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People v. Schultz





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Will County; the Hon. ROBERT R. BUCHAR, Judge, presiding.


Rehearing denied September 29, 1981.

Defendant Glenn Schultz, Jr. appeals from his conviction, after bench trial, for the 1973 bludgeon murder of Bridgette Regli, a 16-year-old Crete-Monee High School student. Two other men, Arthur Garza and Philip Kline, have been convicted of murder for their participation in the killing of Miss Regli. Those convictions have been upheld by this court. (People v. Garza (1981), 92 Ill. App.3d 723; People v. Kline (1981), 99 Ill. App.3d 540.) Glenn Schultz, Jr., following his conviction, was sentenced to 20 to 25 years' imprisonment for his part in the murder. Garza had received a 15- to 25-year sentence, while Kline was given 50 to 100 years. Kline's sentence has been reversed, as improper, and his case has been remanded solely for resentencing. (See People v. Kline (1981), 99 Ill. App.3d 540.) On this appeal Schultz argues: (1) that he was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; (2) that the State failed to exclude other reasonable hypotheses consistent with his innocence; (3) that he was denied due process when the trial judge improperly investigated certain evidence admitted at trial; (4) that he was denied due process when evidence of other crimes was admitted; (5) that the right to a speedy trial was denied him; (6) that the State failed to show that Miranda warnings had been given him prior to the making of his incriminating statements; (7) that his right to an attorney was denied him when he was asked questions, after his indictment, without an attorney present; (8) that his sentence was excessive, in light of the sentences received by a co-defendant for the same crime.

The facts of this brutal murder have been covered, for the most part, in the two previous cases involving Philip Kline and Arthur Garza. Only a brief summary of the evidence common to all three cases will be set forth herein.

On December 6, 1973, Bridgette Regli, a 16-year-old high school student at Crete-Monee High School, was bludgeoned to death in a Will County field. She had breakfast that morning at her home and then had gone to school. Shortly before 1 p.m., having completed her classes for the day, Miss Regli left school and began her usual walk home. Valinda Avey, an acquaintance of hers, looking out a window at the junior high school nearby, saw Miss Regli walking down the street toward home. She then observed a small, two-door, tan or cream colored auto stop past where Bridgette Regli was walking. She noticed two persons in the auto, but was unsure if there was a third in the back seat. Avey observed a high-school-age male get out of the passenger side of the auto, and Bridgette Regli get in the auto. The car was then driven off in a southerly direction.

Bridgette Regli's body was found several days later in a wooded area of Crete Township. Pathological evidence indicated that, after considerable struggle on her part, the victim had been bludgeoned to death with a tree limb or other similar object. Death occurred some seven hours after her last meal, which would put the time of death in the early afternoon of December 6, 1973. Clutched in Regli's frozen hand were several strands of human hair. Some years later, on March 2, 1976, two police officers had occasion to talk with defendant Glenn Schultz, Jr. The officers, responding to a radio call, had found Schultz lying intoxicated and unresponsive in some bushes. He had to be carried home by the officers, and during the ride Schultz rambled about his need to be taken to a mental hospital. After returning him home, where both his mother and brother were present, the officers heard Glenn Schultz, Jr., state, "Do you remember that girl in Crete? I killed her. I did it." One of the officers asked him if he meant the blond, and he responded, "No, the brunette." He also indicated to the officers that the killing took place a couple of years before. The defendant Schultz was then hit by his brother and told to "shut up." The officers left without arresting Schultz at that time.

Several weeks later, on March 16, 1976, Glenn Schultz was asked to come to Richton Park Police Department to be interviewed by officers there. He had not been arrested and voluntarily came to the police station for the interview. He was interviewed by an Officer Mooney upon his arrival. According to Mooney's testimony at trial, Schultz told him that he knew a lot about the murder in Crete and wanted to talk about it to get it off his mind. During the interview, Schultz told Mooney that he remembered that on the day of Regli's disappearance there was a "hassle or a struggle" and something about a car. Schultz also stated that he remembered being in a wooded area and seeing the back of the victim's head. He could not describe her facial features, indicating that in his recollection all he saw was the back of her head and himself beating her. When Mooney asked what he was beating her with, Schultz replied that it was a tree limb. Schultz then became upset, began sobbing and saying that it had been a "bad trip." Later, in again recounting the events, Schultz stated, "No. No. No. I couldn't do that. I couldn't do that." Responding to further questioning, Schultz indicated that he had dreams of being in a wooded area and trying to bury something. Later that day, Schultz told Mooney that he "thought he purchased some drugs the day the girl disappeared," indicating that he thought he had purchased them from Philip Kline, but was not sure. At trial, Officer Mooney stated that the conversation with Schultz had been taped but that the tapes had been misplaced over the years and could no longer be found.

