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05/10/89 the People of the State of v. Dejuan Brown Et Al.

May 10, 1989

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

DEJUAN BROWN ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, THIRD DIVISION

538 N.E.2d 909, 182 Ill. App. 3d 1046, 131 Ill. Dec. 534 1989.IL.703

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Earl E. Strayhorn, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE FREEMAN delivered the opinion of the court. RIZZI and WHITE, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE FREEMAN

Defendants, DeJuan Brown (Brown) and David Lowe (Lowe), were indicted for murder and armed violence in the circuit court of Cook County in connection with the death of Richard Barners on December 22, 1985. Prior to trial, Brown filed a motion to suppress statements and Lowe filed a motion to quash arrest and suppress statements. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court granted both motions. The State appeals under Supreme Court Rule 604(a)(1) (107 Ill. 2d R. 604(a)(1)).

Chicago police officers John McHugh and James Ward arrested Brown, a 16-year-old at the time, between 11 a.m. and 12 on December 23, 1985, for an unrelated battery. The officers took him to the police station at the housing project where he lived. Shortly after his arrival there, Brown was transported to the Chicago Avenue station and delivered to the custody of a youth officer. The police at Chicago Avenue called Brown's grandmother, informed her of his arrest and requested that she send someone to pick him up. While Brown was at Chicago Avenue, two detectives came to him and told him, "Snooky and Lowdown said you did this murder," apparently referring to the murder of Richard Barners. Brown told the officers he did not know what they were talking about. Eventually, Brown was transferred to Area 6 headquarters at Belmont and Western. He arrived there sometime between noon and 5 p.m.

At about 5 p.m., Officers McHugh and Ward interrogated Brown at Area 6 regarding Barners' murder. During this interrogation, according to the police, Brown implicated Lowe in Barners' murder. McHugh, Ward and Area 6 detective Dennis Gray interrogated Brown again approximately half an hour later. Brown was interrogated by an assistant State's Attorney between 8 and 8:30 p.m. Thereafter, Brown's mother, who had arrived at Area 6 sometime earlier, was allowed to see him. After speaking with his mother, Brown declined to give a written statement.

The main issues raised by Brown's motion to suppress and the evidence adduced thereon were: (1) whether he was advised of his Miranda rights, that he could be tried as an adult, or that he could have a parent, interested adult or youth officer present during questioning; (2) whether he asked to see his mother and, if so, whether the police told him he could not do so; (3) whether he was otherwise mentally or psychologically coerced or scared into giving a statement; and (4) whether his mother was misled as to his whereabouts on the afternoon of his arrest to prevent her from being present during his questioning.

On the morning of December 28, 1985, McHugh and Ward attempted to interview Lowe, also a 16-year-old at the time, regarding Barners' murder. They wanted to interview him because Brown had said that Lowe "was the individual with him who had knocked on the door," apparently, when Barners was shot. When they found that Lowe was not home, the officers informed his mother that he might be a witness to a murder or involved in it and that they wanted to speak to him. The officers interviewed Lowe at his apartment on the afternoon of December 28. Sometime after the interview, the officers searched an apartment at 1157 Cleveland for the gun used in Barners' murder. After recovering a revolver from the apartment, the officers met with Lowe and his uncle, James Wright, "on the street" and Lowe identified the revolver as the weapon used in Barners' murder.

McHugh and Ward next saw Lowe and his uncle at about 7:30 p.m. that day. The officers had either called Lowe's uncle and asked him to bring Lowe to Chicago and Orleans or had made prior arrangements with Lowe to meet them there. At any rate, the officers asked Lowe to get out of Wright's car and told him that he "would have to" go with them to Area 6 for questioning. The police, who had not received any new information since speaking with Lowe earlier in the day, wanted to question him because they did not know whether he was only a witness to Barners' murder or was actually involved in it. Wright told the officers he would be at Area 6 after picking up his girlfriend. Wright did not see Lowe again on December 28 although he did go to Area 6 and stayed there 60 to 90 minutes. Lowe gave an assistant State's Attorney an oral statement at about 10:15 p.m. He gave a written statement around 12. Later on the morning of December 29, the police called Lowe's mother and informed her he had been charged with murder.

The main issues raised by Lowe's motion to quash arrest and to suppress his statements and the evidence adduced thereon were: (1) whether he had been under arrest when he went to Area 6 with McHugh and Ward; (2) if he had, whether they had probable cause to arrest him at that time; (3) whether he was advised of his Miranda rights, that he could be tried as an adult or that he could have a parent, interested adult, or youth officer present during questioning; (4) whether he was beaten or otherwise mentally or psychologically coerced into making a statement; (5) whether he had asked to see his mother or his uncle during his interrogations and, if so, whether the police had told him he could not do so; and (6) whether James Wright had asked to see Lowe upon his arrival to Area 6 and, if he had, whether the police improperly prohibited him from doing so.

TRIAL COURT'S FINDINGS AND HOLDINGS

The trial court's findings and Conclusions in ruling upon both motions ...


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