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01/06/88 the People of the State of v. Steven D. Sims

January 6, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

STEVEN D. SIMS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT

518 N.E.2d 730, 165 Ill. App. 3d 204, 116 Ill. Dec. 108 1988.IL.5

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Knox County; the Hon. Stephen G. Evans, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE SCOTT delivered the opinion of the court. WOMBACHER, J., concurs. JUSTICE HEIPLE, Concurring in part and Dissenting in part.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SCOTT

After trial by jury in the circuit court of Knox County, the defendant, Steven D. Sims, was found guilty of the crimes of home invasion and attempted armed robbery. Judgment was entered only on the offense of home invasion and the defendant was sentenced to a 12-year term of imprisonment.

The defendant argues that the trial court erred in refusing to hear defendant's motion to suppress his post-arrest statements and that further error was committed by the trial court's overruling defendant's objections to testimony about the statements.

In addressing the defendant's argument, the following scenario of events should be noted.

The trial court by an order of July 23, 1986, stated that all motions were to be filed and heard by September 12, 1986. A second order dated September 10, 1986, required that all motions be heard by October 6, 1986, the first day of the trial scheduled for the defendant. On October 2, 1986, the defendant filed a motion to suppress his statements, and on the following day he filed a supporting affidavit which, inter alia, alleged that his statements were involuntary because he was young, had no prior convictions, that he had been physically threatened by a law enforcement officer, that he had been misinformed by the officer as to vital information and, further, that he (defendant) was exhausted, confused and scared when he signed the statement.

On October 2, 1986, defendant's attorney by motion requested a continuance of one day because of medical problems of one of his children. This motion was denied and co-counsel for the defendant conducted voir dire examination of prospective jurors on October 6, 1986. It was also on this date that co-counsel for defendant filed notice that the motion to suppress would be heard the following day, to wit October 7, 1986.

On October 7, 1986, the State argued that the motion to suppress was not timely due to the trial court's order that all motions were to have been filed and heard by September 12, 1986. The State suggested that even if the statements were found to be voluntary, the defendant could present evidence during trial by presenting evidence of the circumstances under which the statements were taken.

The defense argued that involuntary statements should not be presented to a jury and that a hearing was necessary. The defense maintained that the motion to suppress was timely because it was made before trial, as required by section 114 -- 11(a) of our Criminal Code of 1961, which provides:

"Sec. 114-11. Motion to suppress confession (a) Prior to the trial of any criminal case a defendant may move to suppress as evidence any confession given by him on the ground that it was not voluntary." Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 114-11(a).

The trial court found that the motion to suppress was not timely in that its pretrial order of September 10, 1986, required that all motions should be resolved prior to trial on October 6, 1986. The court further stated that the order directed counsel to comply with rules of the Ninth Judicial Circuit. The rules provide that notice as to hearing on a motion be given ...


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