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04/10/87 the People of the State of v. Sidney B. Paskins. -- the

April 10, 1987

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

SIDNEY B. PASKINS. -- THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,

v.

THOMAS D. NOEL, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT

506 N.E.2d 1037, 154 Ill. App. 3d 417, 107 Ill. Dec. 146 1987.IL.477

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Peoria County; the Hon. Calvin R. Stone, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE BARRY delivered the opinion of the court. STOUDER and HEIPLE, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE BARRY

Defendants Thomas Noel and Sidney Paskins appeal from their convictions of the offense of residential burglary. The defendants were tried jointly in the circuit court of Peoria County --Noel by a jury, and Paskins by the bench. Upon findings of guilty, defendants were sentenced to serve 9 1/2 and 13 years, respectively, in the Department of Corrections.

The only issue on appeal is whether the trial court erred in denying defendants' motions to quash arrest and suppress evidence. We affirm.

On October 17, 1985, at about 10:28 a.m., Henry Brooks telephoned the office of the Peoria County sheriff to report a possible burglary at 913 North Norwood Boulevard. Deputy Sheriff David Owen responded, arriving at the residence in question about 3 minutes later. Brooks told Owen that he had returned home to his residence next door to 913 North Norwood Boulevard and observed a blue Chevrolet in the driveway of 913 North Norwood Boulevard, where his daughter, Tina Utsinger, and Chester Stamm lived. A black male was driving the Chevrolet and attempting to pull out when Brooks blocked his passage. The Chevrolet became mired in mud when it attempted to drive around Brooks' car. The driver then got out and fled on foot. Brooks tried to tackle him, but missed. At that point, Brooks went back into his own home and telephoned the police.

Brooks described the man as a black male in his late twenties, huskily built, about 5 feet 6 inches or 7 inches tall, weighing about 200 pounds, and wearing a blue T-shirt and dark, possibly brown, pants. Brooks told Owen that he had reason to suspect that the man may have gone back into his daughter's house because of the frantic barking of a dog in the garage. Owen entered the house and found that it had been ransacked. After having been on the premises for about 10 minutes, Owen radioed in Brooks' description of the person he had seen for broadcast over ISPERN to other police personnel.

State Trooper William Johnston, who had arrived at 913 North Norwood shortly after Owen, began to patrol the area looking for a possible suspect when the description given by Brooks was dispatched. Meanwhile, around 10:42 a.m., Peoria County Sheriff's Officer Richard Layne was filling his car with gas at the County Highway Department garage located about .6 of a mile south of the Utsinger residence. He observed two black males walking south between the coroner's office and the Bellwood Nursing Home. Both men were wearing dark pants. The shorter wore a brown coat and a shower cap and the taller, a dark blue coat. Layne, who was aware of the possible burglary at 913 North Norwood Boulevard, checked with a man working construction at the coroner's office to find out whether any black males were employed at that site. He learned that none were. Then Layne telephoned the ISPERN dispatcher and asked whether any descriptions had been given in connection with the recent burglary at 913 North Norwood. The dispatcher told him only that a black male was suspected. Layne immediately broadcast his observation of the two black males he had just sighted as possible suspects.

Trooper Johnston received Layne's broadcast around 10:45 a.m. At 11:07 a.m., Johnston observed two black males matching the descriptions provided by Layne. They were walking along the railroad tracks approximately three miles east of where Layne had first seen them. Johnston stopped his car, got out, and, with his weapon drawn, ordered the men -- defendants Paskins and Noel -- to approach him. Defendants complied, and Johnston, who was alone at the time, ordered them to lie face down on the side of the road while he waited for the arrival of backup units. Three or four minutes later, Lieutenant Sample arrived at the scene. Johnston then placed defendants against a car and patted them down. Johnston felt a hard bulge in Paskins' jacket pocket. He reached inside and found a clump of jewelry -- several watches, rings, and a necklace. Johnston handcuffed both defendants. A little later Owen arrived with Brooks. Brooks walked over to observe defendant Noel. According to Owen, Brooks said, "That looks like the guy."

The jewelry recovered from Paskins was later identified as items belonging to Tina Utsinger and Clifford Stamm which were missing from their residence after the burglary of October 17, 1985.

After hearing the foregoing evidence, the trial court denied defendants' motions to quash arrest and suppress evidence. The court found that the defendants' warrantless arrest was based upon probable cause.

On appeal, defendants contend that the trial court properly concluded that an arrest had occurred, but that such arrest was invalid for lack of probable cause to believe that defendants had committed or were committing any crime. Defendants posit that they were arrested at the point that Johnston, with ...


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