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People v. Hill

MAY 18, 1971.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

BOBBY HILL ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. MAURICE D. POMPEY, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE STAMOS DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

The State appeals pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 604 (Ill. Rev. Stat., 1969, ch. 110A, par. 604) from an order dismissing the delinquency petitions against respondents Bobby Hill and Lloyd Jones. On appeal the State contends that there was no basis for the trial court's dismissal of the petitions.

On January 20, 1970, the State filed verified delinquency petitions in the Juvenile Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County against both respondents. The petitions were substantially the same and alleged inter alia: that respondents were minors; that they were delinquents; and that it was in their best interests to have them adjudged wards of the court. Both petitions alleged that they were delinquents by reason of the following:

"On 1-7-70 Carried and concealed an unregistered weapon on his person a 38 cal. centre revolver # 2484, the event occurred [sic] at 13646 Claire Blvd. in the Village of Robbins County of Cook."

A detention hearing on the above petitions was held the same day. Initially, defense counsel presented preliminary matter which consisted of the testimony of respondent Jones and Mrs. Harriet Hill, mother of respondent Hill.

Jones testified that he was taken into custody on January 17, 1970; that he was released in the custody of his father the same evening; and that pursuant to police instructions he returned on January 20, 1970, whereupon he was placed under detention.

Mrs. Hill testified that her son had been taken into custody on January 17, 1970, and released in her custody the same evening; that pursuant to police instruction she returned with her son on January 19, 1970; and that she was again told that she could take her son home. She further testified that she was notified to send her son back to the station the same evening to see the Chief of Police; that she was told her son would return shortly; and that after her son failed to return, she went to the station and discovered that he was placed under detention.

At this time the State moved to amend both verified petitions to include the following:

"[i]n violation of 24-3.1(a)(1) in that he was under 18, and said weapon was concealable."

The State also moved to further amend the verified petition against respondent Jones to delete "38 cal. centre revolver # 2484" and insert in its place, "Stevens Model 94DE Sawed-off Shotgun." The court granted the motions to amend.

Defense counsel then related that he desired to enter a motion to suppress the evidence whereupon the court continued the cause on its own motion. On February 9, 1970, the cause again came on for hearing. Instead of proceeding on the motion to suppress the evidence, defense counsel related to the court the testimony of Jones and Mrs. Hill of January 20, 1970.

In response the State called Melvin Jessup, Juvenile Officer, who testified that he saw the respondents on January 19, 1970; that the Chief of Police told him to refer Jones to the Juvenile Court; and that after Hill returned the same evening, the Chief of Police also advised him to similarly refer Hill to the Juvenile Court.

On cross-examination Jessup testified that the question of whether a minor will be eligible for station adjustment or referred to the Juvenile Court is dependent upon the minor's record and the gravity of the offense; that he, as Juvenile Officer, exercises his discretion in deciding whether to refer the minor to the Juvenile Court; and that in this case he acted upon the direction of his superior, the Chief of Police, who knew more of the circumstances in the case than he did. He further testified that in cases such as this where the minor is taken into custody on a weekend and the officers believe he will remain at home, he will be released in the custody of his parents pending further action.

After hearing the above testimony, the court, on its own motion, dismissed the petitions against Hill and Jones with prejudice. The State appeals and contends that the ...


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