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06/10/87 the People of the State of v. Eddie King

June 10, 1987

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

EDDIE KING, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Before trial defendant moved to suppress these items on grounds that they were discovered in a search conducted after defendant was taken to the police station. (See People v. Kalpak (1957), 10 Ill. 2d 411, 427-28, 140 N.E.2d 726.) However, Hood testified that each of the items taken into evidence was in plain view in the apartment when he arrested defendant. Defendant did not present any evidence from which the court could conclude that the items seized were not in plain view at the time of the arrest, nor did he argue that police lacked probable cause to suspect that the items were connected with criminal activity. Therefore, seizure of these items did not violate defendant's rights under the fourth amendment, and the court properly admitted them into evidence. Illinois v. Andreas (1983), 463 U.S. 765, 771, 77 L. Ed. 2d 1003, 1010, 103 S. Ct. 3319, 3324.

APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, THIRD DIVISION

511 N.E.2d 685, 157 Ill. App. 3d 76, 110 Ill. Dec. 508 1987.IL.777

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Joseph J. Urso, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of the court. McNAMARA, P.J., and FREEMAN, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE WHITE

Following a jury trial, defendant Eddie King was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 40 years' imprisonment. On appeal defendant contends that the judgment must be reversed because (1) the trial court erroneously denied defendant's motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence; (2) the court improperly admitted evidence impeaching a defense witness; and (3) the sentence is improper.

Around 9:30 p.m. on December 10, 1983, police, responding to a call, found a body in an alley behind 4611-15 South Indiana in Chicago. Detective Steven Hood was assigned to investigation of the homicide. When he arrived at the alley he saw the body of a woman lying face up in the alley, unclothed except for a dark sweater pulled up to the top of her chest. Snow and ice covered the alley, but the snow had melted under the body. Rigor mortis had not yet set in when Hood arrived at the scene. There was no blood in the immediate area of the body, and there were no signs of struggle in the alley. There was blood in front of a dumpster, about 10 feet from the body.

Hood spoke to a woman in the alley who identified herself as Star Jackson. She told him that she reported the body to the police, but she did not know who the victim was or how the body came to be in the alley. Jackson told Hood that she lived with her boyfriend, Eddie King, at 4611 South Indiana. Hood saw her return to King's apartment. Another woman showed Hood a bloody blanket that she found in front of that apartment building.

The crime lab took a picture of the victim before removing her body. Hood showed the picture to some people who told him that it looked like a woman named Nina, whose family lived about a block away. Hood showed the picture to the family that lived at that address. Mary Miles identified the victim as her daughter, Nina Stallworth. When she had last seen Stallworth, earlier that day, Stallworth was with her friend Lola Scates.

Hood went to Scates' home and asked her when she last saw Stallworth. Scates said that around 5 p.m., she and Stallworth had been in an apartment in the 4600 block of Indiana. She did not know the name of the man who lived in the apartment, but the woman who lived there was named Star. Scates took the police to the apartment she had visited earlier that day, which was also the apartment Hood had seen Star Jackson enter after she talked to him. Hood and Scates arrived at the apartment around midnight.

Hood knocked on the door repeatedly and waited for five minutes. There was no answer. He kicked the door open. Defendant contends that this warrantless entry violated his rights under the fourth amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The State maintains that the entry was justified by exigent circumstances.

Police may not make a warrantless, nonconsensual entry of a private home to make an arrest unless there are exigent circumstances. (People v. Knight (1985), 139 Ill. App. 3d 188, 192, 486 N.E.2d 1356.) In determining the exigency of the circumstances, courts must weigh a variety of factors, including: (1) the gravity or violent nature of the offense; (2) whether there were grounds to believe the suspect was armed; (3) whether there was probable cause to believe the suspect committed the offense; (4) whether there was reason to believe the suspect was in the premises; (5) whether the suspect was likely to escape if not promptly arrested; (6) whether the entry was peaceful; and (7) whether the police acted promptly after receiving information which established probable cause. (People v. Thompson (1981), 93 Ill. App. 3d 995, 1004-05, 418 N.E.2d 112, cert. denied (1982), 458 U.S. 1109, 73 L. Ed. 2d 1371, 102 S. Ct. 3490.) "These and other factors cited by the courts, however, are only guidelines, with the overall consideration being the reasonableness of the police action in light of what they knew." People v. Knight (1985), 139 Ill. App. 3d 188, 192-93, 486 N.E.2d 1356.

In the instant case, Detective Hood knew that Stallworth had been stabbed to death; the offense was grave and violent, and the person who killed her was probably still armed. After Hood talked to Lola Scates, they promptly proceeded to King's apartment. Since Hood knew that a male had been in the apartment much of the day, and he saw Jackson enter the apartment at 9:30 p.m., he had substantial reason to believe King was at the apartment at midnight. Hood attempted to enter ...


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