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People v. Sturgis

OPINION FILED SEPTEMBER 27, 1974.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,

v.

LONNIE E. STURGIS, APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the First District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Richard J. Fitzgerald, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE KLUCZYNSKI DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Defendant, in a jury trial held in the circuit court of Cook County, was convicted of unlawful possession of narcotics. The appellate court affirmed the conviction and remanded to determine the proper sentence. (People v. Sturgis, 14 Ill. App.3d 181.) We granted leave to appeal. The sole issue before us is whether reversible error occurred when the trial court allowed the State to use for impeachment purposes certain statements sworn to and signed by the defendant which were included in a "Motion to Quash Arrest and Suppress Evidence." The facts are fully set out in the appellate court opinion and we recite only such matters as we deem necessary to determine the issue before us.

On Friday, April 23, 1971, appointed defense counsel filed the motion which bore defendant's signature and that date. The motion in relevant part is set forth as follows:

"PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS) ) -vs- ) Indictment No. 70-2545)

LONNIE STURGIS )

MOTION TO QUASH ARREST AND SUPPRESS EVIDENCE

Petitioner, LONNIE STURGIS, the defendant in the above-entitled cause, moves this Honorable Court to quash his arrest and suppress from introduction into evidence the direct and indirect products of said arrest.

In support whereof, petitioner states:

1. On 9th of July, 1970 , petitioner was arrested at or near 2114 W. Madison, Chicago, Ill.

8. During the arrest and subsequent detention, the police and prosecution became aware of the existence of physical evidence, witnesses, and other evidence all the direct and indirect fruits of the arrest and detention, which connect petitioner with a crime."

The substance of the motion was in typewritten form except for the italicized portions which were handwritten. It was stipulated and agreed that the evidence that was to be heard during the course of the trial would be considered as evidence presented on behalf of the defendant on this motion which was thereafter denied at trial. A jury was selected that day and the cause continued until Monday, April 26, when trial commenced.

The facts presented by the State established that an undercover police officer while observing defendant sitting in a doorway area at 2114 W. Madison in Chicago saw him pick up a cigarette package, remove tinfoil from it and give it to an unknown party after an exchange of money. The officer then gave a prearranged signal to two other police officers. They approached and placed defendant in custody pursuant to an arrest warrant for a previous narcotics charge and found the cigarette package near his feet. It contained 26 tinfoil packets. Three were randomly selected, tested and found to contain heroin.

Defendant testified that he was a drug addict looking for a "fix" and that he was with several men in a tavern doorway at 2117 W. Madison when the police approached. He said that after his arrest he was placed in a squad car. At this time one of the officers returned from the lot near the tavern, displayed a cigarette package to defendant and then inquired if the package belonged to him.

On cross-examination, over defense objection, the State put questions to defendant about certain matters contained in the motion. The trial court permitted this and admitted the motion into evidence for purposes of impeachment, but the jury was not allowed to take the exhibit to the jury room during subsequent deliberations. The State asked defendant if the police had taken any physical evidence from him and defendant denied that they had. It then challenged the credibility of this testimony by noting the variance of the addresses where the arrest was said to have been made and the allegation contained in paragraph 8 of the motion pertaining to the seizure of ...


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