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People v. Harper

OPINION FILED MARCH 16, 1981.

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

v.

WILLIE J. HARPER, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. DWIGHT McKAY, Judge, presiding.

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

Rehearing denied April 20, 1981.

William J. Harper (defendant) was charged with armed robbery and armed violence. A jury found him guilty of both offenses. He was sentenced to 7 years. He appeals.

No point is raised regarding the sufficiency of the evidence to prove guilt of these offenses beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence is overwhelming to demonstrate that defendant while armed held up two men in an automobile muffler shop. Defendant acted with an accomplice named Michael Barner (not involved in this appeal). After the crime the hands of the two men from the shop were tied and the offenders left. Within a few moments the police were alerted. Another police officer, off duty, also appeared at the scene to have his car serviced. He arrived in time to witness the holdup. The police chased the two suspects. After a short pursuit the accomplice was arrested. Defendant was arrested shortly thereafter. In addition, defendant signed a full written confession.

I.

Defendant made a pretrial motion to suppress his confession. He asserted a violation of Miranda rights. After a pretrial hearing, defendant's motion was denied. The record shows defendant was 21 years old and a high school graduate. Defendant had registered to attend college. He was familiar with Miranda warnings as he had received them in a previous unrelated arrest. Officers Casler and Maeyama both testified that Officer Maeyama gave defendant complete Miranda warnings shortly after arrest while driving to the police station. This process was repeated at the station. Officer Maeyama testified defendant stated he was "willing to answer questions without first speaking to a lawyer." The officers testified defendant repeated he understood each of his rights as stated to him. Defendant did not deny his understanding of these rights. The typewritten statement initialed and signed by defendant particularizes his right to a free attorney if he so desired.

Defendant testified:

"Q. Did you request a phone call?

A. Yes; I did."

Defendant also testified:

"Q. Did you request anything at all [in the police station]?

A. Nothing but a phone call."

Officer Casler testified the defendant did not ask for anything other than a drink of water. Officer Maeyama testified there were two phones in the room but defendant did not use them. Officer Casler also stated he heard Officer Maeyama tell defendant if he wished to contact an attorney he was welcome to do so.

Officer Maeyama testified on cross-examination defendant did not ask to go to his car to retrieve his wallet. Defendant testified concerning ...


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