't sure if Your Honor recalls
11 on January 12th of 2010, Pamela Taylor did appear before
12 Your Honor in opposition to subpoena by Miss Melongo regarding
13 notes and audio recordings created by court reporters in the
14 ordinary course of their duties and responsibilities.
15 Your Honor ruled that it's been the policy in this courthouse
16 not to tender those notes and/or audio recordings either to the
17 prosecution or to the defense; however, Your Honor did go on and
18 say that you believe some of those notes would probably become
19 or need to be made available that they would be made available
20 to the court if this ever went to trial. So that's where we are
21 ri ght now.
22 THE COURT: May I see the Melongo files, please.
23 And the date of the hearing you are talking about was
24 January 12, 2010?
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1 MR. PODLASEK: January 12, 2010.
2 THE COURT: The eavesdropping case had not yet
3 been charged when we had that hearing. Miss Melongo was
4 representing herself. And when I did that hearing, and I do
5 recall Miss Taylor coming down and I recall Miss Melongo
6 subpoenaing the audio tapes, et cetera, that was as to the
7 computer tampering case itself.
8 MR. PODLASEK: That's correct.
9 THE COURT: So I found there was no basis to
10 return over original audio tapes on a computer tampering case to
11 an arraignment.
12 MR. PODLASEK: In point of fact, Miss Taylor
13 indicated to Your Honor -- and I have a copy of the transcript
14 for Your Honor here -- that the audio tapes did not exist .
15 That's the information that we have been given by the Court
16 Reporters offi ce.
1 7 THE COURT : Okay .
18 MR. PODLASEK: I'm not sure if this sheet with the
19 notations made on this constitutes the work product your were
20 talking about or what this is.
21 THE COURT: Now we are in a different posture
22 because now we are in a trial for eavesdropping and the defense
23 of the whole case, which goes to the heart of it, is did
24 Miss Melongo have reasonable belief that crime was afoot,
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1 thereby justifying her recordings of Miss Taylor's
2 conversations. So the question is: Was there a fictitious
3 arraignment transcript produced by Miss Laudien and Miss Taylor
4 in a cover up, so to speak? And that appears to be the theory.
5 So I find the notes here, they are relevant
6 to this case, they are not a surprise, because the court
7 reporter has tendered a transcript. That's the whole issue
8 here. Is Miss Laudien's long-tendered arraignment transcript on
9 the 08 computer tampering case viable? So this is not a
10 surprise that on the notes for the court sheets that it just
11 says" Flood," who is the attorney, who is the guy in the
12 transcri pt --
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MR . PODLASEK: Correct.
THE COURT: That's on the front page of the
15 transcript. She already has already said Flood was there for
16 the arraignment. It's no surprise the date that it got or the
17 fact that it is five pages and there is a little "d" for the
18 defendant. What is your position, defense?
19 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, as Mr. Podlasek has already
20 indicated, we have already discussed this, and he was
21 forthcoming as he knew what was going on and he tendered it to
22 me and I was able to look at it last night.
23 Judge, I think at best that evidence is
24 consistent, prior consistent statement that could be used if I
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1 r- were to cross-examine Miss Laudien on her truthfulness as far as .
2 I whether or not an arraignment took place, that they could
3 possibly use to bolster her testimony in that event. I don't
4 believe that document could be used other than that. First of
5 all, because (a) it is pri or cons i stent evi dence; (b) because it
6 isn't germane to the issue in the court. The issue to the court
7 is whether or not my client had a reasonable suspicion that
8 criminal activity was occurring and those notes by definition
9 are notes that my client could not have had access to;
10 therefore, those notes would not have affected my client's
11 suspicion one way or another because she couldn't have access to
12 it.
13 The things she could have access to, what my
14 client could have had access to, is the recording potentially,
15 is, you know, the court file, the Clerk's stuff. Anything that
16 my client that could have known about.
17 Also, just literally it comes to me as I am
18 talking to you about this, but Mr. Podlasek was kind enough to
19 give me a copy of the transcript for when this subpoena came up
20 in January of 2010 --
21 THE COURT: January 12th of 2010 on the computer
22 tampering.
23 MR. ALBUKERK: Right. And that, of course, was
24 before I ever got involved in the case. But at that time my
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1 client subpoenaed any notes, anything about this case and,
2 frankly , she said in that transcript that there are no notes
3 about this case, that there is nothing about this case at all.
4 There are no notes, there is no documentation in this case at
5 all, and now we are finding that there were notes. Now
6 potentially that means if they were used, and I don't think they
7 will be used frankly , but if those notes were used then I can
8 use that transcript to impeach, potentially impeach Miss Taylor
9 because she said in that transcript that no notes existed and
10 now we are getting notes .
11 THE COURT: Well, these are notes from -- first of
12 all , I don't know that I agree with your characterization that
13 they're notes. I want to explain for the record what it is .
14 There are xeroxed cour t sheets that are printed out we get and
15 every morning they are handed to the court reporter and there
16 are various notations that they make on each case, just so they
17 know what happened on it , et cetera. The notations are usually,
18 there might be a name for the defense attorney and a date. I
19 mean that's the extent of it. I am going through these from
20 3-16-08 from Judge Schreier, all of the court sheets that were
21 tendered , and on one defendant says JBFX, meaning it went to
22 judgment, on another it says the name of the defense attorney
23 and the date of 7-17-08, on another case it says "plea." Again,
24 with just a date . So, you know, to say "notes" I suppose it's
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1 accurate that there is usually a date scribbled down, maybe an
2 attorney's name, maybe nothing more, maybe the number of pages
3 in a transcript, but it's not voluminous notes. Under Melongo
4 it says F700d, 7-16 dash, I take it would have been '08. Hard
5 to read the 8.
6 MR. PODLASEK: Above it there is an a-r, that's
7 her notation. Because if you go to the page after there is a
8 second arraignment for somebody else.
9 THE COURT: She would have to explain that it does
10 looks like an A and then some kind of scribble.
11 MR. PODLASEK: And then the D, the defendant's
12 symbol on the bottom, as defendant being in court.
13 THE COURT: So five pages. I don't find it's any
14 explosive evidence. It's not any detailed notes. I don't think
15 that anybody would consider this to be a note of her
16 I transcriptions pursuant to that subpoena back from 2008. So I
17 don't find there is any kind of discovery violation here. And
18 if it can be used under the rules of evidence for her testimony,
19 I would allow it to be used. And we will keep this. You can
20 file it, make it an exhibit, and we will file it for the record,
21 should there be an appeal in the case. If it gets to that
22 point, I would want that whole thing filed.
23 MR. PODLASEK: Do you want us to make it an
24 exhibit at this point?
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1 THE COURT: Yes, please for the court record, and
2 we will put it in a manila envelope and keep it in the file.
3 MR. PODLASEK: People's Exhibit NO . 3.
4 THE COURT: Okay.
5 MR. PODLASEK: I will mark it as such.
6 THE COURT: Okay.
7 Any other issues before we bring her out?
8 MR. ALBUKERK: I don't think so.
9 THE COURT: Bring the jury out I should say.
10 Let's go off the record.
11 (Discussion held off the record.)
12 [CASE PASSED]
13 (WHEREUPON, the foll owi ng proceedi ngs
1 4 were resumed and held as
1 5 fo 11 ows : )
16 THE COURT: All right. We will go on the record.
17 There is another issue, State, you wanted to address before we
18 actually get started with your next witness.
19 MR. PODLASEK: Your Honor, we have actual
20 transcripts taken from Miss Melongo's web site and have created
21 fourteen copies of them. We are going to place one transcript
22 each into evidence as exhibits eventually. We would like to
23 pass out the other fourteen copies to the jurors and alternate
24 jurors.
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1 MR. ALBUKERK: The only thing I would be asking is
2 if everyone is going to have transcripts in hand, I would also
3 want them to get the same copies of the one transcript that we
4 want in, which is the recording, the message that was left on
5 the answering machine.
6 MR. PODLASEK: We have that.
7 MR. ALBUKERK: If you have that, as long as we can
8 get all that done, that's fine, then they have everything.
9 THE COURT: I would just ask that you mark at the
10 top of each transcript, Phone Call No.1, the date and time, so
11 that they know which one it is.
12 MR. PODLASEK: The only recording we don't have a
13 transcript for, I don't believe, there was one on the web site,
14 is Miss Laudien left a message. It's just a voice mail. We are
15 going to play that. But Miss Laudien, I would have her identify
16 her own voice and her own message.
17 THE COURT: So Miss Laudien left a voice mail for
18 Miss Melongo and that wound up on the website and nobody's got a
19 transcri pt of that.
20 MR. PODLASEK: Right.
21 THE DEFENDANT: We do have the transcript.
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MR. ALBUKERK:
THE DEFENDANT:
MR. ALBUKERK :
You have the transcript?
Yes.
This is on the website?
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THE DEFENDANT: Yes. Everything. The website and
2 the transcript are both there.
3 MR. ALBUKERK: We can do that then. We would have
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to find it and print it out .
THE DEFENDANT:
MR. ALBUKERK:
Show me the exhibit.
We'll open up the website and show
7 you. The problem is, well, you guys don't have it downloaded on
8 the computer
9 MR. PODLASEK: When we have a lunch break we'll go
10 ahead and take care of that.
11 THE COURT: Ready to start it then?
12 MR. PODLASEK: Yes.
13 THE DEPUTY SHERIFF: All rise for the jury.
14 (WHEREUPON, the jury entered the
15 courtroom.
16 THE COURT: Everyone may be seated in court.
17 Good morni ng, 1 adi es and gentl emen. I
18 apologize for the delay. Things were a little bit busier than
19 we anticipated, but you now have our undivided attention for the
20 day. You are the only matter that is on the court call. So you
21 don't have to worry about that in the future, we will move the
22 case along.
23 We did start the case last evening, so we
24 are still in the State's case in chief. State, are you ready to
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MR. PODLASEK: Yes, Your Honor, we are.
THE COURT: You may call your next witness.
MR. PODLASEK: Judge, at this time the State calls
5 Laurel Laudien. If I may be excused, I will bring her in.
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THE COURT: Okay.
[PAUSE HELD]
THE COURT: Good morning, ma'am. Would you raise
9 your right hand for me.
10 (WITNESS SWORN)
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THE COURT: Thank you. Please take a seat.
13 LAUREL LAUDIEN
14 called as a witness on behalf of the People, having been first
15 duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
16 DIRECT EXAMINATION
1 7 BY MR. POD LASEK:
18 Q. Would you please state your full name and spell your
19 1 ast name for the record.
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Q.
A.
Q.
A.
Laurel E. Laudien. L A U D, as in David ,
Are you currently employed?
Yes.
And what position do you hold or what job
Offi ci al Court Reporter with the State of
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do you hold?
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6 reporter?
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DAILY COpy PREPARED
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Where are you located?
26th and California.
How long have you held that position?
28, 29 years with the State. As a court reporter 34.
And did you have any particular training as a court
Yes .
And you went to school for that?
Yes.
Now, is there a form manual for the Cook County Court
11 Reporters that is given to you?
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Q.
Uhm, yes.
Is that how you format your transcripts when you are
14 asked to prepare a transcript?
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Q.
Yes.
I am going to ask you some questions about what I have
17 marked as People's Exhibit NO.4 for identification purposes.
18 Judge, if I can approach?
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THE COURT: You may.
MR. PODLASEK: I am tendering you People's Exhibit
21 NO.4 for identification and ask you if you would take a look at
22 that.
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THE WITNESS: Okay.
MR. PODLASEK: Q. Do you recognize that document?
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THE WITNESS: A. Yes.
MR. PODLASEK : Q. And what is it, please.
THE WITNESS: A. It's the transcript of the
hearing before Judge Schreier on June 18, 2008.
MR. PODLASEK: Q. Now, on the first page of that
transcript where does the defendant's name first appear?
THE WITNESS: A. In the caption.
Q. And whose name appears in that case?
A. Annabel Melongo as defendant.
Q. Is there a case number?
A. There's two case numbers.
Q. What are they, please.
A. 07 CR 02341-01; 08 CR 10502-01.
Q. Now , below the caption of the case whose names are
typically listed in a transcript?
A. The state's attorney and whoever represents the
defendant or if the defendant is proceeding pro se then that
would be listed there.
Q. And in this particular transcript before you whose
names appear below the caption specifically?
A. Paul Chevlin for the State's Attorney, assistant
state's attorney, and Mr. James J. Flood representing the
defendant.
Q. And those are the names of the people who are
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1 in court on that particular date, is that correct?
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Q.
Yes.
Now, in the body of the transcript is the defendant
4 ever identified by name?
5 A. Well, when she spoke. But Mr. Flood says, "on behalf
6 of Miss Melongo."
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Q. So Mr. Flood does the speaking first in this
transcript?
A. Ri ght.
Q. Well, is the defendant referenced as Annabel Helongo
11 or typi call y the defendant?
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A. I would put THE DEFENDANT if she speaks.
Q. And in anywhere in that transcript do you reference
defendant or anything that might be said by the defendant?
A.
Q.
A.
Yes.
What page would that be on?
Page 3.
MR. PODLASEK: Judge, at this time for clarity
19 sake , I am going to ask to tender to members of the jury copies
20 of People's Exhibit NO.4 for identification, which is a copy of
21 the June 18, 2008 transcript before Judge Schreier. I talked to
22 counsel and I believe he has no objection.
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THE COURT: You may proceed.
(Documents tendered to the jurors.)
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MR. PODLASEK: Q. Did you create that transcript
at the request of anybody?
THE WITNESS: A. Yes.
MR. PODLASEK: Q. And who was that?
THE WITNESS: A. Miss Melongo.
Q. Just so people understand how a transcript request
comes in, can you just go through the procedure for us.
A. Somebody would call our office and request the
transcript, they would take the information down and put it on a
transcript order form, and then they would give it to the
reporter that was assigned that day.
Q. Your office is located in this building?
A. The other building. The administrative office
14 building.
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Q. Okay. And as part of this order what would an
individual have to give as far as information for you to be able
to create that transcript?
A. The date it was heard, what judge, the name of the
case, telephone number so that I can call them back when it's
completed.
Q. Now, taking a step back. When you are creating the
22 transcript can you please explain to the ladies and gentlemen of
23 the jury how that is done. I can see the court reporter in this
24 case, but how do you and what equipment do you use when you do
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DAILY COpy PREPARED
I use a computer-aided transcription writer like she
And indicating the court reporter in the court today?
Right.
Okay.
I also have a computer with court reporter software
8 and that's what I use to create the transcript.
9 Q. At anytime do you have audio recordings of the
10 proceedings before Judge Schreier or any of the judges you are
11 transcribing for?
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Q.
A.
Yes . Yes.
And how do you make those recordings?
With the writer. I have a microphone plugged in, and
15 I usually put it up by the judge's bench so that I can hear
16 better, and I also usually wear headphones so that I can monitor
17 better and in case there is other noise going on in the
18 courtroom.
19 Q. Now during the course of a year how many transcripts
20 would you say you have taken down?
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Q.
Thousands.
Do you prepare an actual physical transcript on each
23 of those cases?
24 A. Not at the time. Not until it's ordered.
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Q. So if you had a transcript from say yesterday in a
courtroom and no one ever ordered it, it would never be printed
out, is that correct?
A. Correct.
Q. Now what do you do with the information, since I see
no paper anymore like I used to 25 years ago?
A. No, no paper.
Q. What happens to the information that you take down on
the computer?
A. It's stored. And depending upon the writer that the
court reporter uses, it is stored on either an SD card --
secured digital card, little tiny card -- or it could be a
diskette or it could just be paper . There is also a ram that
stores the information. And that's about it.
Q. So in your particular case, how do you typically store
your information?
A. At the end of the month I back up everything off of my
computer onto, for the State I have to keep the steno notes, the
paper does no longer exist, but the steno notes are on a digital
form. I have to back up those for the State to be stored
forever or as long as the diskettes will last or CD's will last.
Q. And what happens to the audio portion?
A. The audio portion is backed up on my external hard
drives. It is no longer on the writer after a month. It is no
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longer on my computer because wav. files take so much room.
Q. So you have a secondary storage system?
A. Mm-hmm. Yes.
Q. How long do you maintain the audio files?
A. Uhm, well, they're there but they are not synced, so.
Q. What does sync mean?
A. They are not synced to the notes. So they really
don't exist, they're just there.
Q. Now once you create a transcript at the request of an
individual, whether it is an attorney or anyone else, what do
you do with that transcript?
A. I pri nt it out.
Q. What do you do? Is it on a computer where you can
save it?
A. It is on the computer. I will put it on the computer,
I will take the steno notes and the audio file and transcribe
it, which syncs the audio notes. Once I edit the transcript
with the audio notes I take the file out and I print the
transcript, I put on the title page and the certificate, and
then it's there until I remove it from the computer.
Q. How long do you normally keep the transcript?
A. On my computer?
Q. Yes.
A. The end of the month. If I don't clear off my
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1 computer every month it would crash because of the huge amounts
2 of wav. files.
3 THE COURT: Let me interrupt . Huge amount of what
4 fil es?
5 THE WITNESS: A. Wav, w-a-v . That's the audio.
6 I THE COURT : Okay .
7 MR . PODLASEK: Q. Once you have cleared and
8 placed the transcript you created into your backup system what
9 happens to the original raw data , including the wav . files?
10 I THE WITNESS: A. The wav. files disappear.
11 Because this is just what software does, it doesn't keep it any
12 longer. It's much easier to keep a steno file which is very
13 small and a transcript file which is very small, and I have
14 al ready used the audio to go over the transcript to make sure
15 that it is correct , so it's felt it's not needed anymore . The
16 software does not keep it.
17 Q. Now during the time period that you created this
18 June 18, 2008 transcript involving Miss Melongo and the cases
19 that you have identified, did you use the audio portion of that
20 transcript to prepare this document?
21 A. Yes , I did.
22 Q. And during that time did you have occasion to listen
23 to the judge speaking on that tape?
24 A. Yes, I did .
---22
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Q. Did you have occasion to listen to the state's
attorney, Mr. Chevlin, speaking?
A. Yes, I did .
Q. And Mr. Flood?
A. Yes.
Q. And what about the defendant? Did the defendant speak
on the tape?
A. Yes, she did.
Q. And in point of fact, I believe that you transcribed
it, that on page 3, the second to last sentence on that page,
line 22
A. Yes .
Q. - - the defendant says "I bond" in response to a
question by the court as to what kind of bond she was out on, is
that correct?"
A. Yes.
Q. Unless I am misreading the transcript, those are the
only words spoken by the defendant on that day at that hearing,
is that correct?
A. They were.
Q. Now you have taken down and transcribed numerous
arraignments during the course of your career, is that correct?
A. Yes .
Q. At anytime have you ever been present when a defendant
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I
1 was arraigned without being present himself or herself?
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A.
Q.
A.
Q.
A.
Q.
A.
Q.
No .
Typically during an arraignment, explain to the ladies
11 Yes. A.
16
17
18
is
Q.
placed
A.
Q.
A.
Yes.
Do you recall approximately when that took place?
She called me after she picked up the transcript. I
19 do not remember the dates.
20
21
22
Q.
A.
Q.
Would it be in 2008 or 2009?
I'm not sur e when she actually ordered the transcript.
How many conversation -- did you have conversations
23 face to face or by telephone?
24 A. By telephone.
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Q. Who called whom?
A. She called me.
Q. And during that conversation did anything occur?
A. Yes.
Q. What?
A. She told me that the transcript was incorrect.
Q. This is after she's picked up the transcript?
A. Yes.
Q. And when she said incorrect, did you inquire as to
what she meant?
A. She said that I put that she was present and she
wasn't present.
Q. And what did you respond, if anything?
A. I checked the transcript, I checked the audio, because
it was still on my computer at that time, I called her back and
I told her the transcript is correct, and that I wasn't going to
change it, and I told her I was trying to be helpful -- I
told her to call her attorney, Mr. Flood.
Q. And did she have any response to those suggestions?
A. She started yelling at me and threatening me.
MR. ALBUKERK: Objection. Ask that it be
stricken.
THE COURT: Overruled.
MR. PODLASEK: Q. In what way did the defendant
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----- -
1 threaten you?
26
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2 THE WITNESS: A. She said that if I didn't change
3 the transcript that she would file a complaint against me and I
4 sai d, "Well, go ahead . "
5 MR. PODLASEK: Q. And was that the end of your
6 first conversation?
7 A. The first conversation dealt with the first reason she
8 said that she wasn't present was she said her attorney did not
9 state on the record that she was present standing there. And I
10 tol d her, "Attorneys don't always state that."
11 Q. How did she respond to that?
12 A. That I was still wrong, that the transcript was wrong,
1 3 and I had to change it .
14 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, I am going to make an
15 objection and ask for a side bar.
16 THE COURT: Your objection is going to be
17 overruled at this time. We will address that at a later time.
18 Go ahead.
19 MR. PODLASEK: Q. Was there a third conversation
20 that took place?
21 THE WITNESS: A. There was a second conversation.
22 MR . PODLASEK: Q. Second, I'm sorry.
23 THE WITNESS: A. The second conversation, let me
24 try to remember, was she said that the clerk had her not present
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so that she was not present.
Q. And when she said "the clerk," did you know who she
was referring to?
A. Not really . The Clerk of the Court I assumed, but I
don't know.
Q. And when you -- when she indicated to you that the
clerk had her not present did you know what she meant by that?
A. Not particularly.
Q. Did you have -- I'm sorry, go ahead.
A. At that time I told her, "It doesn't matter what a
clerk says , the court reporter's transcript is what governs."
Q. Now, was it the third conversation in which you were
threatened with the complaint?
MR . ALBUKERK: Objection to the term threat.
THE COURT: Overruled.
THE WITNESS: A. I think it was the second.
MR. PODLASEK : Q. And did you have three
conversations?
conversation?
THE WITNESS: A.
MR. PODLASEK : Q.
Yes .
What happened on the third
A. The third conversation she called and said that she
wasn't present because she was having a cell phone call at the
time that I had listed on the cover of the transcript.
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---- - - -- -- - ---
Now on the cover of People's Exhibit NO.4 for
2 identification, what time do you indicate that the court
3 proceedings took place?
4
5
6
7
8
A. Approximately
MR . ALBUKERK: Objection. Objection. Side bar.
THE COURT: Overruled.
THE WITNESS: A. Approximately 11 o'clock.
MR. PODLASEK: Q. Was there any other
9 conversation on that third conversation between the two of you
10 or did it end at that point?
1 1 THE WITNESS: A. I'm not sure how it all ended,
12 but she said I have to change the transcript, it's wrong. And
13 she di d say that, "Do you real i ze I can get the case thrown out
14 because of you?" And I said , "Well, I don't know about that. I
15 sai d, "The transcri pt is correct. Pl ease tal k to your attorney.
16 I'm not changi ng it."
17 MR. PODLASEK: Q. Do you know what she meant by
18 getting "the case thrown out?"
19
20
21
A.
Q.
A.
Not reall y.
Did she contact you any further after that time?
Uhm, no . After that I gave the information to my
22 supervisor, Pam Taylor.
23
24
Q.
A.
Pam Taylor?
Yes.
-- 28 -
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1 Q. Now at any point did you ever contact Miss Melongo and
2 either talk to her or leave her a message?
3 A. I think I left her a message. I'm not sure if it was
4 the first time, because she might have left a message first and
5 then I called her back and she wasn't there and I left a
6 message. But I did inform her that I checked my notes and the
7 transcript was correct.
8 MR. PODLASEK: Judge, at this time I would like to
9 play part of what's been put before the court as
10 People's Exhibit No . 1, which is a CD-Rom which has
11 Miss Melongo's website on it and also the audio recordings in
12 this case and I would like to play one of the audio recordings.
13 THE COURT: It is recei ved . It is part of
14 People's Exhibit No.1 was made part of the stipulation that we
15 heard last evening, correct?
16 MR. PODLASEK: Yes, Your Honor.
17 THE COURT: All right. Go right ahead.
18 MR. PODLASEK: I will play an audio recording for
19 you, ask you to listen it, and then ask you if you can identify
20 it.
21 THE WITNESS: Okay. Turn it up.
22 (WHEREUPON, the audio tape was
23 played.)
24 MR. PODLASEK : Q. Do you recognize that message?
29 --
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1
2
3 tape?
4
5 Q.
DAILY COpy PREPARED
- - ----- -- - -- --
THE WITNESS: A. Yes.
MR. PODLASEK: Q. Was that your voice on the
THE WITNESS: A. It sounds like it, yes .
And was that the message you were talking about
6 leaving Miss Melongo?
7 A. Yes, that the transcript was ready to be picked up,
8 where it would be, how much it would cost, and filed under her
9 name.
10 Q. Is that the only message or conversation that you
11 initiated with Miss Melongo?
12
13
A. I think so.
MR. PODLASEK: Judge, at this time we have no
14 further questi ons.
15
16
THE COURT: All right. Cross.
17 CROSS- EXAMINATION
1 8 BY MR. ALBUKERK:
19
20
21
Q.
A.
Q.
Good morning, Miss Laudien.
Good morning.
Ma'am, first as a court reporter you have to produce
22 accurate transcripts, correct?
23
24
A.
Q.
Of course .
Because it is an official record?
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1 I ~ A .
It is .
2 Q. And in fact you swear to the accuracy of those records
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all the time?
A. I do.
Q. The back of every single transcript that you write in
fact has a little attestation page saying that you are swearing
to the accuracy?
A. The certificate.
Q . Right. If a court reporter were not accurate in the
transcription that's something that should be complained of,
correct?
A. I guess, yes.
Q. Now just for the record we just heard a tape
recording. That was you leaving a message?
A. Right .
Q. And you left that message for my client?
A.
Q.
A.
Q.
A.
Q.
A.
Q.
Yes.
You did not have hiccups while you were saying that?
Hiccups?
That hiccup sound?
No, and I did not know that she recorded that.
Well , you left a message, right?
Yes, I did .
And the message machine is a recording device, right?
3 1 - - ~
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1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. So you knew that your words were being recorded?
3 A. They could be, yes.
4 Q. In fact every time anyone leaves a message it's being
5 recorded, right?
6 A. If their message machine is working, I assume so.
7 Q . Let me understand the procedure here. So you, you
8 back up all of your transcripts and audio recordings to a hard
9 drive, correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you know how big that hard drive is?
