APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT
513 N.E.2d 628, 160 Ill. App. 3d 370, 112 Ill. Dec. 214 1987.IL.1369
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Will County; the Hon. Robert Buchar, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE WOMBACHER delivered the opinion of the court. BARRY, P.J., and HEIPLE, J., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE WOMBACHER
On July 1, 1986, a report relative to the physical and sexual abuse of a four-year-old child was reported to the Department of Children and Family Services . On July 2, 1986, DCFS investigator John Austin contacted the parents of 17-year-old Phillip Hagar, the alleged perpetrator, to bring him in for an interview. Austin notified the Will County sheriff's department that Hagar was coming in to the DCFS.
Hagar's parents brought him to the DCFS on July 3 for an interview. The Will County sheriff's investigators arrived at the DCFS before Hagar arrived. Austin discussed the case with them and instructed them to wait in the outer office while he interviewed Hagar. Mr. Austin interviewed Hagar alone for 15 to 20 minutes. Austin explained the facts in the preliminary report concerning the incident. Initially, Hagar denied any wrongdoing. Austin left the interview room after Hagar stated that something had in fact occurred. Austin obtained the assistance of another investigator, Paul Cioliono.
Austin and Cioliono returned to the room where Hagar remained. During the 30-to 35-minute interview Hagar made an oral statement admitting that he had sexually abused the child by twice inserting his finger inside of her vagina. Hagar then agreed to and did give a written statement in accord with his verbal statement. Neither Austin nor Cioliono had given Hagar Miranda warnings prior to the interview or the written statement. (In Miranda v. Arizona (1966), 384 U.S. 436, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694, 86 S. Ct. 1602, the court declared that, before an in-custody interrogation, an accused must be informed of various constitutional rights. If a defendant is not so admonished and fails to make a voluntary, knowing, and intelligent waiver, the statement cannot be admitted.)
Austin then left the room and spoke with Hagar's parents. He told them their son had made a statement of guilt and the Will County sheriff's investigators wished to speak with him.
Austin handed the Will County investigators the written statement and brought them into the room with Hagar. The sheriff's investigators gave Hagar Miranda warnings. Hagar initially denied the asserted allegations. After a 45-minute interview Hagar made a statement of guilt.
Hagar was indicted on a charge of aggravated criminal sexual assault. He filed a motion to suppress statements which had been made to the DCFS investigators as well as to the investigators from the Will County sheriff's department.
On October 17, 1986, a hearing was held on the motion to suppress statements. The trial Judge heard arguments from respective counsel. The trial Judge concluded that the investigators from the DCFS deliberately attempted to evade and avoid the consequences of advising the defendant of his rights to remain silent and to have counsel. The motion to suppress was granted. The State appeals the trial court's ruling.
On appeal the State contends that the investigators from the DCFS were not required to advise the defendant of the Miranda warnings. It further contends that irrespective of any potential Miranda violation, the defendant's subsequent statement to the Will County sheriff's investigators was admissible evidence.
The Illinois appellate courts have viewed questions on suppression motions as primarily factual determinations that will not be reversed on appeal unless "manifestly erroneous" or against the manifest weight of the evidence. (People v. Mallett (1970), 45 Ill. 2d 388, 259 N.E.2d 241.) Questions of credibility are to be ...