June 15, 2007
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS,
Appeal from the
Circuit Court of
Michael P. Toomin,
JUSTICE GALLAGHER delivered the opinion of the court:
Defendant, Jerome Howard was convicted by a jury of first degree murder, predicated on
felony home invasion, and was sentenced to 45 years in prison. He now appeals his conviction.
On December 24, 2002, the decedent, James Saunders (Saunders), was shot and killed in
his girlfriend's town house after defendant entered with his two nephews and confronted
Saunders. At the time, Saunders' girlfriend, Sherita Pollard (Sherita), was married to defendant,
but the two were estranged. Sherita lived in the town house with her two adult children, Lavita
Govan (Lavita) and Alfonso Govan (Alfonso). Although defendant had lived with Sherita in the
town house in the past, he no longer lived there and had never been listed on the lease.
Nonetheless, defendant contends in this appeal that the town house was his dwelling because he