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People v. Williams

OPINION FILED JUNE 29, 1978.

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

v.

LLOYD A. WILLIAMS, III, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. FRANK W. BARBARO, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE ROMITI DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied July 28, 1978.

Defendant, Lloyd A. Williams, was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1973, ch. 38, par. 9-2), after a bench trial in the circuit court of Cook County, and was sentenced to a term of 4 to 12 years. The issues presented for review are (1) whether the police had probable cause to arrest defendant and (2) whether defendant's inculpatory statement and fingerprints must be suppressed because they were the fruits of the allegedly unlawful arrest.

We reverse and remand for a new trial.

The testimony concerning defendant's motion to suppress evidence was heard in conjunction with defendant's trial.

Officer John Suchy testified that at about 11:45 p.m. or at midnight on May 9, 1973, he went to 9255 South La Salle and observed a cab which appeared to have been in an auto accident. Upon investigation, he discovered the driver had been shot six times. The driver's window was rolled down, the victim had dollar bills in his hands, and other bills were found in the cab. There were no eyewitnesses to the shooting, but one person told the officer he heard loud noises at about 11:45 p.m.

Robert Brown, the owner of the cab in which the victim was found, testified that based on his observation of the taxi meter, the cab had traveled about one-half mile with two fares.

It was stipulated that if Joseph Nemec, an evidence technician, were called, he would testify that between 12:30 and 1 a.m. on May 10, 1973, he lifted a fingerprint from the rear door of the cab. It was further stipulated that if Joseph Mortimer, a fingerprint expert, were called, he would testify he compared the fingerprint taken from the cab with one of the known fingerprints of defendant and found that there was a positive match of the left little finger.

Defendant testified that on May 11, 1973, he was arrested by Officer Duncan while walking toward his home and did not believe he was in violation of any law.

Officer Duncan testified he arrested defendant on May 11, 1973, at about 8 or 8:30 p.m., at about 93rd and Harvard. Duncan stated he had information from an "informant" that defendant and another man were involved in a shooting of a cab driver at 92nd and La Salle. Officer Duncan stated that neither he nor any other officer had used the party giving the information for any police work before, but he used the word "informant" in his police report because the person gave information relevant to the homicide he was investigating.

Duncan stated the informant told him he observed defendant and another man getting into a cab on the night of the incident at about 12 or 12:30 a.m. about four blocks from where the victim was found in the cab.

Duncan further testified defendant was brought to the police station at 8:30 or 9 p.m., and he was questioned for two to three of the eight hours he was in custody before giving a statement at 5 a.m. Defendant called his mother after he had been at the station 30 to 45 minutes, and she visited him and was present during conversations with defendant about the crime. Defendant was given Miranda warnings, but at no time did he request to have an attorney or did he request a person other than his mother to come to the station.

Joseph Fagan testified that at 5 a.m. on May 12, 1973, he then took a statement from defendant which was recorded by a court reporter. He testified he did not coerce defendant, and defendant had no difficulty understanding the proceedings.

Edward Stabrawa, a shorthand reporter employed by the State's Attorney's office, testified he was present when defendant made his statement. He saw no bruises or injuries on or about defendant's person, and at no time did he see ...


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