12 A. My computer is onl y 60 gi g.
13 Q. But as we speak today, you have this particular
14 transcript, June 18, 2008, transcript and audio is backed up
15 somewhere on that hard drive?
16 A. The transcript is backed up on the hard drive, an
17 external hard drive, the audio is not.
18 Q. And you chose not to move the wav. file -- Strike
19 that. Let me be a little more clear.
20 The wav. file is the audio file, right?
21
22
A.
Q.
Yes.
And you choose to not back up the audio file when you
23 transfer the material to your hard drive?
24 A. No, I don't choose. The software does not keep it.
- 32 --- .
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Once you take it off of the hard drive and back it up to
somewhere else, the audio for that transcript disappears because
you no longer need it. You've used it for the transcript, so
you no longer need it. Transcript files and steno note files
are very small; wav. files are huge. The software does not keep
it.
Q. Well, isn't that just a matter of clicking a few boxes
in your computer to change the settings?
A. No, the software does not keep it.
Q. Now the reason court reporters record what goes on
what goes in the courtroom is to make sure that they are
accurate?
A. Yes , it's a tool to help us because we do not control
the courtroom, the noise , the things that are going on, yes.
Q. In fact in some courtrooms all they have is a
recording , they don't have court reporters?
A. That may be. I don't know.
Q. Now over the years -- you said you have been doing
this job for over 20 years, right?
A. 34.
Q. 34 years?
A. 34.
Q. And over the years obviously the State's Attorney's
office has purchased transcripts from you?
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DAILY COpy PREPARED
Yes.
Can you estimate how much money the State's Attorney's
3 office has given you for these transcripts?
4 A. No, I cannot.
5 Q. It's qui te a bi t of money, though?
6 MR. PODLASEK: Judge, I am going to object to
7
8
this.
THE COURT: Sustained.
9 MR. ALBUKERK : Judge , if I can have a side bar.
10 THE COURT: Overrul ed.
11 MR . ALBUKERK: Q. Your office is in the building
12 literally if you look out the windows over here?
13 THE WITNESS: A. The administrative office
14 building, yes.
15 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. You are on the fourth floor?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And the State's Attorney's office are on, what, the
18 10th or 11th floor?
19 A. They are on a couple floors .
20 Q. Ri ght . Same bui 1 di ng?
21
22
23
24
A.
Q.
A.
Q.
Same buil di ng.
And you work with state's attorneys everyday?
Yes.
You have no control over what the clerk does, correct?
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Of course not. 1
2
A.
Q. And you have no control over what the judge does,
3 correct?
Of course not. 4
5
A.
Q. But you know that obviously files are maintained for
6 each of the cases?
7 A. Supposedly.
8 Q. Court reporters have been known to make mistakes from
9 time to time?
1 0 A. I suppose.
11 Q. Being a court reporter is a human endeavor?
12 A. Yes .
1 3 Q. Humans make mi stakes?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. ALBUKERK: Nothing further .
16 THE COURT: Any redi rect?
1 7 MR. PODLASEK: No, Judge.
18
19
20-
21
22
23
THE COURT : Thank you, ma'am. You may step down.
THE WITNESS: Thank you.
THE COURT: You can proceed with your next
witness, State.
MR. PODLASEK:
MR. ALBUKERK :
My next witness is Pamela Taylor.
Judge, can I have a side bar or if
24 you want to wait?
I
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--35
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4 witness?
DAILY COPY PREPARED
THE COURT: Let's wait.
MR. ALBUKERK: Okay.
THE COURT: State, is someone going to get the
5 MR. PODLASEK: Miss Laudien is, Judge . We had to
6 put her down the hall in another courtroom.
7 THE COURT : Okay.
8 [PAUSE HELD]
9 THE COURT : Good morning, ma'am.
10 THE WITNESS: Good morning .
11 THE COURT: Could you raise your right hand for
12 me.
1 3 (WITNESS SWORN)
14
15
THE COURT: Thank you.
16 PAMELA TAYLOR
17 called as a witness on behalf of the People, having been first
18 duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
19 DIRECT EXAMINATION
20 BY MR. PODLASEK :
21 Q. Good morni ng.
Good morning. 22
23
A.
Q. Would you please state your name and spell your last
24 I name for the record.
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Q.
A.
Q.
A.
Q.
DAILY COPY PREPARED
----- ----
My name is Pamela C. Taylor. T A Y LOR.
And, Miss Taylor, are you currently employed?
Yes, I am.
And where are you employed?
I am employed with the State of Illinois.
In what position?
7 A. I'm an official court reporter and currently I am the
8 Assistant Administrator of the Criminal Division.
9
10
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21
22
23
24
Q. How long have you held the position of Assistant
Administrator of the Criminal Division?
A. Since 2002.
Q. And briefly could you describe what your duties and
responsibilities are in that position.
A. My main responsibilities is that I deal with the
appeals that come out of the First Municipal -- not First
Municipal District , the First District which covers Cook County,
and I also supervise the court reporters at 26th and California.
Q. Now prior to holding that supervisory position what
position did you hold?
A. I was Assistant Supervisor at 26th and California.
Q. And prior to that what position?
A. I was an official court reporter working in the
courtrooms on a daily basis.
Q. So in one form or another how long have you been a
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1 court reporter?
2 A. I have been licensed since 1973. I have been an
3 official court reporter working with the State of Illinois since
4 1977.
5 Q. And, briefly, you went through an education process
6 for court reporting school of some sort?
7 A. Yes. I am actually a proud Chicago public school
8 student, this is where I started my vocation. I went to Chicago
9 Vocational High School, which is what it was called at the time,
10 and my major was machine steno, and from there I went to
11 McCormac Junior College, where I took the necessary courses to
12 pass the state examination in 1973.
13 Q. Now, does the Cook County Court Reporters Office have
14 an official form manual for the court reporters to follow?
15 A. Yes, we do. We do have a form book.
16 Q. And that form book guides them as to how transcripts
17 should be created and all the rules they should be following?
18 A. That's correct. As official court reporters, we are
19 also governed by the State. So we have under the Court
20 Reporters Act there is certain guidelines that we have to follow
21 as far as how many pages per line and the indexes, and then
22 Cook County, which is the county that we work in, we also have
23 our own form book that goes into more specificity as to what to
24 do with the transcripts.
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1 Q. I am going to show you what has been previously marked
2 as People's Exhibit No.4 for identification. I ask if you take
3 the time. I believe there is a copy actually sitting in front
4
5
6
of you.
A.
Q.
Oh, okay.
Could you take a few minutes or a moment or two and
7 review that.
8 (Witness reviewing exhibit.)
9 THE WITNESS: Okay.
10 MR. PODLASEK: Q. Have you ever seen that
11 document before?
12 THE WITNESS: A. Yes, I have.
13 MR. PODLASEK: Q. And you recognize that as a
14 transcript created by a court reporter named Laurel Laudien?
15 THE WITNESS: A. Yes, I do.
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
Q.
A.
Q.
And you know Miss Laudien?
Yes, I do.
You have worked with her in the past?
A. Yes , I have.
Q. And Miss Laudien is one of the court reporters that
you supervise, is that correct?
A. Yes, she is.
Q. On page 1 of this transcript there is a caption and
the caption references the defendant, is that correct?
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Q.
DAILY COpy PREPARED
I'm sorry, could you repeat that.
The caption references a specific defendant, is that
3 correct?
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as
A.
Q.
A.
Q.
she
A.
Q.
A.
Yes, it does.
Whose name appears on that transcript?
Annabel Melongo.
I am going to ask you if you recognize the defendant
sits here in the courtroom today.
Yes, I do.
Could you point her out for the record.
There is Miss Melongo sitting at defense table with
the glasses.
THE COURT: The record will show an in court
14 identification of Miss Melongo.
15 MR. PODLASEK: Q. Do you recall when you first
16 had the opportunity to meet Miss Melongo?
17
18
19
THE WITNESS: A. Yes, I do.
MR. PODLASEK: Q. And when was that?
THE WITNESS: A. I met Miss Melongo in this
20 I courtroom when I was subpoenaed to come here.
21 Q. Was that the first time you had ever met her?
22 A. That was the first time that I had met her personally,
23 yes. Eye contact.
24 I Q. Now prior to that had you had any kind of
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1 communications with Miss Melongo?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. How were those communications effectuated?
4
5
6
A.
Q.
By telephone.
Who initiated the conversations?
A. The first conversation I believe I called
7 Miss Melongo.
8 Q. And did you actually speak to her or did you leave her
9 a message?
1 0 A. I bel i eve I spoke to her.
11 Q. At anytime did you have occasion to call Miss Melongo
12 and leave a voi cemail ?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 MR . PODLASEK: Judge, at this time I am going to
15 ask to play an excerpt from People's Exhibit No.1 for the
16 witness.
17 THE COURT: All right. You may proceed.
18 MR. PODLASEK: I am also tendering to the jury and
19 to the defense counsel a copy of the transcript of what she is
20 about to hear.
21 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, for the record I would
22 object to any, just a portion being given to the jury. I would
23 ask that the entire recording be played to the jury.
24 THE COURT: Let's have a side bar. I thought this
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1 was agreed to prior bringing the jury out. Miss Reporter,
2 please.
3 (Side bar held as follows:)
4 THE COURT: We are on the record now. Prior to
5 the jury being brought out we discussed the issues of providing
6 the jurors with copies of the transcripts of the three different
7 phone calls that Miss Taylor is going to be testifying about.
8 There was no objection at that time. What is the objection now?
9 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, I misunderstood
10 Mr. Podlasek. He said that he was going to show an excerpt and
11 what I thought he meant by that was he was only going to play
12 part of the audi o.
13 THE COURT: That's fi ne.
14 MR. ALBUKERK: We are fine; however, I want to
15 make a record on other stuff. Judge, you are prohibiting me
16 from making a record on my objections; you want me to do it
17 afterwards. I have to make running objections. The previous
18 testimony was hearsay of the previous witness and should have
19 been a running objection to all of that . The only reason I
20 didn't make it is because you were prohibiting us from putting
21 the stuff on the record until a side bar. I have to be clear
22 with the appellate court that I would be making every time I say
23 the word "objection" I have basis to do so and, you know,
24 because of your ruling I can't put the basis on the record and
L
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1 the appellate court is going to say I waived her rights.
2 THE COURT: I will certainly allow you to make a
3 record. You certainly did object that the witness had been
4 threatened by Miss Melongo and the follow up to that was she was
5 going to report her. So I did find that of a threat of any
6 physical nature, it was not disclosed, and it didn't appear to
7 be any kind of discovery violation. So that's overruled.
8 Rather, I was overruling your objection and putting it on the
9 record, so when we took a break I'll let you make a full record.
10 If you have a different basis to object for anything else,
11 certainly you can. I am not precluding any objections by any
12
13
means.
MR. ALBUKERK: The other objection I had was all
14 the testimony was hearsay and none of that testimony should have
15 come in as hearsay.
16 THE COURT: Let's put that on when we take a
17 break.
18 MR. ALBUKERK: Thank you.
19 (WHEREUPON, the foll owi ng proceedi ng
20 was resumed in open court before the
21 jury as follows:)
22 THE COURT: All right. You may proceed, State.
23 MR. PODLASEK: Judge , I will tender a copy of
24 People's Exhibit NO.5 to the court also for your use.
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1 I ~ - -
Q. Miss Taylor, I will show you what is
2 marked as People's Exhibit No.5 for identification purposes .
3 THE WITNESS: A. Yes .
4 MR . PODLASEK: Q. It's a transcript, is it not?
5
6 Q.
THE WITNESS: A. Yes, it is.
Do you know what it is a transcript of?
7 A. It's a transcript of the second conversation that I
8 had with Miss Melongo.
9 MR. PODLASEK: Judge, at this time I am going to
10 ask to play that conversation.
11 THE COURT: Go ahead.
12 MR. PODLASEK : This is a message that you left for
13 Mi ss Melongo?
14 THE WITNESS: A. Yes.
15 (WHEREUPON, the audio tape was played.)
16 MR. PODLASEK: Q. Is that a true and accurate
17 recording of the message that you left for Miss Melongo?
18 THE WITNESS: A. Yes, it is.
19 MR. PODLASEK: Q. Why did you leave that message?
20 What prompted you to do that?
21 THE WITNESS: A. Again, as I said before, this
22 was the second conversation that I had, the second time that I
23 called Miss Melongo. I had called her initially because
24 Miss Laudien had presented the situation to me that she had been
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1 dealing with Miss Melongo and how she had been calling her on a
2 continual basis about this transcript. So when I called
3 Miss Melongo to explain the office policy -- and, quite frankly,
4 I thought I had an answer to her solution why she thought she
5 was in one place and not the other -- she hung up on me. So I
6 called back and I left this message to state, "If you want to
7 discuss this further then just deal with me." I didn't want her
8 to deal with Miss Laudien, I did not want her to deal with my
9 clerical staff, because I was also told she was calling there as
10 well.
11 Q. Did Miss Melongo respond to your telephone call in any
12 way?
13 A. Yes, she did. She called me back.
14 Q. I am goi ng to show you what is marked as
15 People's Exhibit NO.6 for identification. I will tender a copy
16 to the defense. Judge, for your use I will tender a copy to
17
18
19
you.
THE COURT: And this is People's No.6?
MR. PODLASEK : No.6, Your Honor, for
20 i dent i fi cat ion.
21
22
THE WITNESS:
MR. PODLASEK:
Thank you.
Q. Do you recognize the document
23 known as People's Exhibit No.6?
24 THE WITNESS: A. Yes, I do.
L
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1 MR. PODLASEK: Q. And what is that?
2 A. This is a transcript of the very long conversation
3 that Miss Melongo and I had after People's Exhibit NO.5.
4 Q. So this is in response to your voice mail that we just
5 heard from you to Miss Melongo?
6 A. Right.
7 Q. And who initiated this conversation?
8 A. Miss Melongo called me.
9 Q. At this time I am going to play you a recording of
10 this conversation. Follow along in the transcript, if you want .
11 (WHEREUPON, the audio taped was played.)
12 MR. PODLASEK : You're right it was a long
13 transcript. Does that fairly and accurately depict, at least
14 audio wise, what conversation took place?
15 THE WITNESS: A. Yes.
16 MR. PODLASEK: Q. Do you know where this
17 transcript came from that you have before you as
18 People's Exhibit No.6?
19 THE WITNESS: A. When you say it came from? It
20 was produced by Miss Laudien.
21 MR . PODLASEK: Q. The transcript, No.6, of the
22 telephone conversation .
23 A. Oh, the telephone conversation. Where this came from?
24 Q. Yes.
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A. You just gave it to me.
Q. So you have never seen that before?
A. No.
Q. At anytime prior to the recording of this conversation
that we just played for you, was there any other conversation
between you and Miss Melongo?
A. No.
Q. So this reflects the entire conversation?
A. That was it.
Q. So at anytime did Miss Melongo ever ask you if she
could record the conversation?
A. No.
Q. At anytime did she ever tell you that she was
recording a conversation?
A. No.
Q. At anytime did Miss Melongo ever tell you that she was
going to post this conversation in transcript form and the audio
portion which we have just played on her website?
A. No.
Q. Did you ever give her permission to post this
conversation that was recorded?
A. No, I did not.
Q. This conversation took place approximately when, if
you remember?
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[ - ----
A. Uhm, there was a first conversation that I called her
the day Miss Laudien brought this to my attention and then she
hung up and I don't know if she called right back after I left a
message or as it's said in the first transcript that I was going
5 to be off for a couple of days and she call back later. I'm not
6 sure of the time frame.
7
8
9
Q.
A.
Q.
A.
But was it in
Yes.
Was it in the
It would have
December of 2009?
early part or later part of December?
been the early part of December because 10
1 1
12
I take off at the end every year.
Q. So could it have been on or about December 14th or
13 15th?
14 A. That sounds correct, because pretty much after that I
15 take off.
16 Q. Now following this conversation, did you have another
17 telephone conversation with Miss Melongo?
18
19
20
A.
Q.
A.
Following People's Exhibit No.6?
Yes.
No, I never had another conversation, I believe. The
21 only conversation I had with Miss Melongo may have been when I
22 was subpoenaed to court.
23
24
Q.
A.
I _
So you only had one conversation with Miss Melongo?
Right. This was the last one that I remember having
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1 (Indicating to exhibit.)
2 Q. Were there two prior conversations before this?
3 A. Before People's No.6 there was People's NO.5. I
4 don't recall a third conversation right now. I really don't .
5 If you have something to refresh my memory.
6 Q. I will show you what I have marked as People's Exhibit
7 NO.7 for identification purposes. I would ask if you would
8 review that.
9 (Witness reviewing exhibit.)
10 THE WITNESS: A. Okay. I do remember.
11 MR. PODLASEK: Judge, I am going to give you a
1 2 copy of Peop 1 e 's No.7.
13 Q. Now, does People's Exhibit NO.7 take
14 place within a short period of time after People's Exhibit No.
15 1?
16
17
THE WITNESS : A. People's Exhibit No.1?
MR. PODLASEK: Q. I mean NO.6.
18 A. No.6 right now I remember because she called again
19 and wanted to e-mail the transcript to me. She wanted me to
20 look at the transcript .
21 THE COURT: For the record the jurors have been
22 given copies of People's Exhibit 7.
23 MR. PODLASEK: Q. Now would you briefly describe
24 what People's Exhibit No.7 is .
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1 r - - - - THE WITNESS:
A. People's Exhibit No.7 looks
2 like a transcript of the conversation that we had when
3 Miss Melongo called and wanted me to look at the transcript.
4 MR. PODLASEK: I am going to playa recording of
5 this conversation.
6 (WHEREUPON, the audio tape was played.)
7 MR. PODLASEK: Q. Do you recall that
8 conversation?
9 THE WITNESS: A. Yes , I do recall the
1 0 conversat i on now.
1 1 MR. PODLASEK: Q. Okay. Does that represent the
12 entire conversation that you had with Miss Melongo at that time?
13
14 Q.
THE WITNESS: A. Right. Correct.
At anytime did Miss Melongo ask your permission to
15 record that conversation?
16
17
A.
Q.
No.
At anytime did Miss Melongo tell you that she was
18 recording that conversation?
19
20
A.
Q.
No, she didn't.
At anytime did Miss Melongo tell you she was going to
21 post this to her Internet site for the entire world to listen to
22 and l ook at the transcripts?
23
24
A.
Q.
No.
Did she in fact tell you she was going to make
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1 transcripts out of these phone conversations?
2 A. No, she didn't.
3 Q. At anytime did you give her permission to record these
4 conversations?
No. 5
6
A.
Q. At anytime did you give her permission to post these
7 conversations to the general public?
8 A. No, I didn't.
9 Q. I am going to show you what is marked as
10 People's Exhibit NO.8 for identification. Judge, I am
11 tendering a copy of the exhibit to you, to the jurors, as well
12 as counsel.
13 I would ask if you would review People's No.
14 8. Do you recognize that exhibit?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What is that?
17
18
19
20
21
A. This was the subsequent conversation after she felt
that I received the e-mail.
Q. I am going to play this conversation for you.
22 conversation?
(WHEREUPON, the audio taped was played.)
MR. PODLASEK: Q. Do you recall that
23 THE WITNESS: A. Yes, I do.
24 MR. PODLASEK: Q. That conversation took place
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1 within a very short period of time of the very first
2 conversation we played?
3 THE WITNESS: A. Yes, all of this was in
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sequence. Rapid. You know, a day or two.
Q. December 14th, 15th --
A. Right.
Q. And maybe the 16th --
A. Right.
Q. -- of 2009?
A. Exactly .
Q. At anytime did Miss Melongo tell you that she was
recording this conversation that we just played for you,
People's Exhibit NO.8?
A. No, she did not .
Q. Did she tell you she was going to transcribe that
conversation?
A. No, she did not.
Q. Did she ask your permission to record that
conversation?
A. No, she did not.
Q. At anytime did Miss Melongo inform you that she was
going to post this conversation to a website that she controlled
and created called www.IllinoisCorruption.net?
A. No, she did not.
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1 Q. At anytime did you give her permission to record this
2 conversation or to post it to the knelt?
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A.
actually,
No, I did not.
MR. PODLASEK: Can I have one minute, Judge?
THE COURT: You may.
[PAUSE HELD]
MR. PODLASEK: Q. Miss Taylor.
THE WITNESS: A. Yes?
MR. PODLASEK: Q. At anytime once you found
how did you find out about these conversations?
THE WITNESS: A. I received an e-mail through
work e-mail to go to this particular website.
Q. Do you know who sent you that e-mail?
A. Actually, I don't. I only opened up the e-mail
my
15
I
because it was from my work e-mail .soIhave to open all of the
16 e-mails. And I went to the website and I saw that there was
17 somethi ng to the effect that sai d, "And thi sis what Mi ss Taylor
18 had to say," and I i mmedi atel y contacted the State's Attorney's
19
20
21
office.
Q.
A.
Do you know what website you were directed to?
The one that you previously stated. It sounds like
22 that was the website I was directed to.
23
24
Q.
A.
Did you play the audio?
No.
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1 Q. You just contacted the state's attorneys?
2 A. I just contacted the State's Attorney's office.
3 MR. PODLASEK: Judge, I have no further questions.
4 THE COURT: All right. Cross.
5
6 CROSS-EXAMINATION
7 BY MR. ALBUKERK:
8 Q. Miss Taylor, its's a crime to alter an official court
9 transcript, correct?
10 A. A cri me? Correct. It's... (Pausi ng. ) Ri ght.
11 Q. And it's also a crime to help cover up a crime,
12 correct?
13
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Correct. A.
Q. Now we just heard those transcripts, and it's pretty
clear that Miss Melongo believed that the transcript in
question, the June 18, 2008, transcript wasn't correct; is that
correct?
A. That's what she believed, yes.
Q. She cited to you several different ways that that
transcript was not correct?
A. Yes, she did.
Q. She pointed out to you that the Clerk's office didn't
have her being arraigned that day, June 18th of 2008?
A. She said that.
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o. And the Clerk's office is supposed to record whether
or not she was arraigned on June 18th of 2008?
A. I don't work for the Clerk's office, so I can't speak
for the Clerk's office and what they are supposed to do.
O. Right. But Miss Melongo pointed that out to you?
A. I believe she did.
O. And she also pointed out to you I believe that the
court sheets and the half sheets also indicated that she had not
been arraigned on June 18th of 2008?
A. If that's what you say she said, she probably did say
all of that.
O. Now, you are the supervisor for the Court Reporters
13 offi ce?
14
15
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18
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21
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23
24
A.
O.
A.
O.
Correct.
But you are also a court reporter as well?
Correct.
So you do have duties, you have to go to the courtroom
and you have to sometimes take transcripts?
A. I don't go to court anymore, no.
O. Well, at that time when this was going on in December
of '09, were you still going to courtrooms or were you in the
office?
A. I've been pretty much in the office since about 2003.
O. So in any case, then your duties are administrative
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1 then?
2 I
3
A.
O.
For the most part, yes.
And Miss Laudien had asked you to get involved in this
4 case?
5
6
A.
O.
Correct.
So your job actually is to deal with, well, complaints
7 of this nature, correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 MR. ALBUKERK : May I have one moment?
10 THE COURT: You may .
11 [PAUSE HELD]
12 MR . ALBUKERK: O. Your initial message to my
13 client was a voice mail that you left on my client's -- I am
14 referring to People's Exhibit NO.5 .
15 THE WITNESS: A. Okay.
16 MR. ALBUKERK: O. And this is the message that
17
18
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21
22
23
24
you left
A.
O.
A.
O.
Right.
-- for my client?
Right.
And in that message you told her specifically not to
contact Miss Laudien?
A. Correct .
O. And you told my cl ient to not contact anybody in the
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Court Reporters office except for you?
A. Correct.
Q. These conversations that had that you estimated that
4 all three exhibits that the State had presented, you think it
5 took about 15 minutes of your time?
6
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A. It looks 1 i ke it took longer.
Q. Maybe 20 minutes?
A. Yeah.
Q. 25 minutes?
A. Somewhere.
Q. Okay. But in no way did these conversations impede
your ability to do your job?
A. No. I think on one transcript you can tell that I did
have to take another phone call .
Q.
A.
Right.
So at that point I ended the conversation with
1 7 Mi ss Mel ongo .
18 Q. Right. But in no way did any of these conversations,
19 the posting of these conversations interfere with the work of
20 the Court Reporters office?
21
22
23
24
no.
A. Interfere with the work of the Court Reporters office ,
MR. ALBUKERK: Can I have a moment?
THE COURT: You may.
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1 I
I
[PAUSE HELD]
2 I MR. ALBUKERK: Q. The Court Reporters Office,
3 it's a business, correct?
4 THE WITNESS: A. A business in what sense? That
5 makes money, that doesn't makes money?
6 Q. That makes money.
7 A. No, we don't make any money. Individually the court
8 reporters, they get a salary and they get paid for the
9 transcripts.
10 Q. And they get paid for the transcripts in part from the
11 State's Attorney's office?
12 A. They get paid for the transcripts depending who orders
13 the transcripts. That could be a private attorney, that could
14 be a private person, that could be the State's Attorney's
15 office, that could be the Public Defender's office, that could
16 be the State Appellate Defender. It could be anybody. Anybody
17 can come in and order a transcript and pay for it.
18 Q. But in any event, the State's Attorney's office is one
19 of the largest purchasers of transcripts, is that correct?
20 MR. PODLASEK: Judge, I will object to that.
21 THE COURT: Overruled. You can answer that.
22 THE WITNESS: A. No, they are not.
23 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. No?
24 A. No.
L __ _ __ ___ .
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1 MR . ALBUKERK : Q. Who is the largest purchaser of
2 transcripts?
3 A. State of III i noi s .
4 Q. Isn't the State of Illinois purchasing those
5 transcripts on behalf of the State's Attorney's office?
6 A. No, the State of Illinois is purchasing the
7 transcripts on behalf of, they are the ones that handle the
8 appeals.
9 MR . ALBUKERK: Thank you for clarifying that.
10 Q. However , the State's Attorney's office
11 is still one of the largest purchasers of your transcripts?
