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09/19/89 the People of the State of v. Maurice Hunley

September 19, 1989





545 N.E.2d 188, 189 Ill. App. 3d 24, 136 Ill. Dec. 664 1989.IL.1437

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. James M. Bailey, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE DiVITO delivered the opinion of the court. HARTMAN and SCARIANO, JJ., concur.


Defendant Maurice Hunley was convicted by a jury of murder and residential burglary and sentenced to 40 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. A previous trial ended in a mistrial caused by a hung jury.

On this appeal, defendant maintains that the trial court erred in denying his motion to quash his arrest and suppress evidence based on lack of probable cause; denying his motion to suppress palm print evidence; denying his motion to suppress his statements made to the police; denying his motion for a mistrial based on a burglary of deliberating jurors; limiting his presentation of evidence during cross-examination of an identification witness; limiting his presentation of evidence during his case in chief; allowing the jury to hear evidence of other crimes; and allowing certain remarks by the prosecutor during closing argument. We affirm.

On November 18, 1983, Lisa Tyson was fatally stabbed in her northside apartment in Chicago. Jamie Ardrey, Tyson's neighbor, testified that at 6:45 p.m. on that date, he heard screams coming from Tyson's apartment. He ran toward Tyson's apartment, and the door swung open, revealing a man standing inside holding a bloody kitchen paring knife. The man ran out of the apartment, dropped the knife on the hallway floor, and ran down the stairs. Ardrey entered the apartment and saw that Tyson had been stabbed. He was unable to call the police, because Tyson's telephone cord had been pulled from the wall. Ardrey telephoned the police from his own apartment and then returned to administer first aid.

Lawrence Van De Carr, driving a van stopped in traffic on Clark Street opposite Tyson's apartment building, saw a black male, later identified as defendant, run out of the building, jump over some fences and disappear down an alley. Van De Carr followed in his van, saw the man cross Lincoln Avenue at Webster and get into a cab, took the number of the cab, and reported the incident to the police.

The police, responding to a call, investigated. They recovered finger and palm prints from inside Tyson's apartment and from the inner door which led into the building. The police found no signs of forced entry. A key was required to gain entry into the building through the inner door. Despite an intensive police investigation, Tyson's murder remained unsolved for more than two years.

On January 6, 1986, defendant was processed on a burglary and unlawful use of weapons charge in connection with a burglary at Abbas Video on the 2300 block of North Clark Street. The arrest report in that case indicates that defendant was walking past Abbas Video when the owner told a Chicago police officer that defendant had recently changed the store's locks and had commented about the missing property prior to the burglary.

On January 14, 1986, Chicago police detective John Turney, assigned to investigate the burglary of Jane Boynton's apartment in the building where Lisa Tyson previously resided, noted that the lock to Boynton's apartment had not been forced open. Turney interviewed Boynton, examined her door, and concluded that there was no other possible means of entry into her apartment. Turney also interviewed Marge Cohen, the owner of the subject building. Cohen told Turney of another burglary in the building in November 1985 with no signs of forced entry and also mentioned the Tyson murder. Turney, aware of defendant's arrest in the Abbas Video burglary on the same block, mentioned defendant's name. Cohen told Turney that she knew defendant through his employment at Cook's Hardware located nearby and told Turney that defendant had done lock work in her building. After reviewing files on the burglaries in that building and files on other burglaries in the area, including the Tyson murder file, Turney and his partner, Detective Edward Louis, decided that defendant was a "good suspect" in the burglaries.

On January 21, 1988, at 11:30 p.m., Turney and Louis and two other police officers arrived at defendant's apartment in Cabrini Green, without an arrest warrant or a search warrant. According to both Turney and Louis, they knocked on defendant's door, identified themselves, and were invited inside the apartment by defendant. Turney and Louis told defendant they were there regarding a burglary investigation and asked defendant to accompany them to the police station. Defendant agreed and went into his bedroom to get dressed, accompanied by Turney and Louis, while the two other police officers remained in the living room. The police officers left defendant's apartment 15 minutes after they had arrived and escorted defendant to the Area 6 detective headquarters in their squad car. Defendant was not handcuffed or restrained in any way during this time.

