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People v. Winston





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. JOHN BOWMAN, Judge, presiding.


After a jury trial, defendant, Donald Winston, was found guilty of the offenses of murder and robbery and was sentenced to concurrent extended terms of imprisonment of 60 and 14 years respectively. Defendant appeals, contending: (1) that the trial court erred in refusing to suppress certain statements allegedly obtained after his requests for counsel were ignored by the police and certain members of the State's Attorney's office; (2) that he was denied his fifth amendment privilege against self-incrimination by the State's improper cross-examination; (3) that the selection of the jury in accordance with Witherspoon v. Illinois (1968), 391 U.S. 510, 20 L.Ed.2d 776, 88 S.Ct. 1770, resulted in a jury which was conviction-prone and more likely to reject an insanity defense; and (4) that the trial court erroneously concluded that the offense of murder was accompanied by exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty and erred in failing to state for the record the basis for imposing an extended term for the offense of robbery.

Defendant was charged by information, filed on October 26, 1979, with eight counts of murder and one count of robbery. On November 29, 1979, defendant filed a motion to suppress certain statements alleging, inter alia, that they were obtained after his requests for counsel had been ignored. A hearing on defendant's motion was held on December 14, 1979, at which the following evidence was adduced.

The State's first witness at the suppression hearing was Thomas L. Knight of the Du Page County State's Attorney's office. On September 26, 1979, Knight interviewed the defendant at the Elmhurst police station. Also present at that interview was Thomas Callum of the State's Attorney's office. Initially, Knight informed defendant of his Miranda rights and defendant acknowledged that he understood. Knight testified as follows concerning his conversation with the defendant:

"I then said, `Would you like to tell us about the incident involving the death of Martin Danforth?

Q. What if anything did the defendant reply to that?

A. He said `I'm not sure whether I want to tell you about it. I mean, I want to tell somebody, but if I tell you, you're going to use it against me. And if I tell my own lawyer, he'll use it for me.'

Q. What if anything was your response to that?

A. I said, `I understand that, and that's certainly your right and we'll adhere to that. Is there anything that you do want to tell us?

Q. And what if anything did the defendant say?

A. He said, `What do you want to know?'

Q. What if anything was stated next?

A. I said, `Anything that you want to tell us about the incident.' I said, `Anything that would help us understand what happened, understand your side of the story.'

Q. Did the defendant ever ask for an attorney?

A. No, he did not.

Q. All right. Did defendant ever refuse to answer any questions during this interview?

A. No, he did not."

Knight further testified that the defendant was at no time during the interview subject to coercion or threats.

Thomas Callum, an assistant State's Attorney who was also present at the interview of the defendant on September 26, 1979, testified that after Thomas Knight advised the defendant of his rights and asked him if he would waive those rights and talk, the defendant stated that "he wasn't sure if he wanted to talk to us; that he wanted to talk to somebody; that if he talked to us that we would use it against him; that if he talked to his own lawyer, he would use it for him." Knight told defendant that he was correct and that it was his option whether or not to speak. Defendant then responded, "[w]hat do you want to know?" Callum testified that the defendant did not refuse to answer any question and that no form of coercion was used.

James Stamper, a police officer for the city of Elmhurst, also interviewed the defendant on September 26, 1979, at approximately 2 p.m. Detective Anthony Markos was also present at the interview. After entering the interview room, Stamper advised defendant of his rights. Defendant then acknowledged that he understood those rights and stated "`yes, I would answer questions except that there might be some questions which I don't want to answer.'" During the course of the interview, defendant did not ask to speak to an attorney. Defendant refused to answer two questions concerning his sexual relations with the deceased stating that he did not want to answer until he could see an attorney. Stamper also testified that no form of coercion was used on the defendant.

On cross-examination, Stamper testified that he transported the defendant from a jail in Boston, Massachusetts. During this time, although defendant did not specifically request an attorney, he indicated that "eventually when he got back that he would be requesting an attorney, and he had previously asked as to the procedure for a public defender being appointed." Stamper told the defendant in response to his questions concerning the appointment of a public defender, that a public defender, in all probability, would be appointed at the bond hearing "the following morning." Stamper also told the defendant, however, that if defendant desired an attorney "right now" that he would call the State's Attorney's office to "see what arrangements, if any, could be made in regards to that today."

Anthony Markos, a police officer for the city of Elmhurst, testified that he was also involved in the interview of the defendant on September 26. Markos stated that Officer Stamper advised the defendant of his Miranda rights, and the defendant stated that he understood. During the interview defendant did not ask for an attorney but did refuse to answer two questions.

Defendant, Donald Winston, next testified that on September 25, 1979, Officers Stamper and Komerska had a conversation with him in the FBI building in Boston, Massachusetts. The officers informed him that they had a warrant for his arrest and that they were going to extradite him back to Illinois. The officers also asked defendant "if there was anything [he] wanted to tell them about the death of Martin G. Danforth." Defendant responded, "No, there is nothing I want to say to you." When the officers informed the defendant that he would be tried in Illinois for murder, defendant stated, "Well, of course I'm going to need an attorney. And since I have no money, how am I going to get an attorney?" Defendant then testified that during a car ride to the Boston jail, he stated that he would like to talk to an attorney before he made any more statements. Defendant also testified that he expressed his desire for an attorney to the officers at the Boston airport and also during the airplane trip to Chicago. Defendant testified as follows concerning what transpired upon his arrival at the Elmhurst police station:

"A. Well, the biggest conversation we had about it was soon after we were in the interview room, soon after Markos and Stamper had started to get me to answer questions. You know, they were giving me my Miranda rights and telling me this and that.

And then I said, `Well, I don't want to say anything until I talk to an attorney.' I know that. And they said, `Do you have any money?' and I said `No.'

They said, `How do you expect to get an attorney?' And I said, `Well, there is such a thing as a public defender, isn't there?' They said, `Yes.'

And I said, `Well, can I talk to one now?' And they said, `No. About the soonest you can talk to one is tomorrow after you go to a bond hearing.'

Q. What did they say then, sir —

A. They said — started asking me questions about Martin G. Danforth and his death."

Defendant testified that he repeatedly asked for an attorney while in the interrogation room and that he stated that he ...

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