THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, ) Appeal from the
) Circuit Court of
Plaintiff-Appellee, ) Cook County.
v. ) No. 90 CR 12896
EFREN MELCHOR, ) Honorable
) Fred G. Suria,
Defendant-Appellant. ) Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE ROBERT E. GORDON delivered the opinion of the court:
Defendant Efren Melchor was convicted after a jury trial of first degree murder and
sentenced to 40 years’ imprisonment. On appeal, this court reversed his conviction, holding that
defendant’s sixth amendment right to confrontation was violated when the trial court admitted the
former testimony of Luis Ortiz, who was the sole eyewitness to identify defendant as the shooter.
Ortiz had previously testified about the murder at the trial of a codefendant but had died prior to
defendant’s trial. People v. Melchor, 362 Ill. App. 3d 335 (2005) (unpublished in part pursuant to
Supreme Court Rule 23).
The Illinois Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the appellate court on the ground that
the appellate court should have first considered the nonconstitutional issues before proceeding to
rule on the constitutional one. People v. Melchor, 226 Ill. 2d 24, 34-35 (2007), citing In re E.H.,
224 Ill. 2d 172, 178 (2006). The supreme court remanded the case to the appellate court with
instructions that this court answer two questions. Melchor, 226 Ill. 2d at 34-35. First, this court