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05/25/88 the People of the State of v. Richard Tylkowski

May 25, 1988





524 N.E.2d 1112, 171 Ill. App. 3d 93, 121 Ill. Dec. 64 1988.IL.819

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Fred G. Suria, Jr., Judge, presiding.


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


The defendant, Richard Tylkowski, was arrested and charged with murder in connection with the strangling death of Mary Hickey. Defendant pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Following a bench trial, the court entered a finding of guilty but mentally ill, and defendant was sentenced to 30 years in prison. In his appeal, defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress a statement made following his arrest. Defendant also argues that the State failed to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that he was sane at the time of the offense and that the trial court relied on an erroneous standard in rejecting his insanity defense.

On November 24, 1982, the body of Mary Hickey was found in the backyard of a house located at 6452 South Keating in Chicago. The deceased, who had been an inpatient at the Madden Mental Health Center for the past four months, lived in the house with her parents, her younger brother, and her sister, Margaret. Margaret Hickey had dated defendant in high school, and nine days before the murder defendant and Margaret's present boyfriend had an altercation when defendant asked Margaret for a date and she refused. Two days after the murder a note signed by defendant and addressed to Margaret Hickey was found in the family's mailbox. The note stated that something terrible might happen if Margaret did not call defendant. That afternoon when Margaret saw defendant standing outside the house, she telephoned the police. Margaret described defendant and his car to police officers Langan and Acevez, and the two officers drove around the area to see if they could find defendant. After seeing an empty car matching the description given by Margaret parked outside a bar, the officers returned to the Hickey's house and asked Andrew Hickey, Margaret's father, to come with them to identify defendant. Langan testified that it was his intention to ask defendant if he would voluntarily accompany him to the police station to answer questions with regard to the homicide investigation.

About three blocks from the Hickey's house, Andrew Hickey got out of his car and pointed to a blue car that was stopped in traffic. The police officers left their car and approached defendant's car. Officer Langan testified that as they approached the car he noticed that it had no license plates. Langan stated further that he asked defendant to get out of the car, and as defendant stepped out Langan saw that he had a knife in his boot. Langan also testified that defendant failed to produce a driver's license. Defendant was arrested, advised of his rights, and taken to the police station where he later confessed to killing Mary Hickey. Langan testified that at the time of the arrest defendant was neatly dressed, spoke in an intelligent manner, and gave no indication that he did not understand the Miranda warnings. John Feely, the assistant State's Attorney who took defendant's statement, also testified that defendant appeared mentally alert and very intelligent.

Defendant's statement described the murder and detailed how, afterward, defendant dragged the body out through a side door, returned to the house where he looked for his keys and gloves, and then relocked the side door before leaving through the front door. Defendant then returned to his home, where he took a bath and burned his bloody clothes. Defendant also stated that the reason he had come to the police station was to talk about the Mafia.

In March 1983, Albert Stipes and Gilbert Bogen, psychiatrists on staff at the Psychiatric Institute of the Circuit Court of Cook County, examined defendant and determined that he was not mentally fit to stand trial. Defendant was transferred to the Manteno Mental Health Center for treatment, and in April 1984 defendant was declared fit to stand trial.

At defendant's trial his mother testified that in 1978 and again in 1980 defendant was committed to Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, for psychiatric treatment. She also testified that defendant came to her house on the day of the murder and that he appeared unkempt and behaved in a hostile manner. She stated that this was the type of behavior that had caused her to commit him in 1978 and 1980.

Rose Ryan, defendant's grandmother, testified that she was present when defendant saw his mother on the day of the murder. She testified that defendant's behavior frightened her and that he acted like a lunatic or a crazy man.

Roy Tylkowski, defendant's brother, testified that defendant had been behaving strangely during the fall of 1982. Eileen Englund, Roy's mother-in-law, also testified that defendant behaved strangely during that time. She further testified that defendant came to her home on the day following the murder and that he appeared unkempt, distraught, and wild-eyed.

The defense also produced four expert witnesses who testified concerning defendant's mental state. They were Drs. David Clark and Sorest Wasyliw, psychologists on staff at Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital, and Drs. James Cavanaugh and Richard Baer, psychiatrists at the same hospital. The four examined defendant between July 1984 and January 1985, and all testified that defendant was suffering from a schizophrenic disorder at the time of the offense. Dr. Cavanaugh testified that defendant clearly had some cognitive or intellectual awareness of what he was doing, as evidenced by his actions in moving the body, relocking the door, and disposing of his clothing after the murder. However, he further testified that defendant did not possess the emotional awareness that would have allowed him to discontinue or not engage in the actions that resulted in ...

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