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12/09/88 the People of the State of v. Johnny Green

December 9, 1988

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

JOHNNY GREEN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIFTH DIVISION

532 N.E.2d 897, 177 Ill. App. 3d 365, 127 Ill. Dec. 68 1988.IL.1779

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Francis Mahon, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE LORENZ delivered the opinion of the court. MURRAY and COCCIA, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE LORENZ

Following a bench trial, defendant, Johnny Green, was convicted of murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)(1)) and armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 38, par. 18-2(a)). He received concurrent sentences of 40 years' imprisonment for murder and 30 years' imprisonment for armed robbery. On appeal, he raises the following two issues: (1) whether the trial court improperly restricted defense counsel's questions when he was cross-examining a State witness in a hearing on defendant's motion to suppress statements; and (2) whether defendant's sentences for murder and armed robbery were excessive.

For the following reasons, we affirm.

On October 16, 1983, in response to a radio call, two Chicago police officers discovered Cornell Lane lying on the ground with a puncture wound in the right side of his head. He was unconscious and the pockets of his pants were pulled out. Lane was taken to the hospital where he died the next morning.

After a police investigation, defendant and Darron Gordon were charged with murder, armed robbery, and armed violence for the robbery and death of Lane. Prior to trial, defendant moved to quash his arrest and suppress written and oral statements he made to the police. On appeal, he does not raise any argument concerning allegations relevant to the motion to quash arrest. Relevant to the motion to suppress, he alleged the statements were made involuntarily based on the following four allegations: (1) he was not brought before a Judge within a reasonable time of his arrest; (2) police threatened and/or caused him physical pain; (3) he was falsely told his signature was necessary on a document to obtain his release from custody; and (4) police made material misrepresentations to him by telling him that he had been identified by eyewitnesses when no such eyewitnesses were known to police.

Defendant testified at the motion to quash arrest and suppress hearing but was only questioned concerning the facts of his arrest. He was not questioned concerning any of the allegations that his statements to police were not voluntarily made.

Detective James O'Leary testified that on October 20, 1983, he and his partner, Detective James Redmond, interviewed defendant and advised him of his constitutional rights. Detective O'Leary testified neither he nor any member of the police threatened or caused defendant physical pain, induced defendant to sign the statement by telling him it was necessary to obtain his release from custody, or made misrepresentations to defendant.

Detective James Redmond testified that later the same day, he was present in an interview room with defendant, Assistant State's Attorney Thomas DiCianni, and a court reporter. At that time, defendant was advised of his constitutional rights and made a statement concerning the incident which was taken down by the court reporter. On direct examination, Redmond denied each of the allegations in defendant's motion to suppress.

When defendant's attorney cross-examined Redmond, he asked several questions concerning who told defendant to sign the statement, whether defendant asked to sign the statement, and whether defendant signed the statement voluntarily. The court sustained the State's objections to each of those questions and the following exchange took place between defendant's attorney and the trial Judge:

"THE COURT: You have three or four allegations in [the motion to suppress] and those are the things that you must address yourself to, namely, he threatened the defendant with physical beating, he struck the defendant's bandaged hand, and he made ...


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