12 MR. PODLASEK: Objection to that, Judge, as asked
13 and answered.
14 THE COURT: Overruled.
15 THE WITNESS: A. Yes, they are.
16 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. Can you put a dollar amount on
17 a yearly basis how much the State's Attorney's office pays the
18 court reporters?
19 THE COURT: Sustained as to that .
20 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. Now when you were speaking with
21 my client, my client was asking you for the audio recordings?
22 THE WITNESS: A. At one point, yes, she was.
23 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. And she wanted those audio
24 recordings to determine if in fact a mistake had been made on
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--- --
1 the June 18th of 2008 transcript?
2 MR. PODLASEK: Objection , Judge, as to what she
3 wanted.
4 THE COURT: Sustained.
5 MR. ALBUKERK : Q. Well, in any event, you are
6 aware or you are aware that a lot of court reporters use
7 different systems in fact to take transcripts, correct?
8 THE WITNESS: A. Yes, they do.
9 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. And a lot of the court
10 reporters use audio recordings, right?
11 A. Some do, some don't.
12 Q. At this point in time -- and, of course, I am talking
13 about today and here in 2011 -- most of the court reporters
14 actually do use a recording device?
15 A. You know what , I don't want to say "most" because I
16 really can't say that. Some do, some don't.
17 Q. Well, today is used a recording device , correct?
18 A. Is Miss Kerns using a court reporting device right
19 now? I'm assuming that's a microphone but that doesn't
20 necessarily mean that it's recording, because sometimes I don't
21 see that she has the ear plugs. Because sometimes they use the
22 ear plugs because it helps them hear better .
23 Q. So even though there is a microphone out there, that
24 may not be recording?
1 ________ _
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A. I have no idea; that's her equipment.
Q. Do you ever train court reporters in how to use that
court reporting device?
A. No. I train court reporters on how, what to do as far
as managing a court call, but the court reporters come here with
their own equipment and use it as they see fit to do their job
the way they think best. But as far as training, training, I
don't train anybody to use audio equipment.
Q. Right. Now when that audio is recording things, it's
recording everything that's going on, correct?
A. I can't answer that. What audio are you talking
about?
Q. Well --
A. Because see, I personally don't use audio equipment.
When I was a court reporter I didn't use it, so.
Q. Well, has anyone ever told individual court reporters
that they have to stop recording when they are not on the
record?
A. What I have to explain about the audio recording is
that it's work product. So if this particular court reporter
can choose to record or not record. Another court reporter can
choose to record this particular session and not another. It's
not a job requirement is what I am saying. So when you are
asking me about audio recording, because it's not a job
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I r- e-q-u 1-' re-me - nt - I c- a-n- ' t - 9-i v-e y-o-u- an-y - d-e-f i n- i-t i ve answer" """l
Q. But it's your position that if audio is made you are I
not going to turn it over, correct?
A. If I do an audio am I going to turn it over? No,
because it's my work product. The only thing I am required by
law to give you is the transcript.
Q. So if you are given a subpoena , which is a court order
asking for audio, you are not going to turn it over?
A. If I am given a subpoena to turn over audio that I may
still have in my possession as an official court reporter for
the State of Illinois, I will probably come to court with the
Attorney General who represents me.
MR. ALBUKERK: Thank you.
THE COURT: Any redirect?
MR. PODLASEK: Briefly.
REDIRECT EXAMINATION
BY MR. PODLASEK:
Q. You were asked on cross-examination by counsel whether
Miss Melongo believed or stated that she believed that the
transcript was incorrect, is that true?
A. Yes. He asked me if she believed that and I guess
that's what she believed. I don't know what she believed .
Q. Do you know actually what she believed or whether she
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1
2
was lying to you?
A. I have no idea . I was just trying to help
3 Miss Melongo to the best of my ability.
4
5
6
7
day?
Q.
A.
Q.
Do you know whether she was actually in court that
No, I don't know. I wasn't there .
So the only thing you have to go by is that transcript I
8 of June 18th of 2008?
9
10
A.
Q.
Right, the official court transcript.
At anytime since you have been introduced to
11 Miss Melongo either telephonically through e-mails or in person
12 have you ever committed or planned to commit a crime against
13 her?
A. No.
MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, I am going to object --
THE COURT: Overruled.
MR . PODLASEK: I have no further questions, Judge.
THE COURT: Any recross based on that?
MR. ALBUKERK: Yes.
RECROSS EXAMINATION
14
15
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23
BY MR. ALBUKERK:
Q. You just said the only thing you had to go by was the
24 court transcript, correct?
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1 r ~ A.
That was the only thing that was presented to me, yes.
Well, but you had other things to go by. You had the 2
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Q.
Clerk's computer information, you could have gone by that?
A. Oh, I stand corrected . We do have access to the
Clerk's computer and I did look at the Clerk's computer. I'm
sorry.
Q. And so you knew that the Clerk's computer indicated
that no arraignment had taken place that day?
A. I knew that the Clerk's computer stated that
Miss Melongo was not present for the assignment call .
Q. Right. Which is on June 18th of 2008?
A. Exactly. And that is the question that was brought
before me is that Miss Melongo felt she wasn't in court , and the
first conversation I had with her I was explaining to her,
"Right, you were weren't in court at the assignment call but you
were in court."
Q.
A.
According to the transcript?
According to the transcript in the other call.
THE COURT: What was the last thing you said, on
20 the other call not the assignment call?
21 THE WITNESS : Not the assignment call but when she
22 was assigned to Judge Schreier. Judge Schreier's call.
23 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. However, the question I was
24 asking you was because -- just to wander a little bit -- you
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1 were asked questions , so the only thing you had to go by was the
2 transcript, correct?
3 THE WITNESS: A. Exactly.
4 MR. ALBUKERK : O. However , that's not exactly
5 true. You could have gone by the Clerk's record, right?
6 A. I could have gone by the Clerk's record if that's what
7 my focus was on . When it was presented to me, Miss Melongo's
8 situation , which is Miss Melongo felt that she was not present,
9 when I was presented with all the information that Miss Melongo
10 felt that she was not present, when I looked on the Clerk's
11 computer and I realized that she was not present for the
12 assignment call, but according to the transcript she was present
13 for Judge Schreier's call. The telephone conversation I had
14 with her , that's what I was trying to explain to her, because I
15 know in talking to people like Miss Melongo every single day,
16 this is a daunting place and people get courtrooms and things
17 like that mixed up. And the very first conversation that's what
18 I was trying to explain to her is that, you're right, you
19 weren't present at the assignment call.
20 O. Yes, you're correct. People get courtrooms get mixed
21 up. In fact, court reporters sometimes get courtrooms mixed up?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Court reporters never make a mistake in their
24 transcripts?
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1 A. Oh, do people? Yes, everybody can make a mistake. We
2 call that typos.
3 MR. ALBUKERK: Okay. Thank you.
4 MR. PODLASEK: Briefly.
5 THE COURT: If we haven't heard it once. If I've
6 heard it once, I don't want to hear it again. Are you done yet?
7 I thought you were finished. Are you finished, Mr. Albukerk?
8 MR. ALBUKERK: Can I have just one moment.
9 [PAUSE HELD]
10
1 1 Judge.
MR. ALBUKERK: Yeah, we're all done. Sorry,
1 2 MR. POD LASEK : No.
13 THE COURT: Thank you, ma'am. You may step down.
1 4 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
15 THE COURT: You can proceed, State.
16 MR. PODLASEK: We have one further witness that we
17 prefer to call that witness after lunch, if you don't mind.
18 THE COURT: Ladies and gentlemen, we'll take a
19 lunch break now. You have been sitting here for sometime, so
20 we'll bring you back out after lunch. All rise for the jury.
21 (WHEREUPON. the jury ex; ted the
22 courtroom. )
23 THE COURT: Okay. Defense -- everyone may be
24 seated in court -- you did want to make a record of earlier
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1 I objections when Miss Laudien was testifying .
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MR. ALBUKERK: Yes, Judge.
3 For the record Your Honor has given us
4 strict instructions to not make speaking objections, to not give
5 the basis of those objections, but merely say "objection," and
6 then to ask for a side bar. Judge, I think that severely
7 prejudices the defense and I think it severely prejudices the
8 record.
9 THE COURT: Really? Because I have to interrupt
10 you and completely disagree. Most courtrooms I've ever been in,
11 the judges in front of a jury do not allow long-speaking
12 objections, rambling positions given by parties. So what you
13 are doing in this courtroom, and I'm sure you've been around a
14 long ti me, is the same as most other jury tri al s. lin fact
15 have never been in a courtroom where speaking objections and
16 arguments were allowed in front of the jury. So that's
17 absolutely incorrect . You are allowed to object. I am not
18 curtailing anybody's ability to object; I am simply asking you
19 to ask for a side bar if you feel it's important.
20 I generally know why you are objecting. So
21 I pretty much know where you are going with your objections, and
22 if I feel it needs a side bar I will grant it and, if not, I
23 will let you make your record, which is what I am doing now.
24 But I vehemently disagree with your position that I am trying to
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curtail that way that you are objecting or the way that you are
handling this trial. I am just curtailing long speeches in
front of the jury by either side, State or defense .
MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, again this is for the
record. I agree a hundred percent about the long speeches. And
obviously , Your Honor, you have a tremendous amount of
experience more than anybody else in this courtroom, no one is
doubting that, and I am sure that 99 percent of the time that
you do know what my objection is going to be. But my fear is
that, you know, in not being an able to state the basis of the
objection that there is a chance that a small, very small
chance -- perhaps you don't know what my objection is going to
be, and that's what I am going to state here now.
Earlier there was a whole conversation with
the first witness, Miss Laudien; there was a back and forth in
terms of what my client said, what she said. Judge, that was
all hearsay, there should have been a running objection to that.
That was the objection I wanted to make.
THE COURT: Let me ask you this. Everyone knew
Miss Laudien was going to testify, she is on the witness list,
did it not occur to anybody, to you in particular, to do a
motion in limine to preclude certain testimony? Isn't that what
motions in limine are for?
MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, it's hearsay. I didn't
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1 believe I needed to do a motion in limine to preclude hearsay.
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THE COURT: Okay.
MR. ALBUKERK: In any event, that's why I wanted
4 to do that; and therefore, Judge, I believe we were prejudiced
5 by that.
6 Also, Judge, there was another thing about
7 the money. Obviously I am allowed to cross-examine witnesses
8 based on any motive, interest, or bias, and that includes money.
9 And, Judge, I think I should have been allowed to go into that.
10 I know that was objected to and sustained.
1 1 THE COURT: I want to give you my basis for the
12 ruling on that. I knew that's exactly what you were going for
13 and obviously I agree with you, you are allowed to inquire about
14 bias and I did allow you to inquire on some level with both
15 witnesses, Miss Laudien, as well as Miss Taylor, and I overruled
16 the State's objection to preclude all questioning on that. But
17 I thought it was going too far afield, you asked Ms. Laudien
18 over her 34 years how much does the State of Illinois pay her.
19 It's incredibly broad, suffice it to say she has been getting
20 paid by the State of Illinois for 34 years in some fashion, or
21 28 years, is more than enough to establish your bias. You have
22 asked Miss Taylor, who has been around for 30 plus years, how
23 much the State of Illinois -- rather, let me rephrase it, how
24 much the Cook County State's Attorney's office has paid to the
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1 Court Reporters office over decades, and I think that is just
2 way too far afield. I agree with you on bias and I did allow
3 you to inquire into that but I think your questions had gotten
4 to a relevance issue in terms of the amount.
5 All right. Anything other things you wanted
6 to put on the record?
7 MR. ALBUKERK: No, I think that was it.
8 THE COURT: You have one more witness. I
9 shouldn't say one more. Do you have a witness after lunch?
10 MR. PODLASEK: Actually, I think it is going to be
11 the same witness that Mr. Albukerk planned on, that will be
12 someone from the Clerk's office. If you want to give
13 Mr. Albukerk leeway with his cross-examination.
14 THE COURT: If the State has no objection, I will
15 do that.
16 MR. PODLASEK: I don't have an objection to that.
17 I think that would move things along.
18 THE COURT: If you want to do that, Mr. Albukerk,
19 I will give you wide latitude on cross-examination. Parties are
20 in agreement. If you want to call her back in your case in
21 chief that's up to you as well. However you want to handle it.
22 MR. ALBUKERK: Sure.
23 THE COURT: What about jury instructions? Do I
24 have those to go over during lunch? Anything else to put on the
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1 I record? Otherwise I will let the court reporter get a break
2 while we are discussing the jury instructions informally.
3 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, I have this. I don't
4 remember if I gave you the non-IPI that I printed up.
5 THE COURT: I did not get it. You were going to
6 give it to me last evening, but I didn't get it.
7 MR. ALBUKERK: I'm sorry. I will give it to you
8 now. It's here someplace . Oh, it's over here .
9 THE COURT: While you are checking on that, let me
10 just handle what I believe will be the last case on the regular
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call.
[PAUSE HELD]
(Lunch break held)
THE COURT: Let's go on the record. We are on the
17 record with the parties present in court. Can you bring out
18 Miss Melongo, deputies. Deputies, can someone turn on the mike
19 and get Miss Melongo out for me, please.
20 We have Miss Melongo present in court.
21 Ma'am, you can have a seat over at counsel table.
22 We have done an informal jury instructions
23 conference. I will put the results on the record. IPI 1.01
24 that will go in as instruction No.1. 1.02 in its proper form
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1 will go in as Instruction 2. State, do you have the copy
2 prepared without the paragraph of the defendant testifying? I
3 only have one version of 1.02.
4 MS. GUNNIGLE: No, it was requested, Judge. I
5 don't see it here. If you let me double-check.
6 THE COURT: Okay. Because it's prepared as though
7 as the defendant is going to testify. I just want it prepared
8 the other way as well.
9 MR. ALBUKERK: And that's my hope. I thought we
10 did this morning.
11 THE COURT: I thought we did. I don't have it in
12 ei ther pil e.
13 MR. PODLASEK: I'll have to go down and get that.
14 THE COURT: 1.02 will be Instruction 2 in whatever
15 form is correct . 1.03 is Jury Instruction No.3, opening
16 statements. 1.05, note taking, that's going to be No.4. 2.01
17 which is what she is charged with will be NO.5. 2.02 charging
18 document instruction will be Instruction 6. 2.03, presumption
19 of innocence, Instruction 7. I have marked as 7A 2.04, that's
20 "the fact the defendant did not testify must not be considered."
21 You want that given if she chooses not to testify, correct?
22 MR . ALBUKERK: Correct.
23 THE COURT: So that will be 7A. We will determine
24 down the road if that's going to be used. 2.03, presumption of
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1 I innocence, that's NO.8. 3.14, it's been prepared in two
2 different forms. The first one says "evidence has been received
3 that the defendant has been involved in an offense other than
4 those charged in the indictment," and then there is a second one
5 where that first paragraph is there and then there is two
6 additional paragraphs adding, "this evidence has been received
7 on the issue of the defendant's intent and may be considered by
8 you only for that limited purpose. It is for you to determine
9 whether defendant was involved in that offense and, if so, what
10 weight should be given to this evidence on the issue of the
11 other offense." (End of readi ng . ) Now, wi th respect to the
12 first form that it's prepared in, is either side proffering the
13 one sentence, 3. 14?
14 MS. GUNNIGLE: No , Judge. That was a mistake, I
15 apologize.
16 THE COURT: That will be withdrawn. It doesn't
17 really instruct them on anything.
18 As to the 3.14 in the three paragraph form,
19 what is the position of the parties on this one?
20 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, clearly this is written for
21 a situation where the State was offering evidence of other
22 crimes to show a pattern or a consistency or something that
23 shows that in the past you did something like this and in those
24 cases obviously this instruction is the correct one to use.
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This is not that situation. If anything, the instruction should I
be the exact opposite. They may not consider the other charge
because the other charge she's never been convicted of. It's
still pending out there. If anything, she retains the
presumption of innocence. And that's the reason why this is
wholly inappropriate . This instruction was supposed to be used
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obviously only when the State was using prior acts and they were 1
8 trying to get in the prior acts to show a pattern. And clearly
9 this is inappropriate. If anything, the -- well, the first
10 sentence would be okay and then after that you would want to put
11 a non-IPI, something to the effect this charge is still pending
12 against her, she retains, you know, the presumption of
13 innocence. You know, that's the way the instruction should read
14 if we are going to give a jury instruction that reflects
1 5 III i noi slaw.
16 THE COURT: I do want to say this before I allow
17 the State to argue. Under Committee Notes for 3.14 it indicates
18 that whenever the instruction is used that all three paragraphs
19 in whatever form is applicable must be given to the jury. So go
20 ahead with your argument, State.
21 MR. PODLASEK: Judge, I would say that they are
22 presenting a case where the intent of Miss Melongo is based
23 strictly on her pending case , and we haven't talked about any
24 case except to say that it exists. As counsel says, we are
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1 limited in what we can say about that case. It's a "but for."
2 But for that pending case, none of this would have happened.
3 The eavesdropping wouldn't have occurred . Again, I go back to
4 her conversation with Miss Laudien. Her conversation was very
5 clear. She is looking at whatever happened with that
6 arraignment to get rid of her other case and now she is
7 eavesdropping on Pamela Taylor, because according to evidence
8 which has been stipulated to, her theory of the case is there is
9 some massive conspiracy that is blocking her from going ahead
10 and either removing this to federal court or that she wasn't
11 arraigned and she is going to get off on that basis. So I think
12 that somehow you have to tell them that she has a pending case
13 out there that provides some kind of motive or intent for her to
14 commit the eavesdropping.
15 THE COURT: Go ahead.
16 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, I believe if you give this
17 instruction you are going to be triggering double jeopardy on
18 that other charge.
19 THE COURT: Well, I will cut you off there.
20 Absolutely not. They've only heard the charge is computer
21
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tampering.
MR. ALBUKERK: Correct. But
23 THE COURT: I mean if it was a different case and
24 for whatever reason if it was relevant, they could have heard
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from half of the witnesses one the computer tampering if it was
relevant in some way to this case and that certainly wouldn't be
a bar to double jeopardy to subsequent prosecution . So that
argument doesn't bear any weight. And all they've heard is just
simply she has been charged with computer tampering pretty much.
Period. So I don't see that argument is persuasive.
However, they have heard evidence that she
has been charged with another offense. The State has made an
argument that that's been received on the element of the
defendant's intent as to why she would in some way or fashion
say the transcript was falsified. I am having a problem in this
case with the third paragraph because the jury didn't hear --
the jury did not hear significant testimony about this other
case, which is usually the case in proof of other crimes where
they hear a lot of testimony about the other crime. Here they
pretty much just know the name of it. So No.3 is really not
that applicable here in the way that it is written because they
are not going to be determining whether she committed the
offense of computer tampering, they don't know anything about
that case.
MR. PODLASEK: Why not strike that paragraph?
THE COURT: Well, the Committee Notes do indicate
that all three need to be given. So my thought would be to
modify paragraph No.3 because they will not be debating about I
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1 whether she did or didn't commit --
2 MR. PODLASEK: State has no problem. I agree
3 after looking at this that it is, based on what we are doing
4 here today, confusing.
5 THE COURT: I think that it should be written, and
6 I I'll throw this out there and you tell me what your position is
7 to the third paragraph --
8 MR . ALBUKERK: Sure.
9 THE COURT : it is for you to determine what
10 weight should be given to this evidence. Period . As it relates
11 to the case in front of them. As it relates to the charged
12 offense.
13 MR. PODLASEK: Is that one sentence?
14 THE COURT: Yes . So striking whether the
15 defendant was involved in that offense.
16 MR. PODLASEK: State has no problem, Judge.
17 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, we would ask the entire
18 third paragraph be stricken . We think that's fair. We think
19 the proper thing to say is it's for a limited purpose and leave
20 it at that. We think the entire third paragraph should be
21 stricken.
22 THE COURT: The defense is requesting me to do
23 that. It does go contrary to the instruction, but I think this
24 is a little bit of an unusual case that we have here. And I'm
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1 only speaking about the fact that they only know that it's
2 computer tampering, we didn't get into the body of that case.
3 So in this case I think it may be appropriate to strike the
4 third paragraph.
5 What's the State's position.
6 MR. PODLASEK: State's position is that we agree
7 with that.
8 THE COURT: Then we will do modified 3.14 is
9 modified by agreement of the State and defense. We will strike
10 that third paragraph and it will be IPI Instruction No.9.
11 12.03X, definition of eavesdropping, that's
12 No. 10. There is no objection to that.
13 Now, there is going to be some discussion
14 about 12.04X. The State's prepared it according to the IPI and
15 it does not include the defense to eavesdropping. Or the
16 exemption as the statute calls it.
17 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, if I could make a record
18 now.
19 MR. PODLASEK: Judge, I think I can shorten this.
20 I don't mean to interrupt.
21 MR. ALBUKERK: No.
22 MR. PODLASEK: Flip the paragraphs around from
23 not guilty to guilty, like a regular instruction --
24 THE COURT REPORTER: I'm sorry. Like a what?
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MR. PODLASEK: So instead of reading.
THE COURT: Quiet in the gallery out there. Hold
3 on. Quiet in the gallery, please.
4 12.04 go ahead.
5 MR. PODLASEK: I was looking at his IPI No.1.
6 THE COURT: Go ahead. Let's go off the record for
7 a moment.
8 (Discussion held off the record.)
9 THE COURT: We are going back on the record.
10 Thank you. We have had a discussion off the record with respect
11 to the proffered non-IPI instruction from the defense, which is
12 actually, I'm calling it a modified 12.04X and the parties have
13 discussed it, and with a change in paragraphs the parties are in
14 agreement to give 12.04X as modified and as to the issues of
15 eavesdropping. So it will be read, and I will put it into the
16 record, "To sustai n the charge of eavesdroppi ng by use of
17 eavesdropping device, the State must prove the following
18 propositions beyond a reasonable doubt. First, that the
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defendant knowingly used an eavesdropping device to hear or
record all or any part of the conversation. And, second" -- it
should say, "that when the defendant did so." So add that.
"That when the defendant did so" -- Let me strike that. It
reads more cleanly the way you have it written. "Second
proposition is: That the defendant did so without the consent
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of all part i es to the conversat ion. "
The next proffered paragraph which is the
modification, non-IPI, is: "If you find from your consideration
of all the evidence that the first proposition and the second
proposition have both been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, or,
that the individual who recorded the conversation did not have a
reasonable suspicion that another party to the conversation was
committing, about to commit, or had committed a crime against
her, or, that there was no reason to believe that evidence of
the criminal offense may be obtained by the recording, then you
should find the defendant guilty." And then the concluding
paragraph would be, "If you find from your consideration of all
of the evidence that either one of these propositions has not
been proved beyond a reasonable doubt or you find that the party
who recorded the conversation did so under reasonable suspicion
that another party to the conversation was committing, was about
to commit, or had committed a criminal offense against that
person and there is reason to believe that evidence of the
criminal offense may be obtained by the recording, then you
should find the defendant not guilty." (End of reading.)
Is that what the parties are in agreement as
to?
MR. ALBUKERK: Yes.
MR. PODLASEK: Yes, Judge.
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1 I THE COURT: That will go in as Instruction No. 11
2 and you'll modify that.
3 Now what about the non-IPI No.2 that was
4 proffered by the defense? And that reads, "It is not a
5 violation of the eavesdropping law if the person making a
6 recording is a party to that conversation and has a reasonable
7 suspicion that another party to the conversation is committing,
8 is about to commit or has committed a criminal offense against
9 her, and there is reason to believe that evidence of the
10 cri mi nal offense may be obtai ned by the recordi ng." I bel i eve
11 this goes along to just explain what's already contained in the
12 issues i nst ruct ions.
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MR. ALBUKERK: Right.
THE COURT: Are you still seeking it?
MR. ALBUKERK: For the record, yes.
THE COURT : What's your position?
MR. ALBUKERK: Mine or the State's?
THE COURT: You said you are not seeking it.
MR. ALBUKERK: I am.
THE COURT: Oh, I'm sorry. What is your
21 possession, State?
22 MR. PODLASEK: If it's in the issues, why are we
23 repeating ourselves?
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we are talking, we've already explained what eavesdropping is.
THE COURT: I don't need to hear anything more. I
will give it over State's objection as 10A. So it will be
4 non-IPI , it will be Instruction No. 10A. I am going to give it
5 before the issues and I am going to give it right after No. 10
6 which talks about what eavesdropping is .
7 So then we should be on 12.05B, definition
8 of conversation. Any objection to that? It says what the word
9 conversation means.
10 MR. ALBUKERK : Oh, here. We found it. Yeah, I
11 mean I don't have any.
12 THE COURT: That will go in as No. 12. We have
13 12.05, which is eavesdropping device. Any objection to that?
14 MR. ALBUKERK: No.
15 THE COURT: That will be No. 13. So then 14
16 should be the concluding 12.02X.
17 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, I think this is --
18 THE COURT: Are you still proceeding on 12.02,
19 State?
20 MS. GUNNIGLE: 12.02, Judge
21 THE COURT: It doesn't talk about divulging.
22 MR . PODLASEK: That's 12.04X.
23 THE COURT: I am not seeing the difference really
24 between the issues in 12.02 and 12.04. Were you going to
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1 withdraw 12.02? I'm not seeing an issues instruction prepared
2 for the divulging.
3 MS . GUNNIGLE: That's 12.04X, Your Honor .
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MR. PODLASEK: Apparently that was left out. If
you would like to see that.
(Document tendered to the court.)
THE COURT: So you want to go back to 12.04 and
insert the word "by use of or divulgence of information?"
MR. PODLASEK: I'll have to rewrite it because
that's not exactly what he has written in his .
MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, just so you know my thinking
on this. The divulgence end of it , it seems like it's just an
extra element that the State would have to prove to get the same
exact charge. In other words, if --
THE COURT : But it is under two different
theories. One is just the recording of it and the other is the
divulging of it. So my question to the parties is adding the
words "whereby divulging" the one issues instruction, do you
both believe would take care of it if you include that in the
definition --
MR. ALBUKERK:
THE COURT:
MR. ALBUKERK:
Yeah.
and in the issues?
Yes.
MR. PODLASEK: So it reads , "To sustain the charge
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1 eavesdropping by use of an eavesdropping device or divulgence of
2 information."
