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People v. Deberry

JULY 14, 1965.

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

TIMOTHY DEBERRY, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Criminal Court of Cook County; the Hon. THOMAS H. FITZGERALD, Judge, presiding. Affirmed.

MR. JUSTICE DRUCKER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

Rehearing denied October 7, 1965.

Defendant appeals from a conviction of the crime of armed robbery after a jury trial, and a sentence of not less than 25 years nor more than 50 years in the penitentiary.

Defendant contends that the trial court erroneously refused to suppress certain evidence; that he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; and that certain alleged errors in rulings on the admission of evidence deprived him of a fair trial.

Defendant's initial contention is that the trial court, in a hearing on a petition to suppress evidence, erroneously refused to grant his motion to suppress certain evidence seized at the time of the arrest: a driver's license and a Sears payment book, both bearing the name "John Frieson."

Chicago Police Officer Frank Novak testified that he arrested defendant on October 12, 1962; that at the time of the arrest the officer did not have an arrest warrant; that he did not see him violating ordinances or laws of the City of Chicago or the State of Illinois; that he told defendant he "wanted to talk to him about a burglary."

Officer Novak testified that one month earlier, on September 10, 1962, he questioned Mr. Gene Barry (not the defendant) concerning American Express money orders that had been passed in Chicago; that:

I asked Mr. Barry where he had gotten these American Express Money Orders and he told me he had gotten them from Timothy DeBerry. I also asked him about the identification that was used in the passing of these American Express Money Orders, and he told me that he had gotten them from Timothy DeBerry. I saw these identification cards and I remember that some of the names were, "Epperson," "Hughes," "Lucille Jordan" and "Easily." I asked Mr. Barry where he obtained the identification cards bearing the name "Lucille Jordan," and he told me he had gotten them from Timothy DeBerry.

Novak further testified that Gene Barry was arrested by him and two FBI agents; that thereafter Novak contacted Lucille Jordan who identified photostatic copies of the identification papers as being hers and told him that her wallet, containing her cards, had been taken during a burglary of her home on August 17, 1962.

Defendant testified that when arrested he asked the officer: . . . if he hadn't been notified that somewhere between the 15th and 25th of September I had surrendered to the FBI and if he wanted to question me in regard to a burglary why didn't he do it at that time.

Defendant moved to suppress the two pieces of identification bearing the name "Frieson" which had been taken from him by Officer Novak on October 12, 1962. The basic question is whether the arrest of defendant without a warrant was legal.

The statute (Ill Rev Stats c 38, § 107-2-c (1963)) provides that a peace officer may arrest a person without a warrant if the officer "has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is committing or has committed an offense" (emphasis supplied).

In the instant case, the procedure turns, in part, on whether Gene Barry met the threshold requirements of an informer. In People v. Parren, 24 Ill.2d 572, 576, 182 N.E.2d 662, the court stated:

As a general proposition, "[A]n uncorroborated tip by an informer whose identity and reliability are both unknown does not constitute probable ...


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