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10/27/87 the People of the State of v. Connie Downey

October 27, 1987





515 N.E.2d 362, 162 Ill. App. 3d 322, 113 Ill. Dec. 553 1987.IL.1596

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. John L. Hughes, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE REINHARD delivered the opinion of the court. UNVERZAGT and DUNN, JJ., concur.


Defendant, Connie Downey, was found guilty in a bench trial of armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 18-2), two counts of robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 18-1), and of misdemeanor theft (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 16-1(a)(1)) involving the January 19, 1985, armed robbery of Lisa Williams at Dominick's grocery store in Waukegan, Illinois. In a separate jury trial, defendant was found guilty of the January 4, 1985, armed robbery of Demetre Sarikoudis at Bozini's Pharmacy in North Chicago, Illinois. The cases were consolidated for sentencing, and two consecutive 30-year terms of imprisonment were imposed on the armed robbery convictions. No sentence was imposed on the robbery or theft convictions.

Defendant raises the following issues on appeal: (1) whether there was sufficient evidence of the use of force or threat of the imminent use of force to support the finding of guilty of the armed robbery of Lisa Williams; (2) whether the proof was sufficient to show the presence of a dangerous weapon in order to prove defendant guilty of the armed robbery of Lisa Williams; (3) whether the trial court's refusal in a motion in limine ruling before both trials to allow defendant to introduce evidence of insanity or involuntary intoxication due to chronic drug addiction violated his constitutional right to present a defense; (4) whether the trial court's denial of defendant's motion to suppress statements was against the manifest weight of the evidence; (5) whether the trial court erred in giving an instruction in the Sarikoudis armed robbery trial; and (6) whether defendant's sentences were excessive.

Prior to trial, defendant moved to suppress various statements he made to police officers of the Waukegan police department, contending that he did not knowingly waive his Miranda rights. At a suppression hearing, Waukegan police detective Ryan Milot testified that he and Waukegan police detective Howard Pratt met with defendant in an interview room at the police department. Pratt read defendant his Miranda rights from a preprinted form, and defendant indicated orally that he understood those rights. Pratt then signed a waiver of rights form and gave it to defendant to read and sign. Defendant appeared to read it, but refused to sign. Defendant did not request an attorney at any time.

Both officers then proceeded to question defendant about various robberies under investigation. Defendant, in response to the questioning, asked the officers what benefit he might receive if he were to make a statement implicating himself in one of the robberies. The officers replied that they could not make any promises and did not know what would happen to defendant or how many years in jail he might receive. After an hour to an hour and one-half, defendant said he did not want to speak with them and asked to speak with Lt. Hansen, at which time both officers left the interview room and advised Lt. Hansen of defendant's request. Lt. Hansen entered the interview room alone, exited a short time later, and informed Milot and Pratt that defendant was willing to cooperate and give a statement.

Both officers reentered the room, without Lt. Hansen, and reminded defendant of his rights, without actually reading the rights again. Defendant stated he understood his rights and was ready to talk. Defendant proceeded to give separate statements concerning 10 robberies.

Lt. Mark Hansen, who was defendant's friend and had known him for 15 years, testified that when he went into the interview room, defendant asked him how many years he would get for the robbery. Lt. Hansen responded he did not know, but thought it could be quite a few. He then asked defendant why he committed the robberies, to which defendant responded he had done them because he needed money. In response to further questioning, defendant indicated he had committed the various robberies under investigation. When asked whether he would make a statement to Officers Milot and Pratt, defendant indicated he would. Defendant did not ask for an attorney.

Officer Howard Pratt confirmed that defendant was read his Miranda rights from a preprinted form which defendant indicated he understood. Defendant was given a copy of the rights waiver form which he appeared to read and indicated he understood, but refused to sign. Pratt then stated that they asked defendant about one of the robberies, and defendant responded that he would talk, but he wanted to know how much time he would get if he did. Pratt informed defendant that he could not promise whether he would get seven years or 30 years. Pratt testified that a similar dialogue continued for about an hour to an hour and a half, during which time they questioned him about different armed robberies. At the end of that time, defendant asked to speak with Lt. Hansen.

Officer Pratt then confirmed the intercession of Lt. Hansen. When he and Milot reentered the room and asked defendant if he was still aware of his rights, he stated he was, and they began to question defendant. Officer Pratt confirmed that defendant gave statements regarding his involvement in the various robberies. Defendant did not request to see attorney Jed Stone.

Defendant testified that the officers began questioning him and did not inform him of his rights until after he asked to contact attorney Jed Stone or the public defender. He stated that the officers refused to let him contact a lawyer and persisted in their questioning about the various robberies. Defendant denied asking the officers about potential punishments or if the officers could make a deal. Furthermore, he stated that his reason for wanting to talk to Lt. Hansen was because the officers were trying to persuade him to talk by offering him deals that he knew they had no authority to offer.

Defendant said he was tired and decided to go ahead and confess to Lt. Hansen. Defendant confirmed that when Officers Pratt and Milot reentered the room, although they did not reread him his Miranda rights, they did remind him of his rights. Defendant then admitted his involvement in each of the 10 robberies to the officers.

After noting the conflicting testimony as to whether defendant exercised his right to remain silent, the trial court resolved the credibility question in favor of the police and ruled that defendant did not refuse to talk and voluntarily waived his right to remain silent. The court denied the motion to suppress.

Just prior to trial, the State filed a motion in limine requesting that the court preclude defendant from introducing evidence of an insanity or drug compulsion defense based on his cocaine addiction. The State contended that a "drug compulsion" defense based on his addiction was not recognized in Illinois and defendant had not submitted psychiatric reports pursuant to its discovery request to support an insanity defense.

At the hearing on the motion, the State argued that defendant was planning to present a "mutant" of the affirmative defenses of insanity and intoxicated or drugged condition, and that since that defense is not recognized in Illinois, the defendant should not be allowed to present it. Defense counsel conceded that the proposed defense was a "hybrid," but argued that under People v. Brumfield (1979), 72 Ill. App. 3d 107, 390 N.E.2d 589, defendant should have the opportunity to present evidence in support of this defense to the jury and should not be barred by a motion in limine. Defense counsel further argued that he would offer non-medical expert witnesses to demonstrate that defendant had a cocaine addiction and because of that addiction he could not conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.

The Judge then ruled in favor of the State, at which time defendant asked for a recess. After the recess, defense counsel offered to proceed on a drugged condition defense under section 6-3 of the Criminal Code of 1961 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 6-3) only. In response to questioning from the bench, defense counsel stated that he would proceed under both sections 6-3(a) and (b). After an exchange with defense counsel, the court ruled that addiction could not be considered the basis for an involuntary intoxication defense and rejected defendant's proposed defense.

After the lunch recess, the court modified its ruling to allow defendant to proceed with a defense of involuntary drugged condition under section 6 -- 3(b). The court specifically emphasized that defendant could offer other evidence of involuntary use, but not evidence of addiction to support the defense.

At the bench trial on the armed robbery at Dominick's grocery store, Lisa Williams, the victim, testified that she was working at the cash register at approximately 6:55 p.m. on January 19, 1985, when a man approached her register. After he gave her a dollar to pay for a TV Guide, she opened the register. Williams stated that at that time he just shoved her back away from the cash register. As the man reached into the register drawer, she left the register ...

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