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The People v. Donel

OPINION FILED JANUARY 28, 1970.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,

v.

ALBERT DONEL, APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JAMES A. GEROULIS, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE KLUCZYNSKI DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

After a bench trial in the circuit court of Cook County, defendant, Albert Donel, was found guilty of theft of an automobile and sentenced to serve two to three years in the penitentiary. He appeals directly to this court, contending that certain evidence admitted at trial was a product of an illegal search and the motion to suppress should have been allowed.

On the afternoon of December 17, 1965, Detective Thomas Walsh of the Chicago Auto Theft Unit received an anonymous telephone call informing him that a stolen 1966 Corvette, license No. BW-8080, was in a garage owned by the defendant. Walsh testified that at about 6:00 P.M. the same day he was parked in an alley near defendant's garage. The defendant pulled into the alley and stopped. The officer pulled along side defendant's car and asked defendant if he could talk with him a few minutes. The defendant replied, "Certainly, wait until I back my car up to my garage and we'll talk." The officer and the defendant stepped out of their cars and walked into defendant's back yard. There the following conversation took place:

"WALSH: What do you have in your garage?

DONEL: You know what is there.

WALSH: What do you mean I know what is there? What is there?

DONEL: You know what is there. There is a Corvette in there.

WALSH: What year Corvette?

DONEL: It's a '66, you know, it's a hot one.

WALSH: Do you mind if I see it?

DONEL: No. You know it's there. You might as well see it.

WALSH: Do you mind opening the door so I may see it?

DONEL: No. Why bother; you know it's there. I'll open it."

Defendant opened the garage, and after identifying the car the police officer placed defendant under arrest. It is uncontroverted that at no time did the police officer ...


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