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People v. Jones

NOVEMBER 5, 1971.

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

v.

TEELEY J. JONES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. ROBERT J. COLLINS, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE DRUCKER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant, Teeley J. Jones, was convicted of the crime of robbery after a jury trial and he was sentenced to a term of eight to fifteen years. This is an appeal of that conviction and sentence.

On appeal defendant contends that the trial court erred in denying an intra-trial motion to suppress defendant's confession, in allowing the complaining witness to give extensive testimony about the nature of his injuries, and in imposing an excessive sentence.

On November 15, 1968, at 1:15 P.M. Judge Walter J. Kowalski was robbed by a group of youths outside 1160 North Sedgwick. One of the assailants struck the Judge's head against the sidewalk. The other attackers stole money and jewelry from his pockets. The Judge could not identify the defendant as one of his attackers.

At trial Detective Blasch testified that on November 18, 1968, he arrested the defendant at his parents' apartment without a warrant. Blasch informed the defendant of his rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 348 U.S. 436, and after interrogation the defendant gave an oral statement implicating himself in the robbery. His statement was then typed by Officer Mucia and signed by the defendant.

Bernard Watkins and Sherwin Smith, residents of 1160 North Sedgwick, identified the defendant as one of the attackers of Judge Kowalski. They also stated they had seen the defendant in the neighborhood on previous occasions.

The defendant testified that he was twenty years old and was self-employed selling hosiery, jewelry and records. He denied taking part in the robbery and claimed that he signed two blank pieces of paper and not the confession which was read to the jury. He stated that he could not remember if he was informed of his rights.

On appeal defendant first contends that it was prejudicial error for the trial court to deny hearings on his intra-trial motion to suppress his confession. Prior to trial defendant filed a written motion to suppress the confession based on police failure to warn the defendant of his constitutional rights. That motion was denied and no error is claimed on appeal as to this ruling.

• 1 During trial and following Detective Blasch's direct testimony for the State, his grand jury testimony and police reports were tendered to defense counsel. After reading them defense counsel orally moved to suppress the defendant's confession stating:

"I have information now, Judge, that I know that my man was not arrested pursuant to any arrest warrant. I know he was not arrested pursuant to any search warrant. I know from his own conversation he was not violating any State or municipal ordinance."

It is evident from the testimony adduced at the pre-trial hearing that the defendant had been arrested without a warrant or search warrant. No written motion to suppress based on an illegal arrest was ever filed. Defense counsel had a list of witnesses for eight months prior to trial providing ample opportunity to question all the State's witnesses including Watkins. Defense counsel stated:

"My assumption is that they based the arrest on the information given by Sherman [sic] Smith or Bernard Watkins. But they gave me another name of a person that I went out to examine. I can't get around into that area. I don't have investigating * * *."

Counsel's incorrect assumption does not negate the fact that he knew before trial there was no arrest warrant. Nor is there anything in the above to indicate that an arrest without warrant was improper in the circumstances of this case. The trial court properly found the motion to suppress untimely.

Later in the trial the State offered the defendant's confession into evidence. The court stated, "I assume you object to this." Defense counsel replied, "I make no objection." After part of the confession was read defendant objected and moved that the confession be ...


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