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People v. Knight

OPINION FILED MARCH 29, 1978.

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

v.

JEFFREY F. KNIGHT, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JAMES M. BAILEY, Judge, presiding.

MR. PRESIDING JUSTICE JIGANTI DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

On November 6, 1975, the defendant, Jeffrey F. Knight, entered a plea of guilty to burglary and theft and was sentenced to five years probation. On December 16, 1976, the defendant was found in violation of his probation by committing a subsequent burglary and sentenced to two to six years in the penitentiary. The defendant has appealed contending: (1) the State failed to prove he was on probation at the time the alleged offense occurred on January 31, 1976; (2) he was improperly denied the opportunity to suppress a television set and certain incriminating statements made by him; and (3) he is entitled to credit on his sentence for the time spent on probation.

On December 3, 1976, the defendant filed two written motions to suppress. The motion to suppress statements alleged that after the defendant's arrest on February 4, 1976, the defendant was interrogated but was not informed of his rights as guaranteed by Miranda v. Arizona (1966), 384 U.S. 436, 16 L.Ed.2d 694, 86 S.Ct. 1602. It further specifically alleged:

"4. That the statements sought to be suppressed were obtained as a result of psychological and mental coercion illegally directed against the defendant and that such statements were, therefore, involuntary.

5. That the statements sought to be suppressed were obtained as the product of and as the direct and proximate result of confronting the accused with certain material misrepresentations of fact known by the interrogator to be misrepresentations."

The defendant asked the court to conduct a hearing to determine if the nature of the statements was voluntary and to suppress those statements.

The other motion, also filed that same day, was to suppress as evidence a television set seized in violation of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, article I, sections 6 and 10, and the fifth amendment to the United States Constitution. Specifically that motion charged:

"1. That while in police custody on 4 February, 1976 defendant made a confession illegally obtained and the evidence was seized as a direct result of the confession.

2. The policy obtained the evidence from the defendant's home by harrassing his wife and threatening to search his home without a warrant, and attempting to coerce consent to the search, and performing the search without consent."

When presenting the motions counsel for the defendant stated that notwithstanding that this was a violation of probation hearing he would ask the court to entertain the motions because part of the defendant's allegation was that incident to the seizure of the property police harassment was present. The court denied the motion and commented that at a hearing for violation of probation the defendant was not entitled to present motions to suppress. However, he stated that the defendant could introduce the testimony to determine the credibility of the witnesses.

The revocation hearing took place a week later on December 10, 1976. Chicago Police Officer Robert Specht testified that on January 31, 1976, he went off duty at 3 a.m. While traveling west on Fullerton Avenue en route home he observed the defendant and a second man, named Ramos, standing in front of a cleaning store on the north side of the street at 3240 West Fullerton. He proceeded to the corner, turned his car around and parked on the opposite side of the street and observed the defendant for 45 minutes. Twice he saw the defendant and his companion run to the back of a building when a police car passed. Specht left when the defendant and Ramos crossed the street and began walking and were very near his car. When he next returned to work on February 2, 1976, while looking through the case reports from the prior days he noticed a report of a burglary at the cleaners during the night of January 30 to the morning of January 31.

At approximately 8 p.m. on February 4, 1975, Specht observed both the defendant and Ramos at the police station. The record indicates that the defendant had been arrested by other officers for disorderly conduct and there was no suggestion that Specht was instrumental in that arrest.

Specht further testified he along with his partner Officer Hart, talked to Ramos and then he informed the defendant's wife who also was present, that Ramos had made an oral confession to the burglary and stated the television set taken in the burglary was at the defendant's apartment. She was informed that if necessary, a search warrant could be obtained, but she could go to the apartment and bring the television set out. Specht accompanied Mrs. Knight to the apartment, and she voluntarily gave the television set to him. Upon returning to the station, Specht advised the defendant of his constitutional rights, pursuant to Miranda, and the defendant denied committing the burglary. After the television set was shown to the defendant at the station, he admitted that he broke the glass in the front door of the cleaners with a lead pipe and that Ramos went in through the door and obtained the television set.

The television set, which was introduced in evidence at the revocation hearing, was also identified by the operator of the laundromat. It was the only item taken in a burglary sometime prior to ...


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