3 THE COURT: Yes. I think you would have to change
4 the proposition as well, unless you want to create a whole
5 separate 12.04 modified that has to do strictly with just the
6 divulging. Or you could do a separate issues instruction for
7 the divulging and we have the issues instruction here for the
8 recording.
9 MS. GUNNIGLE: That may be the cleanest way to go,
10 Your Honor.
11 THE COURT: Why don't you do that. Prepare one
12 that mirrors 12.04X, only include the divulging language and
13 then we'll review them before we go to arguments.
1 4 MR. ALBUKERK: Okay.
15 THE COURT: Okay. And you'll withdraw the 12.02
16 and 12.01 that I had in my packet?
17 MS. GUNNIGLE: Yes, Judge.
18 THE COURT: So now we get to the concluding
19 instruction. They are basically going to get four forms of
20 verdict altogether. Two forms of verdict pertaining to each
21 particular charge.
22 MR. PODLASEK: Correct. So there is six charges.
23 She committed on three separate days eavesdropping and she
24 committed sometime in the future three separate acts of
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1 divulging information.
2 THE COURT: In order to prevail on eavesdropping,
3 the jury really just needs to find that she did it one of those
4 three times, correct?
5 MR. PODLASEK: Correct.
6 THE COURT: The same with the divulging, they
7 really just need to find she divulged on one prior, one of those
8 three occasions.
9 MR. PODLASEK: Right.
10 THE COURT: I don't believe that the three counts
11 one or the other will affect sentencing. It would seem to me
12 they would merge, unless you are going to do a separate verdict
13 form and have a separate date for the time frame on each of the
14 three--
15 MR. PODLASEK: The time frame is the time frame
16 from the time period on all of it is the same because they are
17 so close in time to the 14th, 15th, and 16th of December on or
18 about.
19 THE COURT: So I guess my thought is -- and you
20 can both weigh in on it - - it seems to me there should be four
21 forms of verdict, one that goes to the eavesdropping device and
22 one that goes to the divulging of the information.
23 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, my thinking is there should
24 only be two forms because the elements, Judge, the divulgence is
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1 just an added element. So, you know, and we are basically
2 stipulating to the fact that she divulged them because we are
3 stipulating to the fact they're on there. So the only issue in
4 the case is to whether she had a reasonable suspicion or not.
5 In any event, then would she receive two felonies or one felony
6 if she were convicted on both of those? I think there is a
7 I great argument that one is subsumed into the other in any event.
8 MR. PODLASEK: I'm not sure it is, Judge, because
9 it's two separate acts. She could have taken anyone of those
10 three conversations and maybe placed one or two of them on, then
11 she would be charged with only two counts, but could be charged
12 with three counts of eavesdropping.
13 MS. GUNNIGLE: The other issue the State is
14 considering on perhaps the first conversation it could be argued
15 that there may have been a reasonable suspicion, but after
16 I further investigation on maybe conversations two and three that
17 that didn't exist, and that's why it was proposed to do it this
18 way.
19 THE COURT: So where are the verdict forms?
20 MS. GUNNIGLE: I have them right here, Your Honor.
21 THE COURT: How would they know what they are
22 voti ng on?
23 MR. PODLASEK: We wrote them as count 1, count 2,
24 count 3, count 4.
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1 1-- --- THE COURT: The jury doesn' t know, they don't get
2 1 the indictment back there. How would they know? They never get
3 I the indictment.
4 MR. ALBUKERK: I think we are creating a lot of
5 confusion if we keep putting in a lot of forms.
6 THE COURT: Well, let me just say this. We are
7 going to finish the case and then I'll take another break. But
8 the jury doesn't get the indictment, so they don't know what
9 count 1, count 2, et cetera, is and I am not tendering them the
10 indictment back. So if you can come up with a different way to
11 delineate it. I think you could take care of it in argument
12 that even if they give her the first conversation being a
13 reasonable belief from the State's point of view, certainly
14 nothing developed toward where it continued taping would be your
15 argument. We'll have to continue with the verdict forms. Let's
16 get back to the case. Concluding instruction forms we'll deal
17 wi th after the evi dence is in.
18 Tell the jury we'll bring them out, please.
19 THE COURT: I also wanted to put on the record, I
20 believe this was during our discussions with the jury
21 instructions, Mr. Albukerk, you indicated it is your position
22 that the defense, the exemption as it's termed in the statute,
23 it's not an affirmative defense but, rather, it's simply a
24 defense to the case?
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MR. ALBUKERK: Correct.
THE COURT: So the instructions have been written
3 that way. The instructions are not calling it an affirmative
4 defense.
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MR. ALBUKERK: Thank you .
THE COURT: Let's bring out the jury. The plan
7 would be to call however many witnesses you are going to call,
8 rest in front of the jury .
9 MR. ALBUKERK: I'll be ready to go right away. I
10 have Ms. DePooter here from the --
11 THE COURT: When they rest we'll go right to
12 defense case.
13 MR. ALBUKERK: I will make my motion for directed
verdict. If you want me to make that motion now or just so you
understand I'll be making it.
THE COURT: When the case rests their case in
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chief we will do a side bar and then you can make your motion at I
that time.
MR. ALBUKERK: Thank you.
THE COURT: Let's bring out the jury, please.
(WHEREUPON, the jury reentered the
22 courtroom.
23 THE COURT: Everybody may be seated. Good
24 afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. We left off with the State's
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1 case in chief. State you may proceed.
2 MS. GUNNIGLE: Thank you, Judge. The State would
3 call Robin Sukalo.
4 (WITNESS SWORN)
5 THE COURT: You may proceed when you are ready.
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ROBIN SUKALO
called as a witness on behalf of the People, having been first
duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
DIRECT EXAMINATION
BY MS . GUNNIGLE:
Q. Miss Sukalo, would you please state your full name for
the record and spell it.
A. First name is Robin, ROB I N, last name Sukalo.
S U K A L O.
Q. Where do you work, Miss Sukalo?
A. I work for the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Q. How long have you been working for the Clerk of the
Circuit Court?
A. 18 years .
Q . What did you do previous to that?
A. Previous to working here? I managed a doctor's
office.
Q. I want to talk to you about your work over the last
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1 18 years. Do you work here at 26th Street and California?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What do your job duties include?
4 A. I am a manager. I manage the court clerks, court
5 side, the courtrooms, and any work dealing with the clerk's
6 office, with the front counter.
7 Q. Have you always held this position in management?
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8 A. No, for the last 10 years. I was a court clerk prior.
9 Q. A court clerk: Does that mean someone who is sitting
10 in the room during a court call?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. As such, do you have experience reading the court
13 documents that would have passed through those hands?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I woul d 1 i ke to tal k to you about some of the
16 documents that you kept. Does the court clerk keep any sort of
17 electronic logs of what happened to the courtrooms?
18 A. Yes. They data enter from the court sheet into the
19 computer by, you know, codes at the end of the day.
20 Q. I guess let's first talk about those court sheets.
21 Can you tell the Grand Jury (sic) what a court sheet is.
22 A. A court sheet is a paper document that the judge
23 writes what happens in court for each individual person for that
24 day.
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1 Q. What kind of notes would it be on one of those court
2 sheets?
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A. Whatever happened in court that day, whatever the
judge would write. Whether it would be a continued date or a
sentencing. Whatever happened for the person that day the judge
would write on the court sheet.
MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, I'm sorry, I can't hear.
THE WITNESS: A. I said whatever would happen to
the person on that day that's what the judge would write on the
court sheet.
THE COURT: She said whether it be a continuance
or sentencing or whatever happened to that person.
MR. ALBUKERK: Thank you.
MR. PODLASEK : Q. What would a clerk being in a
courtroom do with those court sheets?
THE WITNESS: A. She would code them and enter
them into our computer which is our electronic docket.
MS. GUNNIGLE: Q. Is there something called a
half sheet?
A. Yes.
MS. GUNNIGLE: Q. And what is a half sheet?
A. A half sheet is what the appellate court considers our
official record. The clerk handwrites what happens in court
that day, usually from the court sheet.
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1 Q. So a court clerk would take the judge's court sheet ,
2 put it onto a half sheet --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. -- and would keep those records and file it, right?
5 A. Yes , that stays in the file.
6 Q. I want to draw your attention to a specific case. Had
7 you been made aware there had been a specific case made pending
8 against an Annabel Melongo in the Cook County court system?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Have you had a chance to review some of the records
11 that the court clerk kept about that case?
12 A. Yes .
13 Q. I woul d 1 i ke to tal k to you about some of those
14 records. First , I would like to talk to you what's been labeled
15 for identification purposes as People's Exhibit 9. Your Honor ,
1 6 may I approach?
17 THE COURT: You may. Thank you, counsel.
18 MS . GUNNIGLE: At this time , Judge , the State
19 would ask to distribute copies of People's Exhibit 9 to the
20 jury .
21 I THE COURT: No objection from the defense?
22 MR. ALBUKERK: No objection.
23 THE COURT: All right , you may.
24 MS. GUNNIGLE: Q. Miss Sukalo, I have just handed
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1 ~ Y O u People's Exhibit 9. Do you know what this is?
I THE WITNESS: A. Yes. This is a copy of our
3 electronic docket.
4 MS. GUNNIGLE: Q. And how do you know that?
5 THE WITNESS: A. Because we do this everyday.
6 This is what our printout is. This is a certified copy of our
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electronic docket.
Q . The name that appears on this electronic docket sheet?
A. Is Annabel Melongo .
Q. Now I want to talk to you about the kind of notes that
are on this particular electronic docket sheet. The electronic
docket sheet contains the potential charge that is against
someone, is that right?
A. Right.
Q. About halfway down it begins with what appears to be
dates.
A.
Q.
Yes.
Can you tell the jury what those are.
A. That's the dates that the case was up in court, in
what courtroom and which judge, you know, heard the case and
what happened in court that day.
Q. At times it appears there might be some shorthand on
here. I ' d like you to explain what the shorthand might mean.
The very first date appears June 5, 2008 , is that right?
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A. June 3rd.
Q. I'm sorry, June 3, 2008.
A. Yes.
Q. What does that entry say?
A. What that entry means is that is when the indictment
was brought down to our office by the State's Attorney's office
and it was initialized into our system and given a date in front
of the chief judge, you know, to assign for arraignment.
Q. That would be the next date that's entered?
A. Yes.
Q. What is that date?
A. June 18th .
Q. It reads?
A. It was a case assigned by our chief judge Paul Biebel
and it was assigned to Judge Schreier.
Q. I want to talk to you about the entry below that that
reads June 18, 2008: "Defendant not in court."
A. That's common. With our Chief Judge's call the State
brings down our indictments earlier. What we call is we
randomize . We have a wheel that randomly assigned to judges,
that is done four days prior to the court date assignment, and
we would post those dates on the wall. A lot of people just
look at the wall and just go directly to the courtroom they are
assigned, they don't go to 101. That's why she would not be
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1 present there. She would have seen her assigned courtroom on
2 the wall that we post to, you know, what courtroom it was
3 assi gned. 101 is just an assi gnment call .
4 Q. So when you read the entry that says "Defendant not in
5 court; Flood, Lawrence, Edward" underneath?
6 A. That was the judge that sat in for judge Biebel.
7 Q. That says to you that is Courtroom 101?
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A.
Q.
Yes.
Let's go to the next line and it reads June 18, 2008
as well and then says "defendant on bond." What does "defendant
on bond" mean to you?
A. It means the defendant walked into the courtroom on
bond.
Q.
present
A.
Q.
A.
Q.
Was not in custody.
So is that a shorthand in fact that the defendant was
Yes.
-- in court on the 18th?
Yes.
And is there a further notation about which judge that
would have been in front of?
A. Judge Schreier. Right here. I need my glasses.
"Defendant on bond. Judge James Schreier."
Q. And is there a way for this docket sheet to tell what
went on in Judge Schreier's courtroom that day?
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A. Well, it shows it was continued to July 16th of
Q. All right. Now, had the defendant not appeared
court in Judge Schreier's room would there have been a different
4 I entry that could have been made?
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Q.
Yes, we would have coded it defendant not present.
I like to draw your attention a little further down
7 the page. The second to the last entry, August 25, 2008. Is
8 there an entry there as well?
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A. Yes . "Motion defendant; continued to 9-22. Defendant
came in 1 ate, 10: 45 a. m. "
Q. So whether a defendant is there or not or late or not
can also be something that is entered into this docket sheet?
A.
Q.
Yes.
I would like to direct your attention to the next
15 page, page 2, People's Exhibit No.9. And just for example,
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let's look at what the entry would read from March 5, 2009, the
second to the last entry.
A. "Defendant not in court."
Q. That's what the entry would in fact look like if a
20 defendant did not appear then?
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A.
Q.
Yes. Yes, correct.
Okay. I would like to talk to you about how this is
23 made. You said that at some point in time a clerk actually
24 makes these entries into a court's computer?
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1 A. When the judge at the end of the day usually will hand
2 her court sheets to the clerk and we transcribe them by codes
3 and the clerk would then data enter them into the computer at
4 the end of the day based on what was written on the court sheet.
5 Q. And what was written on the court sheet is what the
6 judge puts down?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So if for example the judge missed an entry or the
9 judge failed to take a note about something that happened that
10 day, it woul d not appear on thi s?
11 A. It would not appear on the electronic docket, no.
12 Q. I want to talk to you specifically about arraignments.
13 Do arraignments appear on dockets?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do arraignments always appear on dockets?
16 A. If the judge wri tes on the court sheet.
17 Q. Have you ever seen an instance where perhaps someone
18 was arraigned but it does not appear on a docket sheet?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And why would that happen?
21 A. Clerks will write their half sheets usually during the
22 court call and they will write what they hear not what they see.
23 But at the end of the day when they do their data entry they
24 will enter what they see. That could be, you know, for the
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1 discrepancy.
2 Q. I would like to talk to you about some of those other
3 forms.
4 [PAUSE HELD]
5 MS. GUNNIGLE: Your Honor may I approach?
6 THE COURT: You may .
7 MS. GUNNIGLE: Your Honor, what I am handing to
8 you and what I am handing to the witness is previously marked as
9 People's 10 for identification purposes, and I would ask to
10 tender copies to the jury.
11 THE COURT: Is there any objection?
12 MR. ALBUKERK : No, Judge.
13 THE COURT: All right. You may.
14 MS. GUNNIGLE: Is the jury short a copy?
15 THE COURT: If you are, take this .
16 MS. GUNNIGLE : Thank you, Judge.
17 Q. Do you recogni ze this document?
18 THE WITNESS: A. Yes.
19 MS. GUNNIGLE : Q. And what is this?
20 THE WITNESS: A. This is the half sheet.
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Q .
right?
A.
Q.
This is a half sheet for Annabel K. Melongo, ;s that
Yes.
And this is a half sheet for Annabel K. Melongo with a
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court case that starts 07 CR, is that right?
A. That's correct.
Q. Now based on this court sheet, can you tell what
happened on June 18, 2008?
A. It says "nolle pros case." This case was superceded
by 08 CR 10502 and the bond on that case was transferred to 08
7 CR 10502.
8 Q. You know that by looking at the back of this
9 particular document and in fact the last lines?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. There is a particular notation on there. There is a B
12 and a ci rcl e.
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A.
Q.
A.
Q.
It means on bond. Bond.
That also means present, is that correct?
That means present on bond, yes.
Thank you. I would like to show you another half
17 sheet -- Your Honor, may I approach?
1 8 THE COURT: You may.
19 MS. GUNNIGLE: At this time, Your Honor, the State
20 is tendering to the witness People's Exhibit No. 11 for
21 identification purposes and would ask to publish to the jury.
22 THE COURT: You may.
23 MS . GUNNIGLE: If we are short copies , I
24 apologize. That is in error.
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1 I Q. Miss Sukalo, I have handed
I
you what's I
been marked for identification purposes People's Exhibit 11. Do
3 you know what this is?
THE WITNESS: A. Yes.
MS. GUNNIGLE: Q. And what is it?
THE WITNESS: A. This is a half sheet for OS CR
10502 , 01 defendant.
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Q. And defendant in that case was Annabel K. Melongo, is
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that right?
A.
Q.
Yes.
So based on this half sheet, can you tell what
12 happened in court on this case , the case starting with OS on
13 June 1S, 200S?
14 A. Yes. She was present in court on bond and on
15 June 1Sth it was given a continuance date to July 16th of 'OS.
16 Q . Both in the 07 and the OS-case there is a notation
17 with a B and a circle that she was in fact in court, is that
18 ri ght?
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A. Yes.
THE COURT: That's on what date?
MR. PODLASEK: June 1Sth of 200S, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Okay .
MS. GUNNIGLE: Q. Now based on these two half
24 sheets together, can you tell what happened in this case?
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THE WITNESS: A. The 07 CR case was nollied and
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it superceded into the 08 CR case, which means it became the
08 CR case, and any pertaining documents in that file were
transferred to the 08-case. 08 CR.
Q. Is this how entries typically appear when a case would
be for example reindicted?
A. Yes.
Q. And it would tend to be assigned a new number, right?
A. That's correct.
Q. That's how the 08 case number would become?
A. Yes, that's correct.
Q. There does not appear to be an arraignment on this
sheet, is that right.
A. That's correct.
Q. Is that unusual in any way?
A. No. Not being in court, I don't know what happened.
That's not unusual.
Q. If the defendant was arraigned on that day, would it
necessarily appear on either of those two half sheets?
A. No, not if the judge didn't write it on the court
sheet.
Q. Next I would like to refer to the two court sheets in
23 this case which have been labeled as People's Exhibit 12 and 13.
24 Your Honor, may I approach?
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THE COURT: You can.
MS. GUNNIGLE: Q. Miss Sukalo, I am handing you
what's been previously marked for identification purposes as
People's 12 and 13 and would ask Your Honor that I be able to
publish these to the jury.
THE COURT: Any objection?
MR. ALBUKERK: No objection.
THE COURT: You may.
MS. GUNNIGLE: Again, my apologies if anyone is
shorted a copy. That is in error.
Q. Miss Sukalo, do you recognize what these
things two are?
THE WITNESS: A.
MS. GUNNIGLE: Q.
They are court sheets.
Specifically with
People's Exhibit No. 12, what is this?
THE WITNESS: A. I don't understand.
MS. GUNNIGLE: Q. You said previously this is a
court sheet, is that right?
A. Yes.
Q. This identifies a specific defendant on this court
sheet, is that right?
A. I'm sorry, yes. 07 CR on this one is Annabel Melongo.
Q. And there is some handwriting that appears here too,
is that right?
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Right. 1
2
A.
Q. Now just looking at this court sheet, could you tell
3 what these notes mean?
4 A. Judge wrote, "Noll e pros case, superceded by 08 CR
5 10502. Bond transferred to 08 CR 10502," and to the right is
6 the court clerk's coding of that entry.
7 Q. So looking at all of these documents together , looking
8 at the court sheets and looking at the half sheets, and then
9 looking at an electronic docket sheet, can you tell why an
10 arraignment wouldn't have appeared on June 18th of 2008?
11 A. Why it wouldn't have appeared?
1 2 Q . Mm - hmm .
13 A. Well, it could appear because she wasn't arraigned or
14 because the judge didn't write it and the clerk just entered
15 into the docket what she saw.
16 Q. All of these documents collectively show that the
17 defendant was in court, is that correct?
18 A. Yes , yes. Was in court.
19 MS. GUNNIGLE: At this time, Judge , the State has
20 no further questions for Miss Sukalo.
21 THE COURT: Thank you. Cross.
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CROSS-EXAMINATION
BY MR. ALBUKERK:
O. Just so we can keep things straight, Robin. Can I
take a look at those exhibits for a moment. Thanks a lot.
Now, let me start off this way. It is the
clerk's job to keep the records in the courtroom, correct?
A. Correct.
O. And the clerk is supposed to keep accurate records,
correct?
A. Correct.
O. And in fact if the clerk doesn't keep accurate records
it's a crime?
A. Correct .
O. So if the clerk -- so if the clerk makes a mistake,
technically the clerk could get charged?
A. Correct.
O. Now, there has been a lot made here -- now you've
already said that the clerk is supposed to enter whether or not
the defendant was arraigned?
A. No. What I said is sometimes the clerk will write on
the half sheet what she hears and not what she sees but
typically at the end of the day they will enter just what they
see.
O. However, the clerk is supposed to enter into the
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1 records when a person is arraigned?
2 A. If the judge writes it. We keep the record. We don't
3 make it.
4 MR. ALBUKERK: May I have a moment?
5 THE COURT: You may .
6 [PAUSE HELD]
7 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. Well, an arraignment is a
8 judgment that's been made on the -record, correct?
9 THE WITNESS: A. Correct.
10 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. And according to the criminal
11 statute that is something that a clerk has to enter, otherwise
12 he or she could be subject to criminal prosecution?
13 THE WITNESS: A. I didn't know that. Okay.
14 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. I wi 11 show you. I wi 11 mark
15 it as Defendant's Exhibit. Make sure I've got the right pages
16 here. Specifically, take a look at paragraph 15. Judge, would
17 you like a copy of this?
18 THE COURT: Sure .
19 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. I wi 11 hand you what I wi 11
20 mark as Defense Exhibit No.1. That's a criminal statute,
21 correct?
22 MS. GUNNIGLE: Your Honor, objection. Side bar .
23 THE COURT: Let's do a side bar . Miss Reporter,
24 please.
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1 (SIDE BAR HELD AS FOLLOWS:)
2 MS. GUNNIGLE: Judge, I have a real problem if the
3 defense is preparing to enter law in as an exhibit.
4 THE COURT: Let me ask. As an offer of proof,
5 where are you going?
6 MR. ALBUKERK: The whole point is she is trying to
7 say well, it's really not our responsibility. It's not true.
8 According to that statute, it is their responsibility and,
9 therefore, I should be able to show her it is your
10 responsibility . The only way I can do is to say that, that's
11 the law right there and it's your responsibility.
12 THE COURT: I think this is going too far afield .
13 I think the statute is very clear the clerk has to enter of
14 record any order or judgment of his or her court; that means
15 written by the judge. So the clerk if the judge doesn't
16 write something down, the clerk has absolutely no power or
17 authority to enter anything into the record. So the reality is
18 that if the judge didn't write it on the sheets no clerk could
19 get charged with anything. Not to mention it would have to be
20 intentional failure versus just a mistake. I think this is
21 going too far afield. I will sustain it on that basis.
22 (WHEREUPON , the following proceedings
23 were resumed in open court in the
24 presence of the jury: )
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1 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. Normally the record, the word
2 arraignment is put into the record, correct?
3 THE WITNESS: A. Yes, if the judge writes it on
4 the court sheet.
5 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. In this particular case the
6 certified statement, well, in this case disposition for
7 Annabel Melongo on June 18th of 2008 doesn't say anywhere that
8 Miss Melongo was in fact arraigned?
9 A. Yes -- no, it doesn't.
10 Q. So it's missing the word arraignment or any indication
11 that my client was arraigned on June 18th of 2008 is missing
12 from the official transcript?
13 A. In the court docket , yes.
14 THE COURT: Just so we are clear, sir, you are
15 referri ng to Peopl e' s No . 9?
16 MR. ALBUKERK : People's No.9.
17 Q. Now these certified statements of
18 disposition, they are used throughout the courthouse, correct?
19 THE WITNESS: A. Yes.
20 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. And state's attorneys get them,
21 correct?
22 THE WITNESS: A. Correct.
23
24
Q.
A.
And defense attorneys get them?
Correct.
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Q. And they are used in court to prove that something
2 happened in court all the time?
3
4
A.
Q.
Correct.
Now , you made -- we are talking here about Judge
5 Schreier's notes. First I will go through People's Exhibit
6 No. 10. And you said that there is a B with a circle there,
7 correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. And you already told us what that means, right?
1 0 A. Correct .
11 Q. Well, how do you know that that B doesn't mean big
12 case?
13 A. It ' s part of our acronyms. We have abbreviations,
14 just use them all the time . B for bond, C for custody.
15 Q. You knew that Annabel Melongo, she doesn't work for
16 the Clerk's office, does she?
17
18
A.
Q.
No.
So there be no way for Annabel Melongo , if she got
19 that particular sheet , to know what B meant , right?
A. That's correct .
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21 Q. The only thing Annabel Melongo would be able to make
22 out is the word arraignment whether it was there or not?
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A.
Q.
Yes.
And the word arraignment is nowhere on June 18th of
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1 '08?
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A.
Q.
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No. Not this one here, no.
And I am going to show you, this is People's Exhibit
4 No. 11 I am going to show you. Again, you told us under
5 June 18th of '08 there is a B here?
6
7
8
9
10
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say
A.
Q.
A.
Q.
that
A.
Q.
Correct.
And there is no way my client would know what B meant?
That's correct, no, she wouldn't.
Under June 18th of '08, nowhere in that entry does it
my client was arraigned that day?
No, it doesn't.
I am going to go to People's Exhibit No. 12. I am
13 going to hand that to you. That is a court sheet, right?
14
15
16
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18
19
20
A.
Q.
A.
Q.
right?
A.
Q.
Yes.
That's where the judge writes his orders?
Yes.
And that's the court sheet for June 18th of 2008,
Yes.
And nowhere on that court sheet does it say my client
21 was arraigned?
22
23
24
A.
Q.
A.
No, it doesn't say it.
Does it say anywhere that my client was present?
No.
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1 Q. Finally, I am going to show you People's Exhibit
2 No. 13. There is an entry at the bottom People's Exhibit No. 13
3 regarding, and that's a court sheet, right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. That's where all, the judge puts all his or her orders
6 everyday?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that's where an order is supposed to go saying
9 that the defendant was arraigned?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And there is nothing under June 18th of 2008 that says
12 my client was arraigned on June 18th of 2008?
13 A. No, it doesn't say that.
14 Q. Is there anythi ng under June 18th of 2008, is there
15 anything that says that my client was present?
16 A. No.
17 Q. So to a layperson who is looking at these records, the
18 only thing that they would know is that they weren't arraigned
1 9 on that day?
20 MS. GUNNIGLE: Objection.
21 THE COURT: Sustained.
22 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. Let me try and rephrase that.
