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People v. Stiles

OPINION FILED MAY 29, 1981.

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

v.

PAMELA STILES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. BRUCE R. FAWELL, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE LINDBERG DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied May 29, 1981.

Defendant, Pamela Stiles, together with a co-defendant, was charged with armed robbery of a restaurant in Westmont, Illinois. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1977, ch. 38, par. 18-2(a).) After the Circuit Court of Du Page County refused to hold an evidentiary hearing on defendant's motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence, defendant waived trial by jury and was found guilty. From this verdict, defendant appeals.

The sole issue presented on review is whether the trial court erred in denying defendant an evidentiary hearing on her motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence, where defendant had previously litigated the same motion in a separate trial.

On September 10, 1977, Pamela Stiles and co-defendant Douglas Wall were arrested by police officers in Carol Stream, Illinois. Following their arrest, the defendants gave inculpatory statements to police who had been summoned to Carol Stream from the villages of Westmont and Riverside. On the basis of these statements, defendants were charged with an armed robbery which occurred on August 31, 1977, in Westmont, Du Page County, and another armed robbery on September 9, 1977, in Riverside, Cook County.

Defendants were first tried in Cook County. Prior to trial, a hearing was held on defendants' motion to quash the arrest and suppress evidence. Defendant Stiles (the sole appellant here) was represented by John Klich. At the hearing, Klich admitted that he had been unable to pursue any discovery in the case, and was reading the police reports for the first time as he questioned the witnesses. The only witnesses called on defendants' behalf were officers of the Riverside police force. Those officers of the Carol Stream police department who initially made the arrest were not called, apparently because defense counsel was under the misapprehension that the State had to produce such officers in order to meet its burden of establishing probable cause. The court offered to allow defense counsel to withdraw his motion to quash until such time as the Carol Stream police officers could be subpoenaed. Inexplicably, defense counsel chose to proceed on the motion without them.

Testimony by the State's witnesses established that on the night of September 9, 1977, Officer Robert Gordon of the Riverside police department answered a call regarding a suspicious looking green Chevrolet parked on a residential street in Riverside. In the car, the officer found a Doberman pinscher and a cat, but no driver. The car was ticketed for being parked in violation of a village ordinance. The officer then answered another call concerning the robbery of a local Arthur Treacher's restaurant located one-half block from the parked car. When he returned to the site after investigating the robbery, the car was gone.

Chris Baker, assistant manager at Arthur Treacher's, testified that two people, a man and a woman with silk stockings covering their faces, held up the restaurant shortly after it closed on the night of September 9, 1977, and made off with more than $1,750 in cash. No one at the restaurant saw the robbers leave, nor did they see the vehicle in which the robbers fled.

Finally, the testimony of the Westmont policeman who took the confession of defendants after they were arrested in Carol Stream was received in evidence.

The court found probable cause to arrest, and denied defendant's motion to quash the arrest and suppress evidence. Defendants then entered a guilty plea and were sentenced to a term of 4 to 8 years' imprisonment.

As for the Du Page County offense, defendant was originally charged by complaint on September 12, 1977. An information for the offense was filed on January 31, 1978. Defendant's motion to suppress statements was denied after a hearing. At that time, defendant was still represented by John Klich.

On June 16, 1978, Klich was replaced as defense counsel by John Donahue, who filed a motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence. At the hearing on this motion, the State's Attorney argued that the defendants were not entitled to a hearing in Du Page County on their motion since they had received a hearing on the same issue in Cook County, where they had lost. The State's Attorney alleged that the defendants were arrested by the Carol Stream police for two separate incidents, but that since the same issue, i.e., the legality of the defendants' arrest by Carol Stream police officers, was involved in both cases, the defendants were not entitled to relitigate on the same motion.

After receiving memoranda of law from both parties, the trial court denied defendants a hearing in Du Page County on their motion to quash arrest, ruling that defendants were entitled to only one such hearing. Defendants pleaded not guilty, and a bench trial followed.

It was at this second trial that the arresting officer, James Petrick of the Carol Stream police department, first testified. Petrick stated that he had initially encountered defendants on September 9, 1977, when he answered a complaint from the manager of an apartment complex in Carol Stream that a green Chevrolet had been parked at the complex with a cat and Doberman pinscher locked inside. In addition, the manager said he had reason to believe that the owners of the car were staying with one of the tenants, which was not ...


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