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Biggers Factors Key Credibility in Armed Robbery Appeal

A Chicago man will serve out his four-year sentence after an appellate panel ruled that federal case law supported his victim’s claim in a 2016 armed robbery. Justin Blankenship told a Cook County judge that he’d never encountered Dewantez Daniels until the day Daniels hassled him about stealing his smartphone. Daniels got a look at Blankenship as he was putting on a mask in the early morning hours and then tracked him using the cellphone’s location finder shortly after the robbery took place. He described Blankenship’s dress and physical characteristics in calls to police shortly after the robbery and then later that day, when cops made their arrest as Blankenship attempted to flee.

Blankenship sought to have the charge dismissed on the grounds that the state possessed insufficient evidence for a conviction. However, judges in the 1st District said a reasonable trier of fact would have drawn the same inference based on the testimony the two men gave in Cook County Circuit Court. They cited the US Supreme Court’s Neil v. Biggers ruling in determining that Daniels fulfilled the five factors needed to verify his accusation despite his having admitted to smoking marijuana on the day of the holdup.