23 The only thing Annabel Melongo would know by gathering up these
24 records is that she was not arraigned on June 18th of 2008.
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1 MS. GUNNIGLE: Same objection, Judge.
2
3
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. ALBUKERK: O. The clerk keeps all of these
4 records in the normal course of its business , correct?
5
6
THE WITNESS: A. Yes.
MR. ALBUKERK: O. And you are familiar with the
7 records keeping process?
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10
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THE WITNESS: A. Yes.
O. And all of these records that we have just gone
through, they are all records that are kept in the normal course I
of the clerk's business?
A. Yes.
MR. ALBUKERK: Nothing further.
THE COURT: Any redirect?
MS. GUNNIGLE: Just briefly, Judge.
17 REDIRECT EXAMINATION
18 BY MS. GUNNIGLE:
19
20
21
22
23
24
O. Miss Sukalo, you previously testified on cross "we
keep the records, we don't make it , " is that right?
A. Yes.
O. You also previously testified that in these court
sheets , which were People's Exhibit 13 and 12 , that there does
not appear to be an entry about an arraignment?
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A. That's correct.
2 Q. There is also no entry that the defendant was not in
3 court, is that right?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. In your experience had the defendant not been in
6 court , would there have been an entry on these sheets?
7 A. It would depend on the judge. Our clerk keeps whether
8 someone comes in present on bond or if they come in custody.
9 Some judges will indicate on the court sheet, some don't .
10 Q. Well, it sounds like there's a domino effect here. If
11 it doesn't make it to this, to these two court sheets, are you
12 saying that it wouldn't also make it to the half sheet, and if
13 it didn't make it to the half sheet , it wouldn't make it to the
14 court --
15 A. Our clerk always indicates on the half sheet how, you
1 6 know, defendant comes in.
17 Q. All right. Now I want to talk to you about some of
18 these notations. Are these notations, particularly the B with a
19 little circl e around , it would mean defendant in court on bond?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is that a notation that an attorney would recognize?
22
23
24 I
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A. I believe so, yes .
MR. ALBUKERK: Objection. Speculation.
THE COURT: Sustained.
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1 MS. GUNNIGLE: Q. It is certainly a notation that
2 a court clerk would recognize?
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6
recognize?
THE WITNESS: A. Yes .
MS. GUNNIGLE: Q. And a court reporter would
THE WITNESS: A. Yes.
7 MR. ALBUKERK: Objection, speculation. Ask that
8 it be stricken.
9
10
1 1
12
THE COURT: Overruled .
MS. GUNNIGLE: No further questions.
THE COURT: Anything else based just on that?
13 RECROSS- EXAMINATION
1 4 BY MR. ALBUKERK:
15 Q. You don't know if a court reporter, such as this court
16 reporter here, would be able to interpret a judge's half sheet,
17 do you?
18 THE WITNESS : A. No, I don't.
19 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. All right. And are you aware
20 that when my client gathered these things up she was
21 representing herself pro se, she didn't have a lawyer, were you
22 aware of that?
23
24
THE WITNESS: A. No.
Q. And the B and the other things written there and all
I
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1 those exhibits, those are all your codes that you guys developed
2 over time?
3 A. Yes, I suppose.
4 Q. When I say "you guys," I'm talking about the Clerk's
office? 5
6
7
8
9
A. Yes. I mean, yes.
10
MR. ALBUKERK: Thank you. Nothing further.
MS. GUNNIGLE: Just one brief question?
THE COURT: Go ahead.
11 FURTHER REDIRECT EXAMINATION
12 BY MS. GUNNIGLE:
13 Q. Miss Sukalo, you are also aware that when someone
14 represents themselves pro se, that is as their own attorney
1 5 MR. ALBUKERK: Obj ect ion.
16 THE COURT: Overruled. I haven't heard the
17 questi on yet.
18 MS. GUNNIGLE: Q. -- they are held to the same
19 standards as an attorney?
20 THE WITNESS: A. Yes.
21 MS. GUNNIGLE: Nothing further.
22 THE COURT: I am going to sustain that last
23 objection and strike the answer. So jurors, just disregard
24 that. Nothing else? You may step down.
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THE WITNESS: Thank you. 1
2
3
4
THE COURT: You can proceed with your next
witness.
MR. PODLASEK: The State calls James Flood.
5 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, could we excuse?
6 THE COURT: You are not going to use Miss Sukalo?
7 MR. ALBUKERK: I am not going to.
8 THE COURT: Thank you, ma'am. You may be excused.
9 (Wi tness excused.)
10 THE COURT: Good afternoon, sir. Could you please
11 raise your right hand for me.
12
13 (WITNESS SWORN)
14 THE COURT: Thank you. Whenever you are ready,
15 State.
16
1 7 JAMES FLOOD
18 called as a witness on behalf of the People, having been first
19 duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
20 DIRECT EXAMINATION
21 BY MR. PODLASEK:
22 Q. Would you please state your name and spell your last
23 name for the record .
24 A. My name is James J. Flood. FLOOD.
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Q. Mr. Flood, what's your profession?
A. I'm an attorney.
Q. How long have you been an attorney?
A. Approximately 32 years.
Q. Drawing your attention to June 18th of 2008. Were you
representing a client named Annabel Melongo?
A. Yes, I was.
Q. How long had you been representing Miss Melongo prior
to that date, if you recall?
A. I don't recall. It was several months , though .
Q. Now, in what capacity were you representing
Miss Melongo?
A. As a criminal defense attorney.
Q. And was Miss Melongo's case
MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, I am going to make an
objection and ask for a side bar.
THE COURT: Let's do a side bar.
(SIDE BAR HELD AS FOLLOWS:)
THE COURT: What's the basis of the objection?
MR. ALBUKERK: Attorney-client privilege.
Obviously we haven't gone into it yet, but I anticipate
attorney-client privilege and would be invoking attorney-client
privilege barring any testimony of this witness.
MR. PODLASEK: Barring any testimony?
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1 THE COURT: Where are we going with it?
2 MR. PODLASEK: I am going to have him in the
3 courtroom and talk about the fact he stood up there.
4 THE COURT: Are you going to be getting into any
5 conversation that he had with Miss Melongo?
6 MR. PODLASEK: No, none.
7 THE COURT: Your objection will be overruled. You
8 can proceed.
(WHEREUPON, the following proceedings
were resumed and held in open court in
the presence of the jury:)
9
10
1 1
12 THE COURT: The objection will be overruled. You
1 3 can proceed.
14 MR. PODLASEK: Q. Where was the case being
15 handled? Was it in this courtroom or one of the suburban
16 courthouses?
17 THE WITNESS: A. It was in this courthouse before
18 Judge James Schrei er .
19 MR. PODLASEK: Q. Do you have any independent
20 recollection of the date June 18, 2008?
21 THE WITNESS: A. Not independent recollection,
22 but I have reviewed some of the documents that were able to
23 refresh my recollection.
24 MR. PODLASEK: Judge, I am going to approach the
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1 I wi 1 1 ook what's previ ous 1 y been-
2 marked as People's Exhibit No.4 for identification purposes and
3
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take a moment to review that.
(Witness reviewing exhibit.)
MR. ALBUKERK: What exhibit is that?
MR . PODLASEK: No.4. That's the transcript.
Q. Does that refresh your recollection as
to what was going on or where you were that morning?
THE WITNESS: A. Yes.
MR. PODLASEK: Q. Now, on page 2 of that
transcript you are addressing the court, following the words,
"Good morning, Your Honor. James Flood, FLOOD, on behalf of
Miss Melongo, Your Honor." You were addressing Judge Schreier
at that time?
A. Yes, I was.
Q. And the next sentence was, this is your statement,
"This morning I understand they reindicted my client and the new
complaint is before you for arraignment." Had you anticipated
an arraignment that morning?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. And did you know about the reindictment?
A. Yes.
Q. Prior to that date?
A. Yes, I did know about the reindictment prior to that
I
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1 date.
2 Q. You had been tendered transcripts prior to that day of
3 the Grand Jury?
4
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6
7
8
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1 1
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on
on
A.
Q.
the
A.
Q.
A.
Q.
was
A.
Q.
I believe I was .
Now, did you proceed with the arraignment on that date
reindicted case?
Yes, I did.
And that was case 08 CR 10502?
That's what's indicated, yes.
And the prior case you were representing Miss Melongo
07 CR 02341 , is that correct?
That's correct.
At the time that you were proceeding on the
14 arraignment was your client present in court?
15
16
17
18
19
20
A.
Q.
To the best of my recollection, yes, she was.
How many arraignments have you done over the course of
your career?
A. Between my time as a prosecutor and defense attorney,
probably several thousand .
Q. And to the best of your recollection, have you ever
21 done an arraignment without the defendant present either as a
22 I prosecutor or as a defense attorney?
23 A. Yes, but only where I was given the authority as a
24 defense attorney where I was given the express authority to
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waive the presence of my client.
Q. And at the time do you have any special language that
you put into the record?
A. Yes. I would indicate for the record my client is not
present; however, I received permission to represent that person
without their presence in court.
Q. You have had a chance to read this transcript through?
A. Yes, I have.
Q. Is there anything in this transcript that indicates
that you were representing Miss Melongo at an arraignment
without her being present that day?
A. Nothing I can see, no.
Q. Point of fact lower down you enter a plea of not
guilty and if we go to page 3, line 22 -- actually , let's go
to line 17. The court has a question, "There was some alleged
deficiencies in the first indictment that counsel talks about
07 nolle pros case superceded by 08-10502. " Next statement is,
"Did she have a cash bond on that or what kind of bond was she
out on?" It's not you that answers but rather the defendant who
answers, "I bond," is that correct?
A. Yes . I specifically don't remember --
MR. ALBUKERK: Objection, Your Honor. This is
hearsay.
THE COURT: Overruled.
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THE WITNESS: A. I don't specifically
her saying that; however, there was a discussion of
121
remember l
the I bond
3 and I don't think it was my response at that time.
4 MR. PODLASEK: Q. In point of fact, the court
5 ends it by dismissing the 07-case and giving it a date of
6 July 16th of '08, is that correct?
7
8
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13
THE WITNESS: A. That's correct.
MR. PODLASEK: I have no further questions, Judge.
THE COURT: Cross.
CROSS-EXAMINATION
BY MR. ALBUKERK:
Q. Mr . Flood, do you still have a copy of the June 18,
14 2008, transcript in front of you , correct?
15
16
A.
Q.
Yes, I do.
All right. If you could take a look at page 2. What
17 did you call this exhibit?
18 MR. PODLASEK: 4.
19 MR . ALBUKERK: Q. This is State's Exhibit 4 for
20 the record and for everyone else. If you could take a look at
21 page 2, line 5. Strike that. Line 3. It says, "Good morning,
22 Your Honor. James Flood on behalf of Miss Melongo , Your Honor.
23 This morning I understand they reindicted my client and the new
24 complaint is before you for arraignment." Is that what that
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1 says?
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THE WITNESS: A.
MR. ALBUKERK: Q.
Yes .
So according to that statement ,
the arraignment occurred -- excuse me, the reindictment occurred
that morning, according to that statement?
A. That wouldn't be my reading of that statement. It was
my
Q. I'm not asking what your reading of it is. I am
asking if that's what it says.
A. That's what it says, yes .
Q. Thank you. But then later on it says, and this is the
same page line 12, "We did have something come in the mail on
the case, it was a Grand Jury transcript." All right?
A. Yes .
Q . All right. If a person had been indicted that morning
there is no way that it could have been sent in the mail to you
that day, right?
A. That's correct.
Q. So something's wrong with that transcript, right?
It's not accurate?
THE COURT: Counsel , be more specific.
MR. ALBUKERK: So in other words if the person
says the person got indicted that morning and there is an
indication that the Grand Jury transcript from that indictment
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1 got sent in the mail that same day, you can't receive something
2 in the mail when the thing occurred that morning?
3 MR. PODLASEK: Judge, I have an objection to this.
4 Counsel is misreading the transcript.
5 THE COURT: Overruled. Counsel on the stand, sir,
6 you can answer how you interpret that transcript.
7 THE WITNESS: A. Looking at line 6 it says, "This
8 morning I understand they reindicted my client." My statement
9 there meant that that morning I was under the understanding that
10 they reindicted my client.
11 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. Right. But the way you phrased
12 it, it seems that the indictment occurred that morning?
13 THE WITNESS: A. No, it doesn't. I said, "This
14 morni ng I understand"; in other words, I understood at that
15 point that they had reindicted my client.
16 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. Now, you know my client,
17 correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. She used to be your cl i ent?
20
21
22
A.
Q.
A.
Yes.
You know she is from Cameroon?
If that's the country she is from. I know she was
23 from a country over in Africa.
24 Q. Far pl ace?
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Yes. 1
2
A.
Q. You know that she is not familiar with the laws of the
3 United States of America?
4 A. I can't really say that. I don't know.
5 Q. Well, you know that she is not familiar with our
6 justice system the way that you are?
7 THE COURT: You mean as a lawyer?
8 MR . ALBUKERK: As a lawyer or even as a layperson.
9 THE WITNESS: A. Well, as a lawyer I don't think
10 she has a full understanding, no.
11 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. Now, Mr. Flood, you use e-mail,
12 correct?
13
14
15
16 this, please.
THE WITNESS:
MR. ALBUKERK:
MR. PODLASEK:
A. Sometimes, yes.
Q. And your e-mail address is
Judge, could we have a side bar on
17 THE COURT: Okay.
18
19 (SIDE BAR HELD AS FOLLOWS:)
20 THE COURT: Okay.
21 MR. PODLASEK: Judge, these are e-mails between
22 Mr. Flood and Melongo we received them they were actually part
23 of a motion at one point that was put in public record. Your
24 question to me is whether we were going to get into
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1 conversations with Mr. Flood and Miss Melongo. I said no;
2 however, if counsel opens this door I am going to insist that we
3 be allowed to put this e-mail in.
4 THE COURT: Is this the one you are getting in?
5 MR. ALBUKERK: Yeah. Specifically -- let me take
6 a look at it. He, Flood, indicates , that there is nothing wrong
7 with her being present in court. I got to find it here, but he
8 basically says I did nothing wrong, you not having her there
9 MR. PODLASEK: But he is not telling her she
10 wasn't there.
11 THE COURT: Here is my ruling. If you open the
12 door and get into those communications with her, and certainly
13 the State's e-mail is more than relevant, dated Friday,
14 December 18, '09, where she is apol ogi zi ng for maki ng
15 accusations against him, et cetera.
16 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, that has no relevance to the
17
18
case.
MR. PODLASEK: Absolutely it does. Mr. Flood
19 understands it to mean that she had made a mistake, she didn't
20 understand what she was doing, or she had basically lied to him.
21 One of the three. So we are going to get into a lot more stuff
22 than you really want to get into here.
23 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge , there is no relevance to
24 that at all.
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1 THE COURT: Let's not argue. That's my ruling.
2 If you are going to argue about these e-mails that are dated
3 December 8th of 2009, he is talking about whether he has the
4 file, et cetera.
5 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, a little further down here
6 is the main thing, it's all of her allegations of how she wasn't
7 there.
8 THE COURT: You would get into the first, the
9 longer e-mail, and then there is another one talks about her,
10 yet she forgot about the clerk docket, no mention of
11 arraignment; and then she does another note to him to say that
12 arraigning her without her knowledge was proper, or, I don't
126
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13 thi nk that arrai gni ng her wi thout her knowl edge was proper. She I
14 cites constitution , talking about waiver, then she apologizes on
15 December 18th for some accusation made last week. Could be the
16 same one . I don't know if she is backing off. That will be for
17 the jury to determine. My bottom line: If you get into the
18 e-mails , it's up to you, and if he chooses I will allow him to
1 9 do it on red i rect .
20
21
MR. PODLASEK: How much leeway am I going to have?
THE COURT: What else went on? All I have is that
22 memo. I am not privy to the rest of the case.
23 MR. PODLASEK : She was making accusations of the
24 competency of him as an attorney. She was going back and forth
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1 saying she wasn't there at the arraignment. I want to ask him ,
2 Did she ever ask you to move this through federa7 court? I want
3 to go through the whole thing.
4 THE COURT: I think that would be relevant if we
5 get into it.
6 MR. ALBUKERK: I can ask him about these --
7 THE COURT: Hold on. When we are at side bar ,
8 please direct your comments to me not to each other.
9 MR. PODLASEK: My suggestion would be to ask a
10 simple question, Did you ever te77 your c7ient that 'I arraigned
11 you without your presence?
12 MR. ALBUKERK: Right I'll just do that.
13 THE COURT: I won't tell you how to do your cause.
14 I am just telling you, if you go into the e-mail I will allow
15 the State to do that. It's up to you how you want to handle
16 that .
17 (WHEREUPON , the foll owi ng proceedi ngs
18 were resumed i n open court in the
19 presence of the jurors:)
20 THE COURT: Go ahead, counsel.
21 MR. ALBUKERK: Q. Mr. Flood, your client,
22 Miss Melongo, said to you at one time that she didn't think it
23 was appropriate that she was arraigned -- Strike that.
24 At one point Miss Melongo said to you that
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the Clerk's records didn't indicate that she had ever been
arraigned. Did she ever indicate that to you?
THE WITNESS: A. Something to that effect, yes.
MR. ALBUKERK: Nothing further.
5 THE COURT: Any redirect?
6 MR. PODLASEK : Just briefly, Judge.
7
8 REDIRECT EXAMINATION
9 BY MR. PODLASEK:
10 Q. Mr. Flood , did you arraign your client, Annabel
11 Melongo , on June 18, 2008 without her being present in court
12 before Judge Schreier?
13 THE WITNESS: A. No , I did not. She was in
court. 14
15
16
MR. PODLASEK: Thank you. No further questions.
17 RECROSS-EXAMINATION
1 8 BY MR. ALBUKERK :
19 Q. Earlier you said that this was to the best of your
20 recollection, right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the reason your recollection was refreshed was
23 because you looked at the June 18 , 2008 transcript, right?
24 A. That was part of it , yes.
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O. What other documents did you use to refresh your
lection?
A. I went back through the e-mails that I received from
Miss Melongo and received an e-mail from her where after she
first made the inquiry --
O. I will make an objection and ask that the answer be
stricken, Judge.
THE COURT: Well, the answer will stand. He said
he also refreshed e-mails. You asked him what else he looked at
and so he told you. Nothing further?
MR. ALBUKERK: Nothing further.
THE COURT: Thank you, sir. You may step down.
You can proceed, State.
MR. PODLASEK: The State at this time has no
further witnesses and we would rest.
(SIDE BAR HELD AS FOLLOWS:)
MR. PODLASEK: State, after formal admission of
your exhibits let's take a break for the jury. State has
rested.
MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, I have a motion to make for
21 directed verdict. Judge, the State's burden of proof is beyond
22 a reasonable doubt and they have not proven beyond a reasonable
23 doubt that my client did not have a reasonable suspicion that
24 criminal activity was in fact afoot or criminal activity, that
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of Pamela Taylor, had in fact occurred. What the State has
2 proven , what the State has shown over and over again, is that
3 Annabel Melongo may have been arraigned , but that's not the
4 issue . The State has missed the issue throughout their entire
5 case . What they needed to show is that my client didn't have a
6 reasonable suspicion that the person she recorded, Pam Taylor,
7 wasn't engaged in some criminal activity . That's the issue and
8 they kept missing it.
9 THE COURT: All right. Looking at the evidence in
10 the light most favorable to the State, which is the motion ,
11 which is the standard, rather, for ruling on a motion for
12 directed finding, it is going to be respectfully denied. The
13 transcript indicates that the defendant was there. So that's if
14 she was there, then she certainly would not have had any kind of
15 reasonable belief that the transcript was being falsified. So I
16 think it's ultimately an issue for the jury and there is more
17 than enough evidence at this point to let it go to the jury. Do
18 you want to proceed with any witnesses?
19 MR. ALBUKERK: I do. I have Dana DePooter and
20 want to read some, at least well, we are going to enter --
21 THE COURT: How are you going to handle this blog?
22 I see a copy of the blog, so I don't have to stop. Have the
23 parties agreed to handle this?
24 MR. PODLASEK : We haven't agreed how to handle
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1 I ~ h i S-. - It's on the-:i sc obvi ou: y . - W ~ have--: copy we made-,
2 which is called the Chicago Courthouse, which outlines
3 everything we want to talk about when I use it in closing
4 argument.
5 MR. ALBUKERK: I would be using it in closing
6 argument as well.
7 MR. PODLASEK : What I suggest is we make an offer
8 to the jury that we provide a disc and I will provide my clerk
9 and can go back there with Mr. Albukerk's associate and play it
10 for them on a computer if they want to compare. We made enough
11 copies for everybody .
12 THE COURT: My thought would be to hand out the
13 copies and send it back and we can also make arrangements if
14 they see the disc. What else is on the disc besides anything in
15 here?
16 MR. ALBUKERK: Well , it's a lot more documents.
17 All the documents on the case.
18 THE COURT: Well , we'll have to tell them how to
19 use it and set that up later. Mark it as an exhibit. It will
20
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24
be an agreement that it's an accurate exhibit as part of
People's No.1.
MR. PODLASEK: I thought we could call it 1A.
THE COURT: That's fine. You call your witness
and put in whatever you put in , then I will recess the jury and
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1 have a discussion with Melongo whether she will testify.
2 MR. ALBUKERK: That's fine.
3 (WHEREUPON, the following proceedings
4
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6
were resumed in open court in the
presence of the jury:)
THE COURT: The State has rested their case in
7 chief, so the defense is going to proceed with their case.
8 Ma'am, if you want to come up here behind
9 the court reporter. Before you sit down I will ask you to
10 please face me and raise your right hand.
11 (WITNESS SWORN)
12
1 3 DANA DePOOTER
14 called as a witness on behalf of the People, having been first
15 duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:
16 DIRECT EXAMINATION
1 7 BY MR. ALBUKERK:
18 Q. Ma'am, would you state your name for the record.
19
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A.
Q.
A.
Q.
A.
Q.
Dana DePooter.
Ma'am, are you currently employed?
Yes, I am.
What do you do?
I am a special agent with the FBI.
All right. And is one of your duties anyway taking
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1 complaints from the public?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you ever meet with or speak with an Annabel
4 Melongo?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. And did you ever receive an e-mail from Miss Melongo?
A. Yes , several. 7
8 THE COURT: Ma'am , can I have you spell your last
9 name for us, please.
10 THE WITNESS: D E capital P 0 0 T E R.
11 THE COURT REPORTER: Thank you.
12 MR. ALBUKERK: I think I am up to Defense Exhibit
13 No . 2, is that what we are up to? I'll call it Defense
14 I Exhi bi t 2.
15 Q. Handi ng you Defense Exhi bi t 2. Is that
16 an e-mail you received?
17 THE WITNESS: A. Yes, it is.
18 MR . ALBUKERK: Q. Is that a true and accurate
19 copy of the e-mail that you received?
20 THE WITNESS: A. Yes, it appears to be. Yes.
21 Q. You said you had some discussion. Did you ever meet
22 with Miss Melongo in person?
23 A. Yes , I did.
24 Q. So you recognize her here today?
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Uhm, yes. 1
2
A.
Q. And that's my client sitting, Miss Melongo here at
3 counsel table?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And she complained to you about the falsification of a
6 transcript here at 26th and California, correct?
7 A. In this e-mail, yes, she did.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 I ask that this be published to the jury.
10 THE COURT: Any objection?
11 MR. PODLASEK: Judge, I would like a chance to
12 cross -exami ne .
13 THE COURT: Following cross-examination I'll allow
14 it to be published.
15 MR. ALBUKERK: Nothing further.
16 THE COURT: Cross.
17 Judge, I'm just trying to obtain a copy of this
18 here.
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THE COURT: Fine.
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CROSS-EXAMINATION
BY MR. PODLASEK:
Q. Had Miss Melongo ever complained to you prior to this
event transcripts being changed?
A. Prior to this e-mail?
Q. Yes.
MR. ALBUKERK: Judge , objection. Assumes facts
not in evidence.
THE COURT: Overruled.
THE WITNESS: A. This e-mail was the first that I
recall.
MR. PODLASEK: Q. How long had you been in
communication with Miss Melongo?
THE WITNESS: A. I really am not certain. It
would depend on the e-mails that I had turned over. The dates
of the e-mails that were turned over.
MR. PODLASEK: Q. Well, how did you first become
aware of Miss Melongo?
A. She made a complaint to the FBI office and the
complaint was assigned to me .
Q. How are complaints made to the FBI office normally?
A. They could be through walk ins or phone calls.
Q. What about e-mails? Do you have a hotline e-mails?
A. As far as I'm aware, most of our complaints come
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through telephone or walks ins.
Q. So your first contact with Miss Melongo was it
telephonically or in person?
A. I met with her in person.
Q. Did you meet with her at FBI headquarters?
A. Yes.
Q. And was that in regard to the forged transcripts?
A. The information that she provided at that time was
not.
Q. So it had to nothing to do with her court cases?
A. The information that she provided to me was not
12 exactly the information that was in this e-mail at the time.
13 Q. How was thi s e-mail resol ved? Or has it been
1 4 reso 1 ved?
15 A. I am not authori zed to answer that .
16 Q. The e-mail itself says another transcript was changed.
17 Did she ever tell you what transcript had been changed?
18 A. Whatever is in this e-mail is all the information I
19 have regarding these transcripts.
20 Q. So thi sis where it ended?
21 A. The e-mail s - - I turned over all of the e-mail s. If
22 this was the last e-mail I turned over, then that's the last
23 one. I don't know the date.
24 Q. The date on this e-mail is Friday, December 18th of
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1 2009, is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And in that e-mail Miss Melongo references taping
4 conversations, is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Had the FBI authorized her to tape those
7 conversations?
8 A. I am not authorized to answer that question.
9 Q. Judge, I am going to move to strike as nonresponsive
10 the last five questions from this witness, and in fact I will
11 move to strike all of her testimony.
12 THE COURT: Well, your move to strike all
13 testimony is denied. I will instruct the witness to answer the
14 question which said with respect to the taping, specifically of
15 Pam Taylor, and you can provide the dates since you have to have
16 them, I want to know if that was authorized by the FBI, those
17 specific three dates. Period. Nothing further, nothing ongoing
18 now. I will order her to answer that question. Just phrase it
19 appropriately with the right dates.
