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People v. Wolfram

MAY 29, 1973.




APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. FELIX M. BUOSCIO, Judge, presiding.


Klaus Wolfram (defendant) was found guilty, after a jury trial, for the offense of burglary. He was sentenced to a term of 3 to 5 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary.

This appeal presents four issues: (1) was defendant's confession voluntary; (2) should a tire iron, seized as a derivative result of the confession, be suppressed; (3) can defendant's testimony at a hearing on a motion to suppress a confession be used for impeachment of the defendant at the trial; and (4) does defendant have standing to object to a search of another's house.

On the morning of April 2, 1968, an Oak Park, Illinois pharmacist returned to his drug store, and, upon opening it for the day's business, found a door, two windows, and a window casing damaged, a number of drawers open, and a quantity of narcotics and money missing.

On April 4, 1968, a detective in the Forest Park police department received telephone information that narcotics were located in the home occupied by Gregory Glos. The Oak Park police department was also contacted. Thereupon, a detective from the Oak Park police department contacted the father of Gregory Glos and, with the consent of the father, they searched the father's home and seized a quantity of narcotics. While they were in the house, Gregory Glos returned and assisted the father and the detective in locating the narcotics.

Gregory Glos, on April 3, 1968, had purchased the narcotics at a suburban motel from the defendant and one Danny Demetri.

At about 4:30 P.M. on April 4, 1968, the defendant was arrested and taken to the Oak Park police station. On the arrival at the police station, defendant's eyes were dilated, his speech slurred and incoherent. He staggered when he attempted to walk. According to the police, the defendant appeared to be under the influence of "something," although no alcohol smell was detected. However, defendant was given his constitutional rights at that time. Between 4:30 P.M. and 12:15 to 12:30 A.M., defendant slept at the police station.

At 12:30 A.M. the following morning, defendant was questioned at the Oak Park police station. At that time he was again informed of his constitutional rights. Defendant acknowledged understanding his rights and declined an opportunity to use the telephone to call an attorney. Defendant, thereupon, confessed his participation in the drug store incident. In his confession he admitted that he and two other men had used a tire iron to gain entry to the pharmacy. Money and merchandise, including narcotics, were removed from the pharmacy. After giving an oral confession, the defendant refused to sign a written statement detailing the facts of the burglary. However, he accompanied the Oak Park police officers to his home, where he obtained car keys, proceeded to his backyard, opened the trunk of a car, and pulled out the tire iron. The defendant admitted using the tire iron at the burglary.

At the hearing on a motion to suppress his confession, defendant testified that he was in Forest Park on April 4, 1968 when he was apprehended by the police. He also testified that he had taken tuinols and seconals prior to the time he was apprehended. Defendant further testified that he had a complete loss of memory from approximately 4:30 P.M., April 4, 1968 to the next morning when he was taken to court.

At the trial, defendant testified that on April 4, 1968, he had taken three drugs: tuinols, seconals, and morphine taken with a needle. He also testified he did not recall being arrested. The trial court permitted impeachment of the defendant on the question of his adding "morphine taken with a needle" to the list of drugs testified to in the hearing on the motion to suppress.

Defendant contends his oral confession to the Oak Park police was involuntary. An evidentiary hearing on defendant's motion to suppress his confession was heard by the trial court out of the presence of the jury. Defendant makes no claim of police brutality. After listening to the testimony of defendant and the three police officers involved in questioning defendant, the trial court found that at 12:15 or 12:30 A.M., defendant was no longer under the influence of something, that he had been given his constitutional rights (as required in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436) and defendant understood them. The motion to suppress the confession was denied.

Defendant urges that nothing in the record supports a finding that his confession was the product of a rational intellect and a free will. His contention is based on the evidence which clearly established that at the time of defendant's arrest at 4:30 P.M. on April 4, his eyes were dilated, he was staggering, not coherent, and under the influence of something.

Defendant, on the motion to suppress, testified that prior to 4:30 P.M., he had taken 5 or 6 tuinols, a barbiturate drug and sleeping pill, and also took seconals, another barbiturate drug; that he did not remember anything thereafter until he had breakfast and coffee before going to court; *fn1 and that he did not remember talking to anybody at 12:30 A.M. on April 5.

Three police officers, who saw defendant at 4:30 P.M. and 12:30 A.M., testified. His condition at 4:30, as testified to by the officers, is summarized above. At 12:30 A.M., according to the officers he ...

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