Another police officer who interviewed Schultz at the police station that day also testified to statements made by Schultz. Will County Sergeant John Watters testified that he interviewed Schultz that day at the Richton Park Police Station. He testified that Schultz, during the interview, informed him that he knew both Philip Kline and Arthur Garza. Schultz again indicated his belief that he had purchased drugs from Kline on the day of the victim's disappearance. Watters asked him directly whether he had participated in the murder and he replied, "I think I did but I know I didn't." He mentioned his recurring dreams about the homicide and could remember trying to bury something. During the interview Schultz indicated to police that he had closely followed the case in the local newspapers. A police report concerning the interview was prepared by Watters.

Watters testified that he did not place the defendant under arrest at that time, because he was waiting for the results of testing being done to compare hair samples taken from Schultz with the hair found in the victim's hand. Watters also indicated that he wanted to discuss the case with the State's Attorney. Sometime later, after being informed that the hair comparison was positive and that it indicated a similarity between Schultz' hair and that found in the victim's hand, Watters further discussed the case with the prosecuting authorities, but no action was taken.

Sometime in January 1979, after the police received information regarding incriminating admissions made by Garza and Kline, an indictment was returned against Glenn Schultz. This was almost three years after the confessions by Schultz to police officers and the positive results from the hair comparison. An arrest warrant was issued and Schultz was picked up by a county sheriff's deputy in Florida on January 28, 1979. The Schultzes had moved to Florida from Illinois some years before. The deputy who made the arrest testified at trial that Schultz told him that he could not understand why the arrest was taking place, "that he had confessed to this, that he had been arrested for this and he had subsequently been released from this charge from the State of Illinois." He also indicated that at the time of the offense he was "burnt out" on drugs and was not coherent enough to know exactly what had happened. A defense motion to suppress the statements made by Schultz at the time of his arrest in Florida was denied. The officer involved indicated that he had read Schultz his Miranda rights prior to any questioning.

Further testimony for the State came from Timothy Dixon, a supervisor with the Illinois Crime Lab. Dixon testified to his experience with the crime lab and to his examination of the hair strands taken from the hand of Bridgette Regli compared with the hair samples taken of Glenn Schultz, Jr., in 1976. Dixon testified that the hair in the victim's hand was dissimilar to her own hair. He also testified that his examination of the defendant Schultz' hair and the hair in the victim's hand indicated that the two samples were similar in color and characteristics. He also testified that he had concluded as well that certain hair recovered from the gloves found in the back seat of Philip Kline's auto in Florida, in 1973, was similar in color and characteristics to the hair samples taken of defendant Schultz.

On cross-examination, Dixon testified that he had not used an electronic scanning microscope in his examination, although one was available. He admitted that he did not conduct several tests and comparisons which he could have utilized. He did not make a square count of the hairs available, nor did he send the samples to Chicago for a neutron-activation analysis test. Dixon also stated that he did not use a cross-sectioning technique in his analysis. He admitted that hair comparison study was an inexact science and that positive identifications were available only where there were rare and unique elements present in the samples. He stated that his conclusions about the similarities in the instant case were based upon his examination of the samples using both the naked eye and a microscope. He stated that he could not conclude, with scientific certainty, that the hair samples taken from the victim's hand were from the head of defendant Glenn Schultz.

After its directed verdict motion had been denied, the defense presented its case. The principal witness was Dr. Louis Vitullo, a retired consultant with the Chicago Police Department. Dr. Vitullo's background and expertise in the field of hair comparison study was established. Vitullo, faulting Dixon for not measuring and washing the samples before examination, testified that he too had conducted a microscopic analysis of the hair samples. His conclusion was that he found dissimilarities between hair strands found in the victim's hand and that taken from defendant Schultz. He found similarities in color between the two, but dissimilarities with regard to pigment and structure. Based upon his examination, Vitullo stated that he could not render a decision as to the source and origin of the hair found in the victim's hand. Vitullo also discussed a variety of tests that could have been utilized to examine the hair, stating that through the use of such sophisticated testing a better result could have been obtained.

Another defense witness was Anna Kline, former wife of Philip Kline who had testified against Philip Kline at his trial. (See People v. Kline (1981), 99 Ill. App.3d 540.) She testified that, so far as she knew, her husband, Philip Kline, did not know Glenn Schultz and that he never spoke of him. Also testifying for the defense was Glenn Schultz, Sr., who testified that the Crete papers during the weeks following the killing contained numerous articles concerning the ...

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