By otmseo on March 4, 2012

Center Console of a car is a “Case” under the UUW Statute

Center Console of a car is a “Case” under weapons statutes

Court finds that a gun placed in the center console of a car is “encased” for purposes of the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon statute.

In People v. Harris, 2012 IL App (1st) 100077, Harris was charged with carrying a loaded uncased firearm in a vehicle and related charges.  In another case, People v. Holmes, 241 Ill. 2d 509 (2011), the Illinois Supreme Court held that a backseat armrest which contained a cover and latch fell within the definition of “case” under the UUW statute.  Thus the court here found that the gun Harris had in the center console of his car was encased and that conviction was reversed.

The court then address another legal issue:  Can a defendant be convicted of a crime based only on his confession.  The court explained that proof of a crime requires proof of two propositions beyond a reasonable doubt.  First, that a crime occurred, the corpus delicti, and second, that the person charged committed the crime. However, proof that a crime occurred cannot be based solely on a defendant’s confession.  The state must prove independent evidence to corroborate the defendant’s confession and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime occurred.  Here, although a police officer testified that Harris confessed that he had a gun on the street no independent, non-hearsay, evidence was admitted to corroborate Harris’ confession for proving that a crime was committed.