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People v. Boclaire

OPINION FILED MARCH 30, 1981.

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

v.

VAL BOCLAIRE (IMPLEADED), DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. FRED G. SURIA, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE MCGLOON DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied May 12, 1981.

Defendant Val Boclaire and three others were charged by indictment with two counts of murder, attempt armed robbery and four counts of conspiracy. After a separate jury trial, defendant was found guilty on all counts and sentenced to concurrent terms of 35 years for murder and 10 years for attempt armed robbery. Defendant appeals.

On appeal, defendant argues that (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence; (2) his statement should have been suppressed; (3) the trial court erred in admitting evidence of a co-defendant's statement; (4) the failure of the State to call potential witnesses casts doubt on his guilt; and (5) his sentence is excessive.

We affirm.

Roosevelt Crigler died as a result of gunshot wounds received at approximately 1:30 a.m. on March 30, 1978. The fatal shots were fired through the window in the front door of Crigler's home. Defendant, among others, was arrested at approximately 11:30 p.m.

At the hearing on the motion to quash his arrest and suppress evidence, defendant called Officer John McHugh. McHugh testified that he received information from Daniel Hass and two others that John Burnham was involved in the murder. Hass had been across the street from Crigler's home when the shooting occurred and saw Burnham and three others run from the area after the shooting. Burnham was arrested and implicated Boclaire. Officer McHugh thereafter learned that a Cadillac bearing the license number YM 4030 was used by Crigler's assailants in an attempt to flee. A car meeting this description was stopped by McHugh and his partner, Investigator Fournier, on the evening of March 30. The four passengers were arrested. Defendant Val Boclaire was seated on the passenger side of the front seat. Hershell Johnson, the driver of the car, informed McHugh that a rifle was in the trunk. The officers opened the trunk and viewed a .22-caliber rifle. McHugh did not state whether Miranda warnings were given. The trial court denied defendant's motion to quash his arrest and suppress the rifle.

Defendant also made a motion to suppress his oral statement given shortly after his arrest. At the hearing on the motion, the State called Investigator Joseph Bamberger to testify. Bamberger was present when defendant gave a statement at the police station to assistant State's Attorney Comroe. Comroe advised defendant of his rights and defendant stated he understood them. Defendant gave an oral statement but refused to have it reduced to writing. Bamberger further stated that Boclaire was neither physically nor mentally abused. Comroe then testified essentially to the same facts. Comroe recorded a summary of defendant's statement in a felony review file and testified to the substance of the statement at trial.

Defendant testifying on his own behalf stated that he made no statement at the police station and was never advised of his rights. He further testified that Officer McHugh struck him while he was in the interview room. After arguments, defendant's motion to suppress the statement was denied.

First, defendant argues that the rifle should have been suppressed because it was found only after a violation of the fourth and fifth amendments.

• 1, 2 On a motion to suppress evidence based on the fourth amendment, the defendant bears the burden of establishing the factual and legal bases supporting the motion. (People v. Billings (1977), 52 Ill. App.3d 414, 367 N.E.2d 337.) Among the facts which defendant must prove are his possessory interest in the area searched and the item seized. (Rakas v. Illinois (1978), 439 U.S. 128, 58 L.Ed.2d 387, 99 S.Ct. 421.) Defendant established neither a possessory interest in the car nor the rifle. Therefore, the trial court did not err in denying his motion to suppress.

• 3, 4 The fifth amendment's privilege against self-incrimination is a personal privilege. The Constitution does not proscribe incriminating statements elicted from another, but only prohibits compelling an accused to bear witness against himself. (Couch v. United States (1973), 409 U.S. 322, 34 L.Ed.2d 548, 93 S.Ct. 611.) Here, Hershell Johnson was the only person who made any statements at the time of arrest. Boclaire does not allege that any of his own remarks led to the seizure of the rifle. Therefore, his contention that the rifle was seized in violation of the fifth amendment is without merit.

Second, defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to ...


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