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10/02/87 the People of the State of v. Peter Andricopulos

October 2, 1987




Defendant next argues that the trial court's finding that he was in violation of probation should be reversed and remanded for a new hearing on prejudice because the court entertained prejudicial information in taking his codefendant's plea of guilty. Additionally, as a result of the trial court's alleged prejudice, defendant contends that the trial Judge should have granted his motion for substitution of Judges.


516 N.E.2d 302, 162 Ill. App. 3d 899, 114 Ill. Dec. 147 1987.IL.1479

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Lester D. McCurrie, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE MURRAY delivered the opinion of the court. SULLIVAN, P.J., and LORENZ, J., concur.


This is an appeal by defendant Peter Andricopulos from an order of the circuit court of Cook County finding him in violation of probation based upon his subsequent participation in a residential burglary. As a result, defendant was sentenced to a term of six years, to run concurrently with a five-year sentence on his original convictions for burglary and theft, respectively. *fn1 In seeking a reversal of the trial court's order, defendant argues that his confession and its fruits were constitutionally improperly used against him and the court improperly entertained prejudicial information in the proceedings finding him in violation of probation. With respect to his sentence, defendant contends that the court improperly predetermined his violation of probation sentence, it improperly entertained prejudicial information in sentencing him, his sentences were disparate from the one received by his codefendant, or, alternatively, the sentences were excessive, and the court improperly denied defendant's petition for treatment as an addict under the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 111 1/2, par. 6301 et seq.). For the reasons set forth below, we affirm.

In July and October 1984, defendant was charged with the theft of a motorcycle in Hickory Hills and residential burglary of a home in Palos Hills, respectively. Prior to trial, defendant agreed to cooperate with the Palos Hills police as an undercover informant for the purpose of bargaining with the State's Attorney to reduce the charges against him. As a result, the State reduced the nonprobationable residential burglary charge to commercial burglary. On April 10, 1985, defendant pleaded guilty to the theft and burglary charges. He was sentenced to four years' probation and ordered to pay $1,250 within six months under the theft conviction. He also was sentenced to serve six months of periodic imprisonment based upon this conviction. On the burglary conviction, he was sentenced to 30 months' probation, which was to run concurrently with his theft sentence. The court granted defendant a stay until April 17, 1985.

On April 13, 1985, a Hickory Hills residence was burglarized. The detectives investigating the crime, Michael Tardi and Robert Troy, called the Palos Hills police department to request that it contact defendant and ask that he come into its station; defendant had been named by the burglary victims' daughter as one of the people who knew her parents would be out of town on vacation, and Tardi and Troy knew defendant, having previously arrested him in 1984 for theft. Detective Ralph Jungles, a Palos Hills officer, also was contacted and asked to come into the station; Tardi and Troy believed Jungles had a rapport with defendant based on the fact that he had been one of the officers with whom defendant worked as an undercover informant. The Palos Hills police contacted defendant and he, accompanied by his girlfriend, came to the station. Once at the station, defendant was informed that Detectives Tardi and Troy wanted to speak to him. Tardi and Troy told defendant they would like him to come to the Hickory Hills police station to answer some questions and defendant agreed to do so. Detective Jungles was also requested to accompany them to the Hickory Hills station.

At the station, defendant was informed that Tardi and Troy were conducting an investigation of the residential burglary in Hickory Hills. Tardi further informed defendant of his Miranda rights, explained those rights to him, and asked him if he understood them, to which defendant responded that he did. Tardi then asked defendant if he was still willing to answer questions regarding the burglary, defendant said he was, and he signed a Miranda warnings waiver form. Defendant subsequently denied any involvement in the burglary. While his interrogation continued, however, Wes Buss, defendant's suspected companion in the crime, was brought into the police station and made a statement admitting his guilt and implicating defendant. Upon being confronted with Buss' statement, defendant admitted his participation in the burglary, giving an oral statement to that effect and informing the detectives that some of the stolen articles could be retrieved. Detective Jungles, who had also participated in defendant's interrogation, accompanied Detective Troy and defendant to retrieve the stolen items. They first took defendant to a house where he and Buss sold a video recorder; defendant remained in the backseat of the car alone while the detectives went into the house. Thereafter, they went to defendant's home and allowed him to enter the house alone. He returned with some jewelry which had been taken in the burglary. They then returned to the Hickory Hills station.

Detective Tardi subsequently took defendant's written statement. According to the statement, defendant stated that he "understood he was not under arrest," that at the time of the burglary he stayed in his car and acted as a lookout, that his car was used to carry away the proceeds from the burglary, and that he and Buss went to an arcade in Bridgeview where they split up the proceeds. After signing the statement, defendant was placed in the lockup and later processed. Subsequently, he requested and received permission to see his girlfriend. Defendant, who was not handcuffed, met with his girlfriend in a file room and then escaped. He turned himself in at the Hickory Hills station five days later.

At a hearing on defendant's motion to suppress his confession, defendant contended that he was coerced into orally confessing to the crime and signing the written statement. Specifically, he stated that he had been physically abused (slapped, punched and grabbed), that he requested and was denied his right to contact his attorney when Tardi viciously threw a telephone at him and told him that there was enough evidence in a police "folder" to convict him without his cooperation, and that the detectives made promises to him that if he cooperated with them he would not be charged and would be allowed to go home with his girlfriend.

The trial court found that defendant had not been physically abused, as evidenced by a picture taken shortly after the signing of his written statement, i.e., there were no marks on his face or any visible indication of distress; that defendant was not held incommunicado or denied access to his attorney; and no sufficient evidence was presented to show that there was any promise of immunity or leniency for defendant's cooperation. After trial, the court found defendant guilty of violating his probation, and sentenced him as mentioned above. This appeal followed. I

In order to determine whether a defendant's statement was made voluntarily, a reviewing court must examine all relevant circumstances surrounding the making of that statement. (People v. Prim (1972), 53 Ill. 2d 62, 289 N.E.2d 601.) "The test to be applied is whether the statement has been made freely, voluntarily, and without compulsion or inducement of any sort, or whether the defendant's will was overcome at the time he confessed." (People v. Britz (1984), 128 Ill. App. 3d 29, 40, 470 N.E.2d 1059, citing People v. Prim (1972), 53 Ill. 2d 62, 289 N.E.2d 601.) Factors to be considered in making this determination include the duration of a defendant's detention prior to making the statement, a disregard of the necessities of life, deprivation of counsel, deception restricting the defendant's constitutional rights, and the defendant's age, education, emotional characteristics and his experience in criminal matters. (People v. Britz (1984), 128 ...

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