No. 2--06--0015 Filed: 3-27-08
APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE ) Appeal from the Circuit Court
OF ILLINOIS, ) of Lake County.
v. ) No. 04--CF--2440
JAMES E. ZOPH, ) Honorable
) John T. Phillips,
Defendant-Appellant. ) Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE O'MALLEY delivered the opinion of the court:
Following a jury trial in the circuit court of Lake County, defendant, James E. Zoph, appeals
his conviction of first-degree murder of a person 60 years of age or over by exceptionally brutal or
heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty (720 ILCS 5/9--1(b)(16) (West 2004)). Defendant
contends that he was deprived of a fair trial by a number of the prosecutor's remarks during rebuttal
closing argument and by the publication of certain prejudicially gruesome photographs of the victim.
The record on appeal is moderately voluminous. We therefore summarize only those facts
necessary for an understanding of the issues raised on appeal and to address those issues. Further
factual detail as necessary will be supplied in the analysis of defendant's contentions.