20 MR. PODLASEK: Q. Did you authorize Annabel
21 Melongo to tape conversations with Pamela Taylor, the
22 Cook County Court Reporters office, on or about December 14th of
23 2009?
24 THE WITNESS: A. Did I authorize her to do that?
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1 MR. PODLASEK: Q. Did you or the FBI? You are an
2 FBI agent.
3 THE WITNESS: Your Honor, may I speak with you?
4 THE COURT: No. I am ordering you to answer the
5 question. Specifically tailored to the December 14th, Pamela
6 Taylor conversations, that's the only thing at issue at this
7
8
9
moment.
1 0 knowl edge?
11
12
THE WITNESS: A.
MR. PODLASEK: Q.
To my knowledge, no.
So the FBI did not, to your
THE WITNESS: A. To my knowledge, no.
MR. PODLASEK: Q. Did you authorize the recording
13 of a conversation between Annabel Melongo and Pamela Taylor,
14 Cook County Court Reporters office, on or about December 15th of
15 2009?
16 THE WITNESS: A. No.
17 MR. PODLASEK: Q. To the best of your knowledge,
18 did you authorize a recording of a conversation between Pamela
19 Taylor and Annabel Melongo on or about December 16th of 2009?
20 THE WITNESS: A. No, I had no knowledge.
21 MR. PODLASEK: No further questions.
22 THE COURT: Anything else based strictly on that?
23
24
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REDIRECT EXAMINATION
BY MR. ALBUKERK:
Q. The complaint was that my client had a reasonable
suspicion that criminal activity was going on in that a court
transcript had been altered?
A. According to the e-mail?
Q. Right.
A. That is what it stated in the e-mail.
MR. ALBUKERK: Thank you. Nothing further.
THE COURT: Thank you, ma'am. You may step down.
11 Defense, you may publish the e-mail.
139
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12 MR. ALBUKERK: I would. Also, Judge, may I excuse
1 3 the wi tness?
14 THE COURT: Yes. Thank you, ma'am.
15 (Wi tness excused.)
16 MR. PODLASEK: Judge, we object to the publishing
17 of thi s e-mail .
18 THE COURT: Overruled. Counsel, let me ask you,
19 if you don't have a copy for everybody then I ask you read it
20 into the record so we don't have to wait for fourteen people to
21 read the paragraph.
22 MR. ALBUKERK: All right. "From Annabel Melongo
23 to Dana.DePooter@IC.FBI . gov. Date: Friday, December 18, 2009,
24 7:16 a.m. Subject: Forged court transcript.
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"Dear Dana: I can't help but come back, unlike
the last time when my hearing transcripts were changed and I had I
nothing to prove it. This time another transcript was changed
4 and I have strong probable cause showing that something went
5 wrong or something is wrong. I was never arraigned for the case
6 against me. When I became aware of that I got the clerk, the
7 docket, and the transcript. The clerk and the docket don't
8 mention an arraignment. The only thing that does is the
9 transcript. I then called the court reporter office and I taped
10 all the conversations. To listen to them, please go to the
11 website under the Chicago Courthouse subsection and start
12 reading from December 8, '09. The reason I'm contacting you is
13 to know if I have to add this complaint to my existing one or if
14 I should file a new one. If so, should I have to come there and
15 file a complaint or should I do it through the website like I
16 di d the 1 ast time? Thanks." Defense Exhi bi t No.2.
17 THE COURT: Ladies and gentlemen, at this time I
18 am going to take a short break. There is a couple things I have
19 to address with the attorneys outside your presence and I will
20 be bringing you back shortly. All rise for the jurors.
21 (WHEREUPON, the jury exited the
22 courtroom. )
23 THE COURT: Counsel, do you have any other
24 witnesses or exhibits you will be presenting?
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MR. ALBUKERK: Judge , if I could have one moment.
[PAUSE HELD]
MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, at this time after
4 discussing the matter with my client and her rights as to
5 whether or not she will testify, she is declining to testify .
6 Of course , and therefore we would rest subject to allowing all
7 the different evidence obviously to come in . We have two
8 exhibits . I know the State will enter their exhibits and, of
9 course, we have the stipulated evidence which needs to come in
10 and, of course, we would be planning on using that in our
11 closing as well.
12 THE COURT: Let's deal with first things first.
13 Miss Melongo, I want to have a conversation with you. You have
14 had a chance to talk about this with Mr. Albukerk and his
15 partner. You understand very clearly that you have the right to
16 testify if you want . You do also understand if you don't want
17 to testify you don't have to. In fact as you heard in my
18 opening remarks, you understand that you don't have to present
19 any evidence at all. So after talking with your attorney about
20 the pros and cons, is it your desire to exercise your right not
21 to testify?
22 THE DEFENDANT: Yes, I don't want to testify.
23 THE COURT: You do not want to testify. And you
24 have talked to him. No one is forcing you not to testify, am I
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1 correct?
2 THE DEFENDANT: No.
3 THE COURT: You are not testifying because that's
4 your considered choice --
5 THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
6 THE COURT: after listening to both the pros
7 and cons, am I correct?
8 THE DEFENDANT: That's my right and I want to
9 exercise it.
10 THE COURT: That's your right and you want to
11 exercise it. Okay.
12 Let's talk about the exhibits. Let's go
13 through the State's exhibits. Exhibit No . 1 is the disc and has
14 all the information on it. Exhibit No.2 is the stipulation
15 itself.
16 MR. PODLASEK: 1A, Judge, we agreed that we would
17 copy the section called Chicago Courthouse, consists of
18 seventeen printed out pages.
19 MR. ALBUKERK: Yes.
20 MR. PODLASEK: We will use that so both sides
21 can --
22 MR. ALBUKERK: Yes. Yes, I was just hoping I
23 could get a copy of it.
24 MR. PODLASEK: I'm going to give you a copy.
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MR. ALBUKERK: Thank you.
MR. PODLASEK: You're welcome.
THE COURT: You will mark that as 1A?
MR. PODLASEK: 1A, Judge.
THE COURT: And that's part, I think that you
6 I should, my thought would be this, there should be a stipulation
7 in the record that 1A is in fact an excerpt from the disc.
8 People's No.1, were you going to use it at all in your case in
9 chief?
10
1 1
12 going to.
MR. ALBUKERK: Yes.
THE COURT: I thought you had mentioned you were
13 MR. ALBUKERK: Correct.
14 THE COURT: You didn't have any other witnesses.
15 When you come back, is there more you are going to present to
16 the jury?
17 MR. ALBUKERK: No. I would be making arguments
18 from that stipulation.
19 THE COURT: Closing arguments you mean?
20
21
22
23
in chief?
MR. ALBUKERK: Closing arguments, exactly.
THE COURT: So nothing is coming in in your case
MR. ALBUKERK: No. I mean other than the fact
24 that I am adopting those same stipulations obviously.
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MR. PODLASEK: Judge, I am going to give
Mr. Albukerk exact copy. We have an extra copy. So if you want
an oral stipulation on the record that would be fine.
THE COURT: I think just so the jury understands
where it comes from. Obviously once they open up the disc,
which is People's No.1, they will. But I think in front of the
jury when you rest or you can do it this your case, say that
there is a joint stipulation that that's a true and accurate
copy of the portion of what's contained on No.1, the disc.
MR. ALBUKERK: Okay.
THE COURT: Why don't you do that so when you are
both referring to it in arguments the jury will know where it's
from.
MR. ALBUKERK: Okay.
THE COURT: So your exhibits that you admitted
were what?
MR. ALBUKERK: We have that e-mail and then there
is something else .
[PAUSE HELD]
MR . ALBUKERK: I think we withdrew it. I think it
was the statute. And the statute we are not going to use
because Your Honor sustained an objection .
THE COURT: Okay.
MR. ALBUKERK: So only 2.
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1 THE COURT: So that's the e-mail?
2 MR. ALBUKERK: That's the e-mail.
3 THE COURT: Any objection other than what you have
4 already voiced?
5 MR. PODLASEK: No, Your Honor.
6 THE COURT: Defense No.2 will come in with
7 respect to the State. No.1 is the disc that will come in.
8 No.2 is the stipulation. Is there any objection to the
9 stipulation itself coming into evidence and going back to the
10 jury?
11 MR. ALBUKERK: I apologize, Your Honor. My
12 client's talking to me.
13 THE COURT: People's No.2, that's the
14 stipulation.
15 MR. ALBUKERK: Yes?
16 THE COURT: I said is there any objection to the
17 stipulation itself coming into evidence and going back to the
18 jury?
1 9 MR. ALBUKERK: No .
20 THE COURT: I will allow the stipulation to go
21 back as well. No.3 is a To-From --
22 MR. PODLASEK: No, No.3 is Laurel Laudien's court
23 sheets which we will not be using or tendering but you wanted it
24 to be made part of the exhibit package.
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1 THE COURT: No. 3 you are not asking to admit --
2 You know what, I apologize. Let me strike that . I opened my
3 book to the wrong trial from yesterday, so no wonder it wasn't
4 matching up.
5 Okay. Exhibit 3 the State is not using.
6 Exhibit 4 is the transcript from the hearing. Any objection to
7 that coming into evidence and going back?
8 MR. ALBUKERK: No.
9 THE COURT: People's No.5 was the transcript of
10 Call No.2. Any objection to that coming in and going back?
11 MR. ALBUKERK: What was that one again?
12 THE COURT: The transcript of the phone call.
13 MR. ALBUKERK: Oh, yeah. No.
14 MR. PODLASEK: This is actually the voice mail.
15 THE COURT: NO.5 is the voice mail?
16 MR. PODLASEK: Yes.
17 THE COURT: And NO . 6 is the transcript of the
18 first conversation. That's what I have listed.
19 MR. ALBUKERK: No objection.
20
21 conversation.
22
23
24
THE COURT: NO.7 is another transcript of the
MR. ALBUKERK: No objection .
THE COURT: No objection to that.
NO.8 is the last conversation, I believe.
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1 Any objection to that transcript?
2 MR. ALBUKERK: No.
3 THE COURT: NO.9 is a copy of the electronic
4 docket . Any objection to that coming in and going back?
5 MR. ALBUKERK: No objection.
6 THE COURT: It doesn't make sense. I thought I
7 marked as People's No.1 the Melongo half sheet.
8 MR. PODLASEK: It's No . 10.
9 THE COURT: There we go, No. 10. Any objection to
10 that coming in and going back?
11 MR . ALBUKERK: No.
12
13
14
MR. PODLASEK: Speci fically that is on the
07 -case.
THE COURT: Okay. People's No. 11 is the half
15 sheet for the OS-case after it was superceded. Any objection to
16 that comi ng in?
1 7 MR. ALBUKERK: No.
18 THE COURT: 12 is the court sheet as is 13 . Any
19 objection to them coming in and going back?
20 MR. ALBUKERK: No.
21 THE COURT : Is that it then for the State?
22 MR. ALBUKERK: Yes, Your Honor .
23 THE COURT: Then we have the defense e-mail coming
24 in and going back. So when the jury comes out you are going to
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1 rest?
2 MR. ALBUKERK: Yes.
3 THE COURT: State, you have no rebuttal? Or I
4 should ask you, do you have any rebuttal?
5 MR. PODLASEK: No.
6 THE COURT: Let's get back to the instructions.
7 With respect then to the jury instructions,
8 are you going to insert the proper form 1.02 which is with the
9 defendant not testifying.
10 MR. ALBUKERK: Correct.
11 THE COURT: We are going to insert 7A that talks
12 about the jury not being able to consider that she didn't
13 testify, that's 2.04. That is now going into our packet.
14 MR. ALBUKERK: Thank you.
15 I THE COURT: State , you were going to prepare a
16 modified version of 3.14. If you have both copies can you hand
17 that up. That's where we were going to strike the third
18 paragraph.
19 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, my client needs to use the
20 restroom.
21 THE COURT: Okay. We'll just go off the record
22 and take a break until she gets back.
23 (Discussion held off the record.)
24 THE COURT: Let's go back on the record.
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1 Miss Melongo's out.
2 THE DEFENDANT: Yeah, I'm here.
3 THE COURT: Yes, you are here.
4 [PAUSE HELD]
5 THE COURT: You know what, I am going to bring the
6 jurors out. Bring out the jury.
7 THE DEPUTY SHERIFF: Okay.
8 All rise for the jury.
9 (WHEREUPON , the following proceedings
10 were resumed and hel din open court
11 before the jury as follows:)
12 THE COURT: Ladies and gentlemen, you may be
13 seated. I apologize for the delay. Here is what I'm going to
14 do. There has been some unforeseen clerical circumstances that,
15 you know, are not related to the substance of the case. So I am
16 going to let you vote on something before you hear the case and
17 it's this, I'll let you go in the back and talk about it. We
18 are going to be able to proceed to closing today, tonight.
19 Although like I said, there's been some clerical issues with the
20 jury instructions, getting them typed correctly is basically the
21 bottom line what we are talking about, and I don't know an exact
22 time as to when they are going to be ready. We have all been
23 ready to go pretty much since a few minutes after we left you.
24 We will be able to conclude today, but that's the hold up. So
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1 in a couple of minutes I am going to let you go in the back and
2 you can tell me whether you want to wait and finish it tonight
3 or discuss whether you want to come back in the morning and the
4 only thing that you would have is closing arguments.
5 But before we get there, I want to formally
6 finish up . We had left off with the defense case in chief.
7 MR. ALBUKERK: Yes, Judge.
8 THE COURT: Defense, at this time is there any
9 additional evidence you wish to present to the jury?
10 MR. ALBUKERK: No, Judge. We rest subject to
11 entering our exhibits and stipulations.
12 THE COURT: The defense is resting their case in
13 chief. We have known that for awhile they had no additional
14 evi dence .
15 State, you have no rebuttal evidence?
16 MR. PODLASEK: No rebuttal, Judge. One issue is
17 the stipulation to the --
18 THE COURT: Why don't you proceed with the
19 stipulation now and we will finish that. As we talked about
20 before, I know you remember from only yesterday, that a
21 stipulation is an agreement between the parties as to the fact
22 or facts of whatever they are about to say to you. So this
23 piece of evidence will then end the evidentiary portion of the
24 case . Go ahead, State.
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1 MR. PODLASEK: Defense and the State have entered
2 into evidence that People's Exhibit No. 1A will go into
3 evidence. It is simply an excerpt from the total CD of the
4 website as printed out , so you can go through it, use it as
5 word , making closing arguments , and take it back in the jury
6 room and it consists of seventeen pages.
7
8
9
THE COURT: So stipulated, counsel?
MR. ALBUKERK: So stipulated, Judge.
THE COURT : So that document will go back with
10 you. You haven ' t seen it or heard about it yet from the witness
11 stand but it is part of that CD disc that the parties were in
12 agreement with . It is just an excerpt from it and they may be
13 using it when we get to closing. The State is now resting in
14 rebuttal. That concludes all the evidence.
15 So I will send you back into the jury room.
16 Just knock on the door after you have talked about it amongst
17 yourselves. I want to be thoughtful of your schedules one way
18 or the other . So if you would like to do it this evening
19 according to the plan, that's absolutely what we will do . But
20 if it will work better for you to come back first thing in the
21 morning and just start out fresh with cl osing arguments we can
22 do that also . We will rise for the jury. Obviously you are not
23 discussing the facts in the case or anything like that. It is
24 just strictly do you want to hear closings tonight or in the
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1 morning.
2 (WHEREUPON , the jury exi ted the courtroom.)
3 THE COURT: Deputies, just come and get me when
4 they knock on the door. It should be a few minutes.
5 [BREAK HELD]
6 THE COURT: Let's bring them out. And if they
7 choose to come back at tomorrow 9:30 in the morning, I want to
8 see the attorneys.
9 (WHEREUPON , the jury reentered the
10 courtroom. )
11 THE COURT: Everybody may be seated . And like I
12 said, I just wanted to give you a little bit of control since
13 you are trapped back there. So what is the collective decision
14 of the jury? Would you like to finish tonight or tomor row
morning? 15
16 THE JURORS: Tonight .
17 THE COURT: I can't promise you a start time .
18 Everyone is working as fast as they can. Hopefully we will be
19 on the road within 30 minutes to closing arguments, okay?
20 That's why I wanted to give you that option. Does that change
21 it for anybody?
22 A JUROR: It is what i t is.
23 THE COURT: Well , do you want to talk about it
24 again? You can send me a note out if you want to talk about it
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1 a little more. I probably was not as clear as I should have
2 been when I brought you out a few minutes ago. The reason I am
3 giving you the option is because we are not ready to start at
4 this minute. If we were, I wouldn't have given you an option
5 and we would be arguing right now. So I don't think I was as
6 clear as I should have been.
7 My plan is that we will be starting no later
8 than 5:30, which is 30 minutes from now, but I know it is
9 pushing it and you were sitting for awhile and that's why I want
10 to give you the option about tomorrow. So why don't you head in
11 the back, send me a note that just says if you changed your
12 mind, and if you didn't change your mind we'll bring you back
13 out and then we're ready for closing. All right.
14 THE DEPUTY SHERIFF: All rise.
15 (WHEREUPON, the jury exi ted the
16 courtroom. )
17 THE COURT: See what they say . I told the deputy,
18 they had asked the deputy a question on their way into the jury
19 room a moment ago that if we came back tomorrow what time would
20 it be, so I said for them would be 10 a.m. For the lawyers
21 9:30. They don't know about the lawyers, but I told them the
22 10 a.m. start time. So we'll see what they say.
23 [PAUSE HELD]
24 THE COURT: What does that mean?
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I THE DEPUTY SHERIFF: They're going to stick it
2 out.
3 THE COURT: Okay. I need you back here in
4 10 minutes. I mean I need you back here in 10 minutes. This is
5 a serious case, it is a felony. We've already delayed it an
6 hour, now it's going to be almost an hour and a half. So
7 whatever needs to be done. I suggest you go down to the 11th
8 floor.
9
10 poi nt.
1 1
MR. PODLASEK: We are on the 12th floor at this
THE COURT: I mean get other attorneys involved.
12 I mean there shouldn't be that much really to do. It's actually
13 striking a paragraph from one which we can xerox. This can be
14 xeroxed and this is already done. So I mean just cover up the
15 last paragraph and xerox it, that's done. Then we are talking
16 about these two and the concluding. I suggest in your
17 concluding instruction you've got four forms of verdict: Two
18 that have to do with eavesdropping and two that have to do with
19 the divulging. There is no need for three verdicts on three
20
21
22
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24
different counts. They should merge together.
back here by 5:20.
[BREAK HELD]
THE COURT: We are on the record.
defendant, please.
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So I need you
Let's get the
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1 THE DEPUTY SHERIFF: Yes, Judge.
2 THE COURT: We have everybody present in court.
3 Turn the mike on for me . Would you mind? Thanks.
4 The instructions that we are looking to
5 correct , can I have 3.14 which is two paragraphs .
6 (Defendant now present in court.)
7 THE COURT: Hold on. All right, I have a clean
8 copy in this set. So you are withdrawing the one you submitted
9 before. Defense, you've had a chance to look at it?
10 MR. ALBUKERK: Yes .
1 1 THE COURT: So that is going to go in. That's
12 going in as No.9 as modified. Then I believe that you were
13 going to prepare 10A which is a non-IPI where it starts out,
14 "It is not a violation of . . . "
15 MS. GUNNIGLE: That should be in Your Honor's
16 clean copy. The second instruction from the back.
17 THE COURT: Can I have the numbered copy then as
18 well . Thanks. That's going t o go in as 10A.
19 Now, I'm looking for 12.04 as modified.
20 MS. GUNNIGLE: Yes, Your Honor, we had two
21 modifications. They should be the very back of Your Honor's
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packet. One pertaining to eavesdropping without consent and one
23 eavesdropping , divulging i nformation.
24 MR. ALBUKERK: What?
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MR. PODLASEK: You have that.
MS. GUNNIGLE: You do.
MR. ALBUKERK: Which page is that?
MS. GUNNIGLE: It's the fourth and fifth of last
6 MR. ALBUKERK: Okay, I think we've got this.
7 THE COURT: So the first non-IPI that ends with
8 the shorter of the two, that will be Instruction No. 11. Do you
9 have any objection to that, defense?
10 MR. ALBUKERK: So we are talking about, it starts,
11 "To sustai n the charge of eavesdroppi ng by use or di vul gence of
12 i nformati on," and endi ng, "defendant not gui 1 ty." No.
13 THE COURT: Let me just ask are the two non-IPI's
14 you tendered to me, they're not identical, are they?
15 MR. ALBUKERK: It shoul dn' t be.
16 MR. PODLASEK: One should say defendant
17 MR. ALBUKERK: Di vul ges.
18 THE COURT: Well, they both start out by use or
19 di vul gence.
20 MS. GUNNIGLE: I have the correct ones right here.
21 We need one divulgence and one by use of the eavesdropping
22 device.
23 THE COURT: Let me give you these two back. So
24 just tell me, give me the ones you need or want.
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MS. GUNNIGLE: This and this.
(Document tendered to defense.)
MR. ALBUKERK: Thank you.
4 THE COURT: You are tendering me, these are both
5 clean copies?
6 MS. GUNNIGLE: That's right.
7 THE COURT: So these are the two instructions. I
8 see. Can I have the two numbered copies of these then.
9 MS. GUNNIGLE: These are the two numbered copies,
10 Your Honor.
1 1 THE COURT: Any objection to the non-IPI which was
12 12.04 modified?
13 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, unfortunately I don't have a
14 copy of it, so I have to take a peek at it there.
15 THE COURT: Okay. Why don't you review that.
16 MR. ALBUKERK: Thanks.
17 THE COURT: And that has two propositions.
18 So that would basically be simply to the
19 eavesdroppi ng.
20 MR. ALBUKERK: Right.
21 THE COURT: That's the issues instruction for
22 eavesdropping.
23 MR . ALBUKERK: I have no objection to this one .
24 THE COURT: That issues instruction as to
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eavesdropping is going to go in as 11.
MR. ALBUKERK: Okay.
THE COURT: That's going to go in, as I said, as
No. 11.
The second issues instruction the State is
proffering is also 12 . 04 modified, only it has to do with the
divulgence of that information. Any objection to that?
MR. ALBUKERK: It's the same thing --
THE COURT: There is a third proposition in this
one.
MR. ALBUKERK: Oh, I see. The first proposition
is different. Yes, okay. So the only thing that is different
is the first proposition is the first added.
THE COURT: So any objection to that?
MR. ALBUKERK: No.
THE COURT: That will go in as 11A. We are just
down to the concluding instruction.
MS. GUNNIGLE: Your Honor, I think the second
instruction was also requested that we drop "defendant did not
testify," and that's been changed too.
THE COURT: I'm sorry. What number are we talking
about?
MS. GUNNIGLE: People's Instruction No.2, IPI
1.02.
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1 THE COURT: Thank you. You are correct. You're
2 right about that. So can I have the correct 1.02 version.
3 MS. GUNNIGLE: That should be in that packet. It
4 should be the second one in that packet.
5 THE COURT : I have the clean copy. I just need
6 now the numbered copy of that.
7 MS. GUNNIGLE: Here is the numbered copy of that,
8 Judge.
9 THE COURT: 1.02 without the paragraph talking
10 about the defendant testifying is now in the packet.
11 So now the concluding instruction.
12 MR. ALBUKERK: What number was that?
13 THE COURT: 1.02, and it was No.2.
14 MR. ALBUKERK: I have a 1.02 that's completely
15 different. It says "believability of the witnesses."
16 THE COURT: It starts, "Onl y you are the judges of
17 the believability of the witnesses," but it doesn't include the
18 paragraph about the defendant.
19 Lastly, we are on the concluded instruction.
20 Any objection to the way this is written?
21 MR. ALBUKERK: We are talking about 26.01?
22 THE COURT: Correct. You are going to get four
23 forms of verdict. No?
24 MR. ALBUKERK: No objection.
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1 THE COURT : So that's going to be No. 14. And
2 then the verdict forms. Okay. So the first verdict form is
3 guilty of -- we'll do the not guilty of eavesdropping without
4 consent, that will be 15. 16 will be guilty of eavesdropping
5 without consent. 17 will be not guilty of eavesdropping,
6 divulging information. 18 will be guilty of eavesdropping by
7 divulging information.
8 Any other corrections or changes? I believe
9 that's everything, right?
10 MS. GUNNIGLE: From the State's view, yes,
11 Your Honor.
12 THE COURT: All right. Then we are ready to go.
13 MR. ALBUKERK: All right.
14 THE COURT: If everyone takes their seats. Let's
15 bri ng out the jury.
16
17 (WHEREUPON, the following proceedings were
18 resumed and held in open court in the
19 presence of the jury as follows:)
20 THE COURT: Ladies and gentlemen, the evidence has
21 been completed. Here is how the arguments are going to proceed.
22 Again , closing arguments like we talked about opening
23 statements, that's not evidence what the lawyers are about to
24 say; it's merely what their view of what the evidence proved to
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1 you. If they say something that doesn't go along with your
2 memory of the evidence, feel free to disregard it.
3 The State will have a chance to make their
4 first closing statement to you , the opening close as we call it;
5 the defense will then have a chance to address you in closing
6 argument; and , lastly, the State will get to address you in
7 what's called the rebuttal argument. They get to address you
8 last and finally because the State , as we said many times, that
9 has the burden of proof.
10 Once clos i ng arguments are done , that when I
11 will read you the law in Illinois , the jury instructions, that
12 you swore to uphold. If you have been a note taker, I am just
13 going to ask that you not to take notes once I am reading the
14 instructions to you. The exact instructions that I read to you ,
15 they are going to go back with you to the jury room. So I don't
16 want you to worry about writing them down, I just want you to
17 hear them one time through . They are written by lawyers so
18 there is a lot of language in there . But it's easy to
19 understand certainly when you break it down line by line, but I
20 just want you to hear it one time through so it's familiar to
21 you. So don't take notes at that point, okay? So I think
22 that's all we need before we get started.
23 Are both sides ready to proceed to closing
24 arguments?
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MR. PODLASEK: Yes , Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right . State, you may address the
3 jury fi rst .
