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People v. Redmon

OPINION FILED SEPTEMBER 4, 1984.

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

v.

PERVIS REDMON, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Francis J. Mahon, Judge, presiding.

PRESIDING JUSTICE BUCKLEY DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Rehearing denied October 10, 1984.

Following a jury trial, defendant Pervis Redmon was found guilty of murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, par. 9-1) and attempted armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 38, pars. 8-4, 18-2) and was sentenced to 35 years and 15 years respectively, the sentences to run concurrently. On appeal, defendant contends that the trial court erred in refusing to suppress certain alleged oral confessions where the State had failed to satisfy its burden of demonstrating a voluntary, knowing and intelligent waiver of defendant's constitutional rights. We agree.

The record reveals that the victim, Charles Miller, was employed as a newspaper distributor for the Chicago Sun-Times. On October 11, 1980, Miller was shot and killed during a robbery attempt while he was making collections in a building at 2420 South State Street. The victim was found in the building stairwell alive but seriously wounded. Although he survived for a short period of time, the victim never identified his assailants but did state that he was shot during a robbery attempt. A subsequent autopsy and ballistics report revealed that Miller was shot at close range with a .38-caliber revolver. There were no eyewitnesses to the crime.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on the day following the murder, police officer Joseph Cooley arrested defendant for the murder of Charles Miller based solely on information provided by an unidentified informant. Cooley advised defendant of his Miranda rights and transported him to the 21st District police station and, later, to Area One Homicide where he briefly questioned defendant alone for three or four minutes. It was approximately 11:30 p.m. when Officer Cooley left defendant. Over the next 19 hours, defendant was successively interrogated by various individuals on four different occasions, the final time in the presence of a court reporter.

Detective Willie Johnson, from Area One Homicide, was the first person to formally interview defendant. Detective Johnson testified that on October 13, at approximately 1 a.m., he advised defendant of his constitutional rights from a preprinted form, after which defendant replied that he understood those rights. He then proceeded to interrogate defendant for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, during which time defendant freely admitted that he and an accomplice named "Slow Boy" had attempted to rob Charles Miller while the victim was making his collections at 2420 South State Street. Defendant stated that during the robbery attempt Slow Boy shot Miller during a struggle, after which both he and Slow Boy fled. Redmon further informed Detective Johnson that he subsequently took the gun used by Slow Boy in the robbery and threw it by the railroad tracks at 2400 South Federal. This area was thoroughly searched by the police, but the gun was never recovered. On cross-examination, Detective Johnson stated that he never took any notes during the conversation, that he never called anyone else to witness defendant's confession, and that he never submitted any report regarding his conversation with defendant. He further testified that at the time defendant was arrested, defendant had just turned 17 years of age.

Following Detective Johnson's interview, Detectives Salvatore and Lowrey interrogated defendant a second time later that day at approximately 9:30 a.m. Detective Salvatore testified that before he questioned defendant, his partner, Lowrey, advised defendant of his rights from a standard preprinted form and, after having his rights read to him, defendant stated he understood those rights. Defendant then proceeded to relate substantially the same facts concerning the crime that he had previously given to Detective Johnson. Following this interview of defendant, Detective Salvatore contacted the felony review unit of the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Assistant State's Attorney Thomas Gainer testified that he received a telephone call from Detective Salvatore at approximately 11 a.m. on October 13, 1980. Gainer stated that he proceeded to the Area One headquarters and, after advising defendant of his rights, interrogated defendant from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. During this interview, defendant repeated the same facts he had previously given to Detectives Johnson and Salvatore.

Shortly after his conversation with Redmon, Gainer summoned a court reporter to take defendant's statement. With the court reporter present, Gainer again read defendant his constitutional rights from a preprinted form, after which the following colloquy occurred:

"Q. Understanding these rights, do you wish to talk to me now?

A. I don't know. I don't really understand.

Q. You don't understand what, the rights?

A. Yeah.

Q. Okay, let me see if I can explain them to you. We talked earlier today, did we not?

A. Yeah.

Q. Today, did ...


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