4
5 CLOSING ARGUMENT
6 by Mr. Podlasek:
7 Good afternoon , ladies and gentlemen. Once
8 again, my name is Robert Podlasek. I'm the assistant state's
9 attorney of Cook County .
10 Yesterday we started on what appeared to be
11 a short trial. Today you went through some lengthy testimony by
12 way of recordings. They went on and on but they were necessary.
13 That's what the defendant yesterday , through
14 one of her attorneys, wrote on the board or started to write ,
15 Reasonable Suspicion.
16 In this case what they were talking about is
17 that the defendant had a reasonable suspicion that a crime had
18 been committed or was about to be committed against her. What
19 the State says you should be thinking about when you see that
20 reasonable suspicion which has been sitting up there throughout
21 the entire , which we did not object, is a reasonable suspicion
22 as to defendant's case. The defendant came here, stipulated
23 that she had recorded Pamela Taylor , the head of the court
24 reporters in Cook County of 26th Street, not on one , not on two,
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1 but on three separate occasions. She probably told the FBI in
2 an e-mail, that was made part of the evidence in the defense
3 case, that she did this recording.
4 The interesting thing about this e-mail,
5 which is already been placed into evidence, is that those
6 recordings took place on or about December 14th, 15th, and 16th
7 of 2009 and she contacted the FBI in December 18th of 2009, well
8 after she had not only recorded these conversations but well
9 after she had placed them on the website www . Illinois
10 Corruption.net of which you have an expert of, and the entire
11 website as we were able to capture it is on a disc and placed
12 into evidence and that was placed into evidence again by
13 stipulation yesterday.
14 The problem with the defendant's case is
15 twofold. One, the defendant was recording someone who didn't
16 have anything to do with creating a transcript which the
17 defendant through certain evidence attempted to place before you
1 8 as forged.
19 Well , let's go through the evidence as what
20 we have. We have the first phone conversation. And if you go
21 through the first phone conversation on and on, I think this was
22 the longest phone conversation I think by the way, it starts on
23 page -- the second to last page, when Miss Melongo is
24 interrogating Pamela Taylor. It's no longer a conversation
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because it's on and on. "Can you explain the inconsistency
then? Why is the former case?" Pamela Taylor tries to keep a
3 professional attitude, and I think reading the transcript and
4 listening to the actual tapes you'll understand that Pamela
5 Taylor is a very professional woman. She didn't yell at Annabel
6 Melongo not through the first conversation, not through the
7 second, not through the third. She did her job. She told her
8 what to do . Every other sentence, You should really talk to
9 your lawyer. You should go before the judge . If you think
10 there is really something wrong go before the judge. We are not
11 the people who do this.
12 She keeps going on and asking about
13 Laurel Laudi en. And fi nall y she says, "I say, how many persons
14 besides of me contacted you about this case, this particular
15 transcript? 'Pamela: Oh, no one has contacted me but
16 Miss Laudien about this case.' Annabel: So anybody ever pay
17 Mi ss Laudi en to change the t ranscri pt?" And it goes on.
18 So it's clear that this was a fishing
19 expedition to see if there was some evidence to be discovered of
20 some wrongdoing, except you have to have some indicia , you have
21 to have some suspicion that the person you are talking to is the
22 one that's committed or is about to commit the crime. You can't
23 go calling people, recording them without their knowledge, and
24 then looking to the statute to protect you with this blanket
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1 exception. That's not how it works.
2 MR. ALBUKERK: Objection.
3 THE COURT: Overruled.
4 MR. PODLASEK: The first section of www.Illinois
5 Corruption.com. It starts off with the Chicago Courthouse,
6 which is what you have before you. I am just going to fast
7 forward from the beginning to page 14. I am going to read you
8 what is a slight excerpt from this which goes directly to the
9 recordings of Miss Pamela Taylor . "Note: Due to Annabel's
10 accent , all her phone conversations with Miss Pamela Taylor have
11 corresponding transcripts. We recommend you read the transcript
12 while listening to the conversation. The Illinois Eavesdropping
13 Law provides an exemption of Section 14-3 (i) which was the
14 basis used by Annabel to tape the conversation. This exemption
15 is further explained by Jim Ryan, the former Illinois Attorney
16 General, in this document and then there is a link document
17 there." The next paragraph, "Then came Mi ss Pamel a Taylor. On
18 December 10, 2009, while riding the bus, Annabel received a
19 phone call from her. Without letting Annabel speak, she
20 I rehashed Miss Laudien's answers and forced Annabel to believe
21 those facts to be true. Annabel found made up. Some minutes
22 later, Miss Pamela Taylor called back with precise instructions
23 on how Annabel ought to handle the situation. The transcribed
24 version of her voicemail can be viewed here . " And again there
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is a link and it's on the link that will be entered into
evidence.
The next paragraph. "Having had one of her
4 crucial transcript changed before this time, Annabel decided to
5 handle the situation differently. She went to her house, got a
6 voice recorder, and called back Miss Pamela Taylor. Her plan
7 was to play the naive and ignorant immigrant who didn't know
8 about American laws. In doing this, she played a reverse
9 psychology of this tape. She said to herself if Miss Taylor
10 gave her misleading answers then Miss Taylor had something to
11 hide; otherwise, the fault might be on Miss Laudien. We will
12 not tell you our opinions of the conversation. Make your own
13 opinions. Here is the conversation and accompanying
14 transcript." It goes on, the next paragraph, "Smelling blood in
15 the water, Annabel wanted to get to the soul of Miss Taylor.
16 December 15, 2009, Miss Taylor, next business day, Annabel
17 called again. Unfortunately that day either she didn't have
18 time for a lengthy conversation or she was afraid to be caught
19 off guard. Nevertheless, they exchanged the following words and
20 the phone conversation was postponed to the next day. A
21 transcript of the conversation can be viewed here.
22 "December 16, 2009 . Here is the phone
23 conversation and this transcript. Though we can't comment on
24 the conversation, nevertheless consciously falsifying court
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1 transcripts is not only a felony but it's the highest treason a
2 court offi ci al can perform." It goes on, "The FBI actuall y
3 investigates such situations. The last time it happened in
4 Cook County it was called Operation Gray Lord. The biggest
5 story behind this falsified transcripts is that the very persons
6 that are supposed to uphold the law, Lisa Madigan and Anita
7 Alvarez, won't hesitate to transgress the same law to bring
8 bogus cases that personally benefit them."
9 It's clear that the defendant's frame of
10 mind wasn't that Pamela Taylor, the person she was recording and
11 committing the crime was about to commit a crime, there is no
12 reasonable suspicion. She was on a fishing expedition to get
13 evidence of some sort against everybody.
14 As you go through the 17 pages you will see
15 that she attacks almost every judge, every lawyer who has had
16 anything to do with her case prior to this one. So what we
17 have, with this website and with allowing her to take those
18 telephone calls and place them on the web for anybody to listen
19 to, is a form of a threat to the entire justice system in
20 Cook County.
21 MR. ALBUKERK: Objection.
22 THE COURT: Overruled.
23 MR. PODLASEK: I don't say this lightly. This may
24 seem like a simple case, but you've got everybody who is
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1 associated with this case now on the web being attacked and now
2 you have a woman --
3 MR. ALBUKERK: Objection.
4 THE COURT: Overruled .
5 MR . PODLASEK: -- now you have a woman who
6 basically is in charge of the court reporters and having her
7 words placed on the Net. Not that there was anything in those
8 conversations that would draw attention to any kind of crime.
9 You heard them, you have the transcripts . I encourage you , I
10 invite you to read them over again if you want while you are
11 back there deliberating. Because what you are going to find is
12 a professional and what you are going to find is a woman who is
13 out to get her to say something. She is trying to lure her into
14 sayi ng, ",Well, thi sis a forged transcri pt, there is nothi ng we
15 can do about it." But you have to ask yourself what the reason
16 for.
17 What was the reasonable suspicion? The
18 Reasonable suspicion was actually articulated to Laurel Laudien
19 in one brief sentence, I can get out of this case if I can get
20 this either removed to federal court or if I can prove that
21 there was no arraignment. The problem is that she knew there
22 was an arraignment because she was there. The transcript says
23 she was there. Her own words on the transcript say she was
24 there. Her lawyer at the time, James Flood, sat up there and
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1 testified that she was there.
2 Mr. Flood indicated to you that in 34 years
3 of practicing law there was only one or two cases in the
4 thousands of arraignments he has handled either as a defense
5 attorney or former prosecutor where the defendant was not
6 present, and in those cases a record is made. A record is made
7 to protect the defendant and a record is made to protect the
8 lawyer, that he has permission to go ahead and have an
9 arraignment without his client present. That didn't happen
10 here.
11 She was present. She terminates lawyer
12 after lawyer. She then, as counsel stated, represents herself
13 pro se. And pro se means you are representing yourself as your
14 own attorney. It doesn't mean the rules are lowered, the
15 standards are lowered. You have to follow the same rules and
16 guidelines that the lawyers do . If we make a mistake we are
17 called on it . A pro se defendant is called on it also. They
18 are given warnings , the judges question them. All of their
19 rights are safeguarded from the bench on down.
20 She wanted to remove to federal court. The
21 problem is there is a time period from arraignment to go to
22 federal court with a petition saying, I have a federal case.
23 Get my case out of the State courts . That's 30 days. 30 days
24 from arraignment.
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MR. ALBUKERK: Objection.
THE COURT: Sustained.
MR. PODLASEK: The bottom line is she missed the
5 The other part of her case, her thought
6 processes as brought to by Laurel Laudien, she would have her
7 case dismissed if there was no arraignment.
8 But you have something else to look at. You
9 have the actual Certified Statement of Conviction; this is
10 simply the electronic docket. You'll recall that the witness
11 who appeared before you from the Clerk's office went through
12 with my partner and talked about the dates and talked about her
13 writing in this document, and this is supposed to be a history
14 of the defendant's appearances in this courthouse. And the
15 arraignment happened on 6-18-08. That's the date she says she
16 wasn't in court. That's the date she says the transcript was
17 forged. Except after that we have July 16th of '08 continuance
18 by agreement; 8-13-08 we have defendant's attorney withdrawing;
19 continuance; motion defendant. It goes on and on all the way
20 through and including 10-28-09 where there was a continuance by
21 agreement with Judge Flood at that time.
22 If there was a problem with the arraignment,
23 if the defendant said she wasn't there, why was she proceeding
24 with her case? That document shows that she went through the
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1 court system. Day after day she showed up to court, she
2 I represented herself at times pro se.
3 This is an intelligent woman. We are not
4 talking about someone who doesn't understand what's going on.
5 She may claim to have a language problem, she may claim that she
6 is not a lawyer through her attorney, but that's not what this
7 I shows.
8 These documents that are before you show a
9 case that proceeded after that arraignment. So when you go back
10 to deliberate, you have to ask yourself one question, and that's
11 who had the most to gain from this? The State? The State does
12 thousands upon thousands of prosecutions in this building a
13 year. In Cook County alone last year 2.4 million cases were
14 filed. Not just criminal but civil. 2.4
15 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge, I am going to object.
16 THE COURT: Overruled.
17 MR. PODLASEK: These are statistics to you as
18 public record. There's 5.1 million of us in Cook County; that
19 means for everyone of us there is a lawsuit being filed, some
20 more than a lawsuit . So there is four hundred plus judges
21 throughout Cook County, there's nine hundred plus state's
22 attorneys. There is more than enough work for all of us.
23 To believe this, you would have to believe
24 that her lawyer, the prosecution, the Clerk's office, the court
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1 reporter, the judge entered into some sort of conspiracy to make
2 it look like Annabel Melongo was in a courtroom in this building
3 on June 18th of 2008 for an arraignment when she wasn't. All of
4 those people would have had to participate, all of those people
5 had a lot more to lose than Miss Melongo. All of those people
6 who have worked tirelessly in the justice system.
7 My partner at the beginning of this case
8 told you this about the machine and justice system in
9 Cook County. Well, that's a good way to throw a wrench into it:
10 Cry wolf, say there is a forgery, there is a fraud, everybody's
11 lying, it's a conspiracy. That's not what we have here. We
12 have someone who doesn't want to face up to the criminal justice
13 system one way or the other. Thank you.
14 THE COURT: Thank you , State.
15 Defense, you may proceed with your closing ,
16 si r.
17 CLOSING ARGUMENT
18 by Mr. Al bukerk:
19 The law is clear. The judge is going to
20 give you the law in a little while and she is going to read all
21 those instructions to you. So let's stay focused on the law.
22 Because the problem here with the comments you just heard are he
23 is focused on, well, was my client arraigned or not? That's not
24 the inquiry. The inquiry is right over here: Reasonable
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1 suspicion. Did my client have a reasonable suspicion that there I
2 was criminal activity going on with Pam Taylor? Was Pam Taylor
3 involved in criminal activity? Did she have that reasonable
4 suspicion?
5 They are trying to get you to focus on all
6 sorts of other things that really aren't important. They are
7 trying to make it sound like there is a huge conspiracy or she
8 is floating some huge conspiracy. None of that is relevant.
9 The only thing that is relevant is whether or not my client had
10 a reasonable suspicion, and nothing has changed from my opening
11 argument. Nothing.
12 There are five ways standing here in the
13 middle of the courtroom that a layperson such as yourselves can
14 find out what occurred on the day in question. There is five
15 ways of doi ng that.
16 There is the clerk. Here is the clerk's
17 computer. There is the court files. Do we have the 08 CR file?
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THE COURT: Right there.
MR. ALBUKERK: If I can have that, please. Thank
20 you, Judge. I appreciate it.
21 What's official goes into that computer and
22 comes out as the official certified transcript. The State was
23 kind enough to enter that into evidence for us. Can you get
24 that out? But the bottom line is we already talked about it, it
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1 is the June 18th official transcript of the clerk and it says
2 she wasn't arraigned that day. It doesn't really matter what
3 happened that day. What matters is whether or not my client had
4 I a reasonable suspicion .
5 If the official record of the Clerk says
6 that an arraignment didn't happen, my client has a right, should
7 be relying on that transcript. The state's attorneys every
8 single day go to the Clerk's office and get those certified
9 transcripts and use them against defendants and use them to
10 prove things all the time. But for some strange reason today
11 they are saying we77, you can't rea77y trust that, it doesn't
12 really matter . It's the official transcript.
13 The clerks keep these files. This is the
14 file in question. The judge, not this particular judge back on
15 I June 18, 2008, but a judge is supposed to keep these notes right
16 here. And the note for June 18, 2008 does not say that my
17 client was arraigned. It doesn't.
18 Finally, there is court sheets -- Judge, is
19 there a court sheet here that I can show?
20 THE COURT: I don't have any.
21 MR . ALBUKERK: And every single day this is filled
22 out by a judge, something just like this, and it's supposed to
23 say that the defendant was arraigned. And it doesn't. On
24 I June 18, 2008.
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Now, the State made a lot of hay out of oh,
look there is a B or a P and it's circled. Again, this is a
reasonable person's standard. Is my client being reasonable?
That's the question. Well, my client is from Cameroon. My
client is from a third world country where justice is a lot
different than it is here. My client is also a computer expert.
She understands how computers work, she understands where data
is and where data goes and how data is stored.
today have some experience with that as well.
And what did my client do?
did was focused on one thing and one thing only.
Some of you here
Everything she
Could that
transcript of June 18, 2008 by the court reporter, could that
transcript have been falsified? And I take great exception
here. She didn't threaten anybody , she didn't threaten the
system, she didn't hurt anyone. You know what was one of the
things you didn't hear a single word about, did anyone even go
to this website? You didn't hear a word of that. Because as
many of you know, when you put a website it's the same thing as
possibly putting up a sign in the middle of a corn field. So
what?
One second.
State just used. Oh, attacked.
There was another term that the
It's an attack. What attack?
So my client recorded some conversations. She put them on a
strange little website in the middle of nowhere. Why? Because
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1 she was incredibly upset about these charges of computer
2 tampering. She is a computer networking expert. These charges
3 were going to destroy her life and, yes, she was trying to get
4 these things dismissed as anyone would.
5 But my client is not a lawyer. She is a
6 common run-of-the-mill person and she followed the evidence that
7 was available to her.
8 The State is trying to make my client into
9 some sort of super expert, to hold my client to the standard of
10 Bob Podlasek. She is trying to hold my client to the standard
11 of the Clerk of the Court. My client doesn't know how to read
12 this stuff, she doesn't know the law that well. She reads a few
13 things here and reads a few things there. Yes, a little bit of
14 knowledge can be a dangerous thing.
15 But the question remains, the only question
16 remains: Did she have a reasonable suspicion that Pamela Taylor
17 was involved in any sort of criminal activity? Well, what did
18 Pamela Taylor tell you? It's illegal to alter a transcript.
19 She also told you it's illegal to help someone cover that up.
20 And what did my client have? Well, my
21 client had, again, the clerk's computer, the half sheets, the
22 court sheets . That's three. And what did she do? She tried to
23 get the tape recording. She tried to get the tape recording.
24 Now that was pretty curious. Because for some reason
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Miss Laudien came in here and she said well, I had them and I
checked them, and my memory of what she said on direct and then
once they get moved over to my backup then they get separated
from, you know, get separated from the actual text. It was
only on cross-examination that she claimed that it got destroyed
as well. But we know that doesn't really, that's not really the
7 way it works. We know computer files don't really get
8 destroyed.
9 She is telling us now, well, she couldn't
10 get that audio today. She couldn't get it. But we also heard
11 from Pam Taylor she wasn't going to turn that audio over. She
12 doesn't turn that over because that's her work product. That's
13 what she told you, that's her work product. What does that
14 mean, work product? You got a subpoena, you are supposed to
15 turn that over. She said, that's part of my work product, I
16 don't turn that over.
17 Five things that can prove what occurred
18 that day, and it's not five things that actually occurred, it's
19 five things as a reasonable person in my client's shoes would
20 perceive them. Everything here, you've got three things saying
21 she wasn't arraigned, and you have a tape recording that they
22 won't produce, they won't come up with, that gets destroyed,
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and then you've got the transcript. So only one in five things,
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that would be the actual transcript says that there was an
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arraignment. That means that everybody else had to make an
error -- the judge, the clerk. Somehow the storage of that
4 wav. file all in error.
5 Well, all those errors, that's a reasonable
6 suspicion. That's a reasonable suspicion that there is criminal
7 activity going on, and if my client has that reasonable
8 suspicion she is allowed to tape record it. She is allowed to
9 make those recordings. There is nothing illegal about it.
10 That's the reason why the judge said to you this being an
11 exemption. It's exempt from the law, you are allowed to do it.
12 There is criminal activity going on; you can record it. That's
13 the law. So yeah, this is how it's done, to echo the State.
14 Excuse me, this is how it works. This is how it
15 works. Let's read that instruction. Because it's going to come
16 up." If you fi nd that the party who recorded the conversation
17 did so under a reasonable suspicion that another party to the
18 conversation was committing, was about to commit, or had
19 committed a criminal offense against that person and there is
20 reason to believe that evidence the criminal offense may be
21 obtained by the recording, then you should find the defendant
22 not gUil ty." Well, you heard - - we woul d have put them in if
23 the State hadn't -- you heard all those recordings. All of
24 those recordings. What's my client talking about? Is she
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1 I trying to embarrass the Court Reporters office or
2 State's Attorney's office? No. She is asking one thing and one
3 thing only: Is there any way, could it possibly be, could
4 something have been altered, could it have been a mistake, could
5 it have been something worse, could it have been something more
6 nefarious?
7 Mr. Podlasek talks about all the people in
8 the system. Yes, there's a lot of people in the system, and
9 with that many cases there are mistakes made. Big ones
10 sometimes. We know that worse mistakes have happened.
11 Cook County doesn't exactly have the best reputation in terms of
12 being honest and clean. So my client absolutely had a
13 reasonabl e suspi ci on.
14 We have presented to you a lot of
15 information. A lot of information showing that my client's
16 suspicion of criminal activity was in fact completely justified.
17 Now let's talk a little bit about the
18 burdens in this case. The burden remains on the State, is
19 always on the State, and the burden is the highest burden in all
20 of law. You have heard about car accident cases. Well, that's
21 just more likely than not . This is a much more serious case,
22 obviously because this is a felony. It is a serious matter.
23 This person obviously in a criminal courthouse , the consequences
24 are severe. Therefore the burden upon the State is proof beyond
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1 a reasonable doubt, and you will get that instruction. The
2 State has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt .
3 That means they have to prove beyond a
4 reasonable doubt not that she was arraigned , that's irrelevant;
5 they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she , my
6 client, didn't have a reasonable suspicion that criminal
7 activity was afoot. That's a reasonable person standard, not a
8 State ' s Attorney standard, not a judge standard, not a clerk
9 standard. Someone who doesn't know about the system and doesn't
10 know how the system operates or works. That was my client's
11 greatest fault here was really not understanding this system.
12 Ladies and gentlemen, at the end of this
13 case you are going the to get a big packet of instructions.
14 Those are the instructions I want you to follow. Those are the
15 instructions you are supposed to follow, and note in those
16 instructions that they talk about reasonable suspicion. They
17 don't talk anywhere about whether or not an arraignment
18 occurred, they don't talk about threats to the system because
19 there were no threats to the system. No one's been threatened,
20 no one's been hurt, because the Court Reporters office, nothing
21 stopped the Court Reporters office from doing its job, nothing
22 had stopped the State's Attorney's office from doing its job.
23 Throwing the wrenches into the system? What wrench into the
24 system? Look around us, we're in a courtroom. You guys are
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1 sitting right here. There has been no wrench thrown into the
2 system.
3 My client simply had a reasonable suspicion
4 of this criminal activity and she acted on it. And then because
5 she wanted to shine a light, she wanted to shine the light of
6 I truth on things, she put it on her website.
7 The State is arguing to you that, no, we
8 don't want evidence to come out, we don't want to hear things,
9 we want to keep things secret. Annabel Melongo is the one who
10 is trying, she is the one who is trying to bring the evidence
11 out. She is trying to shine the light of truth on what was
12 going on. Right or wrong, it doesn't matter as long as she is
13 being honest and she has a reasonable suspicion.
14 Ladies and gentlemen, at the end of this
15 case you are going to get all the verdict forms and as you can
16 see there is like six forms and there is going to be a bunch of
17 forms for, on both sides. I am going to ask you all please to
18 sign the Not Guilty form.
19 I Now, in a moment I assume one of the state's
20 attorneys is going to get up , and that's because their burden of
21 proof is so high, they not only get to start the closing
22 arguments and start opening arguments, they also get to
23 conclude; in other words, they get to rebut everything I am
24 saying. The only thing I ask that you question, you say to
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1 yourself, We77, what wou7d the defense be saying in this
2 situation? Because I am not going to get another opportunity to
3 get up and answer any of those things at all.
4 You know, you are going to get a copy of
5 the -- actually, you are going to get a copy of the website, get
6 a copy of all those pages, and I would like you to read through
7 as much of that as you feel is necessary. If you take a look at
8 that you'll see this thing about the 30 days. It's not even in
9 her website. It's not even in there. Mr. Podlasek's just plain
10
1 1
wrong.
If you read it on the website -- this is
12 page 12, page 12 of 17 - - it says ri ght there, "She 1 earned that
13 removal ought to be filed 30 days after arraignment or before
14 the start of the tri al ." Well, the computer tamperi ng charge
15 still hasn't gone to trial. So I don't know why they are still
16 making such a big deal out of this 30 days. The 30 days is
17 nothing. My client simply, yes, she was taking every
18 opportunity she could to try to gather evidence and facts, to
19 try to get a charge dismissed against her which she considered
20 to be, she considered to be just an aberration of justice. She
21 considered it to be completely unfair and she was upset.
22 Please, at the end of this case find my
23 client not guilty.
24 THE COURT: Thank you, counsel.
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State, you may proceed with your rebuttal
MS. GUNNIGLE: Thank you, Your Honor.
5 REBUTTAL CLOSING ARGUMENT
6 by Ms. Gunnigle:
7 Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, when we
8 first met yesterday I welcomed you to 26th Street and
9 California. At this point in time you probably know a lot more
10 about the inner workings of the courthouse and all the
11 professionals that work in it than most people and in fact most
12 citizens.
13 Before I begin to talk about some of the
14 things that Mr. Albukerk referenced, I would like to direct your
15 attention to the parting words on the print-out of the website .
16 Specifically I am looking at page 16 of 17. As Mr. Podlasek
17 read, "Although we can't comment on the conversati on,
18 consciously falsifying court transcripts is not only the highest
19 treason a court official can perform, the FBI actually
20 investigates such situations. The last time it happened in
21 Cook County it was called Operation Gray Lord. The biggest
22 story behind these falsified transcripts is that the very people
23 who are supposed to uphold the law, Lisa Madigan and Anita
24 Alvarez, won't hesitate to transgress that same law to win bogus
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cases that personally benefit them. A lack of arraignment is
grounds to terminate Annabel's case. There are only three
people in the entire world who had a vested interest in that
transcript: Lisa Madigan, Anita Alvarez, and Annabel
Melongo. Since that transcript was changed only against
Annabel's interests, then the only persons who might have
ordered such a despicable act using Miss Taylor and Miss Laudien
as pawns are Lisa Madigan or Anita Alvarez. There is no word
imaginable to describe such an abuse of power and hypocrisy
surrounding it. Because there is no such word, let's just lend
a word created by one of our friends and call the present
situation the wowie-kazowie." (Phonetic) I'm not entirely sure
I am pronouncing that last word right, but I'll end it there.
The State agrees with this in part. There
are only three people who have a vested interest in the way that
transcript looks and it was the defendant Annabel Melongo who
fought to try to get it changed. It was her who started this
conspiracy theory. And when you look at it, it would have to be
one heck of a conspiracy.
Let's look at all of the people who would
have to be involved to make Miss Melongo's theory reasonable,
even in the realm of something that's imaginable. First, you
heard from the court reporters. In fact, you heard from
Miss Laudien, the court reporter who took the transcript, and
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she was able to tell you exactly how the transcripts are made.
It's no big secret, it's no big surprise. Those audio files are
huge files, and the defense has made much of the fact that after
a transcript is made and after Miss Laudien went through it and
edited it to make sure it was right that those audio files get
purged. And that makes sense. 2.4 million cases in
Cook County. Can you imagine the space that it would take if we
were to preserve via audio every single word? And we don't
because we have reliable court reporters.
One of the instructions that you will hear
is that it is up to the jury. You are the sole judge of the
credibility of the witnesses. Was Miss Laudien credible? Did
she give any indication ever that she had gone and taken what's
insinuated by the defendant money to change a transcript or that
she was influenced by the power of, I guess, our Attorney
General or State's Attorney? Of course not.
You also heard from a member of the court
clerk staff. You heard about how all of the papers that happen
in a courtroom are created. You heard about all those papers
and how all those papers, despite admittedly they don't have an
arraignment on them, and we'll go into that a little bit later,
but all of them put Annabel Melongo in the courtroom at 26th and
California on June 18th of 2008. You also heard from her
attorney, the same attorney who would have to be a conspirator
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1 in this farfetched conspiracy to make Miss Melongo's theory even
2 reasonable, and you heard that she was arraigned. It doesn't
3 make sense that she wouldn't be.
4 And the reason why, and the defense has gone
5 into this, is that an arraignment is a defendant's opportunity
6 to hear the charges against them and to plead guilty or not.
7 Nobody had an interest in keeping those charges from her, and as
8 you can see from the docket Miss Melongo continued to represent
9 herself on the charges . That she had charges pending against
10 her in Cook County, it was no big surprise and no big mystery.
11 Judge Schreier , I guess would also have to
12 be a member of this conspiracy to make Miss Melongo's theory
13 reasonable. And what we heard is that Judge Schreier apparently
14 didn't make a note on one of his sheets that he in fact
arraigned Miss Melongo. 15
16 But what's the result of that? I mean if
17 merely missing a note. We heard what happens next. We heard it
18 from the court clerk that that note is probably why it didn't
19 appear on the half sheet and probably why it didn't appear on
20 the docket sheet. But if merely missing a note isn't enough to
21 give you reasonable suspicion, it would be merely enough to give
22 every defendant reasonable suspicion to roam the halls of 26th
23 Street every time a judge missed a note and start recording
24 I conversations.
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1 MR. ALBUKERK : Objection.
2 THE COURT: Overruled.
3 MS. GUNNIGLE: In the instructions you will hear
4 today , you will hear actually more about reasonable suspicion
5 than what Mr. Albukerk told you. Because merely having a
6 reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed against you,
7 that's not enough. That's not enough under the statute and
8 that's not enough under the instruction that you will read.
9 Because you don't have to just have that reasonable suspicion
10 that a crime is going to be committed but you also have to have
11 the reasonable suspicion that the person you are recording is
12 the person who is committing that crime against you. And
13 Miss Melongo didn't have that.
14 You can read. You can read from the very
15 first transcript of the phone calls , she doesn't even know who
16 Pamela Taylor is . She asks what her position is. She has no
17 idea how she would even fit into this created conspiracy that
18 she posts to a website. She just doesn't know. And her own
19 website supports this. Let's look at it.
20 I would like to direct your attention on to
21 page 11 of 17. There is a long paragraph and there is a short
22 paragraph at the bottom. I would like to read to you from that
23 short paragraph. It says , "Ti red by the events of the day,
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24 Annabel took a bus to get to the train station . That's when she
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1 was first contacted by a dramatic creature, a creature that
2 might have well existed in the Precambrian era, who by something
3 strange natural factors had made it to the modern era. So
4 before introducing you to this living, yet undiscovered and rare
5 specimen known as Miss Pamela Taylor, here is a little
6 background to help you understanding why she contacted Annabel."
7 Then it starts talking about her notice of removal to federal
8 court, it starts talking about the certified transcripts. But
9 what it doesn't talk about is how Miss Taylor , when she starts
10 recording these conversations , could have even possibly been
11 i nvo 1 ved .
12 She didn't have reasonable suspicion that
13 Miss Taylor was involved at all when she recorded those
14 conversations. And we know that . We know that this is
15 something that is manufactured after the fact. That's the only
16 thing that makes sense in this case.
1 7 Let's look at what it makes sense. Let's
18 pretend for just a moment that this conspiracy happened, that
19 the court reporters, the court clerk, her own attorney, Judge
20 Schreier, Anita Alvarez and Lisa Madigan were all in a vast
21 conspiracy to manufacture an arraignment for whatever reason
22 against Miss Melongo? What's the reasonable thing to do in that
23 situation? Well, the reasonable thing to do would be what
24 Miss Taylor told Miss Melongo to do: To take it before a judge.
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1 I She didn't do that. Miss Taylor told her take it to an
2 attorney. She didn't do that. She eventually and this is
3 several days after, according to those conversations, took the
4 case to the FBI. But that was even after it was published to
5 the Web. Now I ask you , if there is actually a criminal
6 conspiracy out there, a criminal conspiracy if it exists
7 undoubtedly deserves to be investigated. Why on earth would you
8 reveal your investigation to the general public on a website?
9 I submit to you , ladies and gentlemen, that
10 Miss Melongo didn't believe that at all, that this website was
11 put together for one purpose and one purpose only, which was to
12 try and draw as many people to it and to try to incriminate the
13 court reporters until they changed her transcript.
14 Mr. Albukerk asked, so what? So what about
15 the website? So what? You put this out in the middle of
16 nowhere and no one comes to view it, so what? But as you will
17 see, there is actually a counter on that website that's been
18 entered into evidence and at the time the website was preserved
19 there were 3400 hits. 3400 possible people who go on to her
20 website reading that and thinking, as Mr. Albukerk put it, that
21 Cook County doesn't have the best reputation and reading about
22 this alleged conspiracy.
23 Today in court, and as Mr. Albukerk has
24 pointed out, Miss Melongo is admittedly not a lawyer. She is
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1 I here and, i n her own words, playing the role of the "naive and
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ignorant immigrant" from her website. But the evidence shows
something much different. It shows that she knew that she was
arraigned and that when she made these calls it wasn't because
she had any sort of reasonable suspicion, it was because she had
a desperation, a desperation to get out of the case against her
and she thought this was her out.
Now today we are going to present to you two
verdict forms actually, it's four verdict forms. One reads:
10 Eavesdropping without consent, guilty or not guilty . And the
11 jury, it is for your consideration everything that we have
12 presented before you today, and we submit to you that you should
13 read every last thing in here. Because you know what, it is
14 important, and it does show that Annabel didn't have any consent
15 from Miss Taylor when she recorded those conversations, she
16 never asked Miss Taylor whether she should be recorded. And
17 that in itself without any sort of reasonable suspicion is
18 enough to find her guilty on that count.
19 There is going to be another two verdict
20 forms for your consideration as well, and the second verdict
21 form will read: Eavesdropping/divulging information. Because
22 under Illinois law it is not just a crime to record someone and
23 not tell them about it but it is also a crime when you make it
24 public. When you make it public to 3400 potential people that
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1 1- are on 1; ne. And we are ~ l so go; ng to ask you that you fi nd her
2 guilty on that count. What the defendant did wasn't reasonable.
3 She had no reasonable suspicion . She knew it, she was
4 desperate, and this was her out. As such , I will ask you to
5 find Miss Annabel Melongo, the defendant, guilty of two counts:
6 Eavesdropping without consent and eavesdropping by divulging
7
8
information.
Thank you so much for your time and your
9 careful consideration.
10 THE COURT: Thank you, State.
11 Members of the jury, the evidence and the
12 arguments in this case have been completed and I will now
13 instruct you as to the law. The law that applies to this case
14 is stated in these instructions and it is your duty to follow
15 all of them. You must not single out certain instructions and
16 di sregard others. Whenever I wri te the word "he" in these
17 instructions I mean a male or a female .
18 It is your duty to determine the facts and
19 to determine them only from the evidence in this case . You are
20 to apply the law to the facts and in this way decide the case .
21 You are not to concern yourself with
22 possible punishment or sentence for the offense charged during
23 your deliberation. It is the function of the trial judge , which
24 is myself , to determine the sentence should there be a verdict
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1 of guilty.
2 Neither sympathy nor prejudice should
3 influence you. You should not be influenced by any person's
4 race, color, religion, or national ancestry.
5 From time to time it's been the duty of the
6 court to rule on the admissibility of the evidence. You should
7 not concern yourselves with the reasons for these rulings. You
8 should disregard questions and exhibits which were withdrawn or
9 to which objections were sustained .
10 Any evidence that was received for a limit
11 purpose should not be considered by you for any other purpose.
12 You should disregard testimony and exhibits which the court has
13 refused or stricken.
14 The evidence which you should consider
15 consists only of the testimony of the witnesses, the exhibits,
16 and stipulations which the court has received. You should
17 consider all of the evidence in light of your own observations
18 and experience in life. Neither by these instructions nor by
19 any ruling or remark which I have made do I mean to indicate any
20 opinion as to the facts or as to what your verdict should be.
21 Faithful performance by you of your duty as
22 jurors;s vital to the administration of justice.
23 Only you are the judges of the believability
24 of the witnesses and of the weight to be given to the testimony
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1 ~ each of them. In considering the testimony of any witness,
2 I ~ o u may take into account his ability and opportunity to
3 observe, his memory, his manner while testifying, any interest,
4 bias, or prejudice he may have , and the reasonableness of hi s
5 testimony considered in the light of all of the evidence in the
6 case.
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7 Opening statements are made by the attorneys
8 to acquaint you with the facts they expect to prove. Closing
9 arguments are made by the attorneys to discuss the facts and
10 circumstances in the case and they should be confined to the
11 evidence and to reasonable inferences to be drawn from the
12 evidence . Neither opening statements or closing arguments are
13 evidence and any statement or argument made by the attorneys
14 which is not based on the evidence should be disregarded.
15 Those of you who took notes during the trial
16 can use your notes to refresh your memory during the jury
17 deliberations. Each juror should rely on his or her own
18 recollection of the evidence. Just because a juror took notes
19 does not necessarily mean his or her recollection of the
20 evidence is any better or more accurate than the recollection of
21 a juror who did not take notes .
22 When you are discharged from further service
23 in thi s case, your notes are goi ng to be coll ected by the deputy I
24 and destroyed. Throughout the process your notes will be
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1 confidential and nobody will be able to see them.
2 The defendant is charged with the offense of
3 eavesdropping. The defendant has pleaded not guilty.
4 The charge against the defendant in this
5 case is contained in a document called the indictment. This
6 document is the formal method of charging the defendant and
7 putting the defendant on trial. It is not any evidence against
8 the defendant .
9 The defendant is presumed to be innocent of
10 the charge against him. This presumption remains with him
11 throughout every stage of the trial and during your
12 deliberations on the verdict and is not overcome unless from all
13 the evidence in the case you are convinced beyond a reasonable
14 doubt that he is guilty. The State has the burden of proving of
15 proving the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt and
16 this burden remains on the State throughout the case. The
17 defendant is not required to prove his innocence .
18 The fact that the defendant did not testify
19 must not be considered by you in any way in arriving at your
20 verdict. One moment.
21 [PAUSE HELD]
22 THE COURT: Evidence has been received that the
23 defendant has been involved in an offense other than those
24 charged in the indictment. This evidence has been received on
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the issue of the defendant's intent and may be considered by
only for that limited purpose.
you I
3 A person commits the offense of
4 eavesdropping by use or divulgence of information when he uses
5 or divulges any information which he knows or reasonably should
6 know was obtained through the use of an eavesdropping device
7 without the consent of all parties to the conversation.
8 It is not a violation of the eavesdropping
9 law if the person making the recording is a party to that
10 conversation and has a reasonable suspicion that another party
11 to the conversation is committing , is about to commit, or has
12 committed a criminal offense against her and there is reason to
13 believe that evidence of the criminal offense may be obtained by
14 the recordi ng .
15 To sustain the charge of eavesdropping by
16 use of an eavesdropping device the State must prove the
17 following propositions beyond a reasonable doubt. First
18 proposition: That the defendant knowingly used an eavesdropping
19 device to hear or record all or part -- let me start over with
20 that first proposition.
21 First proposition: That the defendant
22 knowingly used an eavesdropping device to hear or record all or
23 any part of a conversation; and , second proposition, that the
24 defendant did so without the consent of all parties to the
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If you find from your consideration of all
3
4
the evidence that the first proposition and the second
proposition have both been proved beyond a reasonable doubt and
5 that the individual who recorded the conversation did not have a
6 reasonable suspicion that another party to the conversation was
7 committing, about to commit, or had already committed a crime
8 against her or that there was no reason to believe that evidence
9 of the criminal offense may be obtained by the recording, then
10 you should find the defendant guilty.
11 If you find from your consideration of all
12 the evidence that either one of these propositions have not been
13 proved beyond a reasonable doubt or you find that the party who
14 recorded the conversation did so under a reasonable suspicion
15 that another party to the conversation was committing, was about
16 to commit, or had committed a criminal offense against that
17 person and there is reason to believe that evidence of the
18 criminal offense may be obtained by the recording, then you
19 should find the defendant not guilty.
20 To sustain the charge of eavesdropping by
21 use or divulgence of information , the State must prove the
22 following propositions: First, that the defendant used or
23 divulged any information obtained from a conversation and
24 devices to hear or record all or any part of the conversation ;
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1 and, second proposition, that the defendant did so without the
2 consent of all parties to the conversation; and, third, that the
3 defendant knew or reasonably should have known that this
4 information was obtained through the use of an eavesdropping
5 device.
6 If you find from your consideration of all
7 of the evidence that the first proposition and the second
8 proposition, that both were proved beyond a reasonable doubt and
9 that the individual who recorded the conversation did not have a
10 reasonable suspicion that another party to the conversation was
11 committing, about to commit, or had committed a crime against
12 her or that there was no reason to believe that evidence of the
13 criminal offense may be obtained by the recording, then you
14 should find the defendant guilty.
15 If you find from your consideration of all
16 the evidence that either one of these propositions have not been
17 proved beyond a reasonable doubt or if you find that the party
18 who recorded the conversation did so under a reasonable
19 suspicion that another party to the conversation was committing,
20 was about to commit, or had committed a criminal offense against
21 that person and there is reason to believe that evidence of the
22 criminal offense may be obtained by the recording, then you
23 should find the defendant not guilty.
24 The word "conversation" means any oral
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1 communication between two or more persons regardless of whether
2 one or more of the parties intended their communication to be of
3 a private nature under circumstances justifying that
4 expectation.
5 The term "eavesdropping device" means any
6 device capable of being used to hear or record a conversation,
7 whether such conversation's conducted in person, by telephone,
8 or by any other means.
9 When you retire to the jury room you will
10 first elect one of your own members as your foreperson. He or
11 she will preside during your deliberations on your verdicts.
12 Your agreement on a verdict must be unanimous. Your verdicts
13 must be in writing and signed by all of you, including your
14 I foreperson.
15 The defendant is charged in different ways
16 with the offense of eavesdropping. You are going to receive two
17 forms of verdict pertaining to each particular way that the
18 offense of eavesdropping is charged. As to each particular way
19 the offense of eavesdropping is charged you will be provided
20 with both a Not Guilty and Guilty form of verdict. From these
21 two verdict forms -- Let me back up. From these two forms as
22 to each particular way that the offense of eavesdropping is
23 charged, you should select the one verdict form that reflects
24 your verdict and sign it as I have stated. Do not write on the
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1 other verdict form. Sign only one verdict form as to each
2 particular way that the offense of eavesdropping is charged.
3 The first pair of verdict forms reads as
4 follows, and one of these will come out signed: We, the jury,
5 find the defendant, Annabel K. Me10ngo, not guilty of
6 eavesdropping without consent; or, we, the jury, find the
7 defendant, Annabel K. Me10ngo, guilty of eavesdropping without
8 consent. They are all formatted the same way: The top line is
9 for the foreperson, followed by eleven other signatures. Again,
10 one of these will be signed .
11 The second and final pair of verdict forms
12 reads as follows: We, the jury, find the defendant, Annabel K.
13 Me10ngo, not guilty of eavesdropping/divulging information.
14 Companion verdict form: We, the jury, find the defendant,
15 Annabel K. Me10ngo, guilty of eavesdropping/divulging
16 information. Again, they are formatted the same way.
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Can I have the deputies that are going to be I
with me step into court, please. Is there anybody else? The
19 two of you. All right.
20
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THE DEPUTY SHERIFF: Just us.
THE COURT: Will you both please raise your right
22 hand for me. Do you and each of you solemnly swear that you are
23 going to take this jury to a safe and convenient place provided
24 by the Sheriff of Cook County and keep them there together and
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--:n · tl et anyone speak to t hem nor tal k to them you rse 1 ves about !
this case, and when they have agreed upon a verdict you will I
return them back into open court to me?
THE MALE DEPUTY SHERIFF: I will.
THE FEMALE DEPUTY SHERIFF: (Nodding)
THE COURT: I will ask John Garius and Marion
7 McClusly, (phonetics) if you two could head to the jury room
8 first and get your belongings and head back out and everybody
9 else can follow. I'm just trying to get them to get a head
10 start into the jury room for their belongings. Now the rest of
11 you can also follow and you will begin your deliberations.
12 We'll have the instructions back with you in a minute.
13
14
15
16
17 6: 40.
THE DEPUTY SHERIFF: All rise for the jury.
(WHEREUPON , the jury exited the
cou rt room . )
THE COURT: For the record the jury is out at
18 I did want to put on the record I noticed as
19 I went through the instructions, and the parties probably saw,
20 there were two presumption of innocence instructions in the
21 packet by accident . So maybe they were just only mine, so I
22 obviously just read one of them, if anybody caught that.
23 All right . Let's get the exhibits . I have
24 the original No.2, I believe, the stipulation. Which is the
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original? 1
2
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MR. PODLASEK: This.
THE COURT: This one, okay. Do I have any
4 originals up here?
5 MR. PODLASEK: I don't think so.
6 THE COURT: Why don't you get all of the exhibits
7 together that we agreed on , show them to counsel . Defense, get
8 your exhibits ready as well and go through them, make sure you
9 are in agreement, and we'll send them back.
10 MR. ALBUKERK: That was Exhibit 1. That was
11 Exhibit 1, that subpoena.
12 THE COURT: First do the exhibits and we'll talk
13 about the discs, please.
14 MR. ALBUKERK: Judge.
15 THE COURT: Yes?
16 MR. ALBUKERK: I was wrong. I think Exhibit 1 was
17 the subpoena. That was -- we entered into evidence, we talked
18 about it. That's what I think it was. I got confused between
19 that. I wasn't keeping good notes .
20 THE COURT: So you are saying Defense No. 1 was
21 what?
22 MR. ALBUKERK: Was of a subpoena that was given to
23 Pam Taylor. I think maybe that's what it was.
24 THE COURT: On cross?
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1 MR. ALBUKERK: Yeah. Well, does it say anything
2 on here?
3 THE COURT: I don't have that listed in my notes.
4 MR. ALBUKERK: You know what, and I don't have
5 anything listed here either. Although -- well, it's on the
6 website.
7 THE COURT: I don't have that listed.
8 MR. ALBUKERK: Never mind. Thank you. Thanks for
9 checking your notes.
10 THE COURT: Defense, I want you to look at these
11 exhibits so you are in agreement that they are the ones we have
12 discussed, along with yours. Have you brought your exhibit up?
13 MR. ALBUKERK: Give me one second. Well, it's
14 just the one copy we are taking back to the jury, right? Where
15 is that one e-mail? Actually, I think I gave it to Bob.
16 THE COURT: State, do you have that in your
17 packet.
18 MS. GUNNIGLE: I don't believe we have it in our
19 packet, but I'm sure we have it somewhere.
20 THE COURT: It's not going back to the jury.
21 That's coming in and you've got --
22 MR. PODLASEK: Check these other ones.
23 THE COURT: Now, is this the laptop you want to
24 send back there and the TV?
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MR. PODLASEK: Yes, Judge. If they want to.
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2 THE COURT: I will send it back there. Once you
3 are done with these exhibits then I am going to turn my
4 attention to that disc and see how easy it is to operate and
5 I'll have the deputy show them how to do it.
6 MS. GUNNIGLE: Judge, I have State's proffered 3,
7 the one we talked about this morning.
8 (Document tendered to the court.)
9 THE COURT: You know, State, this never got used.
10 Hold on to it. If there is a conviction I'll have you impound
11 it and we'll note that on the court file that it will get
12 impounded.
MR. ALBUKERK: That's everything. 13
14 THE COURT: Except for the disc. So let me --
15 where is the CD? It's in there. So how easy is this? So,
16 deputy, can you see here?
17 THE DEPUTY SHERIFF: Yeah.
18 THE COURT: Let's see how easy this is.
19 You have already lost me. Are either of you
20 guys computer?
21 THE DEPUTY SHERIFF: Can't you just hit Play?
22 MR. ALBUKERK: No, but
23 THE COURT: Let's just leave it up like this. And
24 if they have a question they can continue to look through it or
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1 they can get us.
2 MS. GUNNIGLE: And they can navigate it just like
3 that.
4 THE COURT: Just leave it up like that. Just have
5 it up. So, deputies, are you ready?
6 THE DEPUTY SHERIFF: Yeah.
7 THE COURT: Here we go. These are the
8 instructions and the exhibits and then you can take the TV back.
9 We'll get you two on your way in one second.
10 THE DEPUTY SHERIFF: TV or laptop?
1 1 THE COURT: They're not going to need the TV. Let
12 me just ask you this: Unplugging that how complicated is that
13 going to be? Is it going to screw anything up?
14 THE DEPUTY SHERIFF: I'll send the charger back .
15 THE COURT: Off the record.
16 (WHEREUPON, the jury started its deliberations.)
17
18 (WHEREUPON, the foll owi ng proceedi ng
19 was hel d outsi de the presence of the
20 jury as foll ows: )
21 THE COURT: Let's bring out Melongo, please.
22 Everybody is present in court. I had
23 actually called for the State to be brought down. I wanted to
24 discuss with the parties what we were going to do since it was
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1 10 o'clock and the jury started deliberating at 6:40.
2 I did get a note from the jurors. It says ,
3 "Can we continue tomorrow?" And it is signed by Richard, and
4 the last name begins with an M. So the position of the parties
5 is what? Are both sides in agreement to have the jury come back
6 tomorrow and start deliberating?
7 MR. ALBUKERK: Yes, Judge .
8 MS. GUNNIGLE : Yes, Judge.
9 THE COURT: I believe it is Richard Miller to
10 clarify the record. My proposed note back to them is this :
11 "Jurors, we wi 11 reconvene in the morni ng. Do you want to start
12 at 10 or 10:30 in the morning?" And then we will wait for their
13 answer which should be momentarily and then we will bring them
14 out with admonitions. Is that all right with everybody?
15 MR. ALBUKERK : Yes .
16 MS. GUNNIGLE: Yes.
17 THE COURT: Both sides in agreement?
18 MR. ALBUKERK : Yes.
19 MS . GUNNIGLE : Yes.
20 [PAUSE HELD]
21 THE COURT: Okay. The jurors do want to start at
22 10 a . m. So can you ask them to bring all of their belongings
23 with them. They can leave their notebooks, we'll lock them up
24 and all the evidence on the table, and bring all their
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1 belongings out. Bring them to the jury box . I'll have a
2 conversation with them. You have folks ready to get to their
3 cars? There is other deputies? Okay .
4 THE DEPUTY SHERIFF: All rise for the jury .
5 (WHEREUPON, the jury reentered the
6 courtroom.)
7 THE COURT: Everyone may be seated.
8 Good evening , ladies and gentlemen of the
9 jury. I just have a few admonitions before I let you go for the
10 evening. It is very important, especially now that jury
11 deliberations have begun. You certainly can't talk to anybody
12 about the case. Certainly those people at home are going to
13 want to know a lot more about what the heck you were doing a77
14 night , why are you so 7ate , what happened during court? So you
15 have to stand firm and not be able to tell them anything.
16 Again, this decision is only among the twelve of you . Now that
17 the deliberations have stopped , you can't even talk to each
18 other about the case while you are on your way to your car or
19 even in the morning when you get here and there is maybe six or
20 eight of you here but the rest have not arrived yet. You can't
21 begin deliberations until I tell you tomorrow once you're going
22 to get all the evidence back and the jury instructions. You can
23 talk about anything else as you are waiting for everybody to get
24 together but you can't start deliberating about the case until I
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tell you it's set to go.
Now I will also tell you this. Over a lot
of years and many, many, many juries that eve been involved in,
I have never -- you are my test case I have never let a jury
go home while they were in the midst of deliberations. So it's
very important that I have you all back here tomorrow. You have
requested the 10 o'clock start time so, of course, I wanted to
give you a little bit of a choice with that since we have had
you here all day. But it's very very important that you do all
return obviously, the case depends upon it, and that you are all
here promptly so that you can all begin to deliberate at ten,
because I can't let you start deliberating until you are all
here.
Tomorrow your day is not going to depend on
me and my court call at all. So walk right on through. We will
probably be doing cases as we were today, so you can come
through. But you won't have to wait until I am done with any of
the cases. Once the deputy gives me word all twelve of you are
in place, you're not going to come out, I'm not going to talk to
you again, I'll just know you are there. You'll get your
evidence and instructions once the twelve of you are there and
you can get started. So you won't be delayed by our call at all
tomorrow. It's just up to you to be there. I am asking you to
please not let me regret my decision to send you home for a
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1 rest. You have been here all day today, but we need you to come
2 back tomorrow so that we can continue on.
3 So with that being said, everybody have a
4 good evening. I'll see you tomorrow at 10 a.m. All rise for
5 the jury. And the deputies will make sure you get safely to
6 your cars. They are ready for you out there.
7
8 (WHEREUPON, the jury left the
9 cou rt room and was excused unt i 1
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10 tomorrow morni ng, January 14, 2011, at
11 10 a.m.)
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CONTINUANCE TO JANUARY 14, 2011
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1 STATE OF ILLINOIS )
2 ) ss:
3 COUNTY OF COOK
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I, KATHIE KERNS, CSR, Official Shorthand Reporter of
the Circuit Court of Cook County, County Department - Criminal
Division, do hereby certify that I reported in shorthand the
evidence had in the above-entitled cause and that the foregoing
is a true and correct transcript of all the evidence heard.
/ /_7
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/ /
ficial Shorthand Reporte
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Circuit Court of Cook County
On this 9th day of November, 2011
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