Defendant's testimony described the events differently. According to defendant, he opened his front door about one foot after hearing a knock; the police officers then pushed the door open and entered without permission to come in; one of the police officers went into a closet in his son's room and looked into a wallet; another police officer went into a living room closet; and a third officer went into the kitchen and looked through a drawer. The police officers told him that he had to go to the police station; he was handcuffed in the hallway outside his apartment; and he was escorted by the police officers to the squad car.

Defendant arrived at Area 6 on January 22, 1986, at 12:10 a.m. He was put in an interrogation room and, for the first time, advised of his Miranda rights. According to Turney, defendant indicated that he understood his Miranda rights, did not ask to speak with a lawyer, and agreed to talk to the police officers. Defendant was then questioned about the burglaries in the building where Tyson had lived. He denied any involvement in the burglaries and denied ever having been in that building. Defendant was then questioned about the Tyson murder. He denied any involvement in the murder and, according to defendant, at this point stated that he wished to speak with his lawyer. According to the detectives, defendant did not ask to speak with his lawyer. This initial interrogation lasted approximately 30 to 45 minutes.

At 1 or 1:15 a.m., Turney spoke with Detectives James Gildea and Robert Elmore of Area 6 Violent Crimes. Turney then asked defendant if he "would be willing to be palm printed" and defendant stated that it would be "no problem." At 1:45 a.m., Turney and Louis escorted defendant to the print facilities in the basement. Defendant's palm print was taken and, at 2 a.m., defendant was escorted back to the interrogation room. Defendant testified, contrary to this version of the events, that he was beaten by Gildea and "told" by Turney that he was going to be palm printed.

Turney and Louis drove to 11th and State to have defendant's palm print compared with the palm prints found on the inner vestibule door of Tyson's apartment building on the night of her murder. Defendant's palm print matched one of those prints. At 3:30 a.m., Turney and Louis returned to Area 6 with the results. Defendant was not questioned between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Defendant testified that he was handcuffed to the retainer ring in the wall of the interrogation room during this time.

At 4 a.m. or 4:30 a.m., Gildea and Elmore entered the interrogation room, where defendant was advised of his Miranda rights. Defendant said he understood and did not invoke his right to counsel. He was again questioned about the murder. Defendant told the detectives that he remembered reading about the murder, but had no direct knowledge of it. Defendant related that he had worked at Cook's Hardware for seven years, where he repaired and installed locks. He did not work in the building where Tyson had lived and was never inside that building. When told by Gildea that his palm matched a print found on the inner vestibule door on the night of the murder, defendant claimed that was a mistake because he had never been in the building.

At 5:30 a.m., defendant was brought down to the lockup and processed by Officer James Eiden. Defendant testified that he made two phone calls when he was left alone in the lockup area, one to his wife and one to his mother, asking that they contact his lawyer. However, Officer Eiden testified that defendant, who remained in the lockup until 8:30 a.m., was asked if he wanted to make a phone call, but made none.

At 8:30 a.m., Gildea and Detective Bernard Richter brought defendant to the interrogation room and handcuffed him to the retainer ring in the wall. According to Richter, defendant initiated a conversation by stating that he "was sorry he stabbed her" and that Tyson "surprised" him when "she walked into the apartment." Defendant was advised of his Miranda rights, which he said he understood. Gildea, Elmore, and Detective Thomas Johnson then entered the interrogation room, defendant was once again advised of his Miranda rights, and he again stated that he understood his rights.

According to the detectives present in the interrogation room, defendant, who remained handcuffed to the retainer ring, then gave a confession that lasted until 10 or 10:30 a.m. Defendant's statements were not tape-recorded and there was no court reporter present. Defendant stated that he had a drug habit in November 1983; on November 18, 1983, after he left work at Cook's Hardware, he noticed that the outer door to the building where Tyson had lived was ajar; it was his intention to commit a burglary inside that building to get money to support his drug habit; he went inside the building and went from door to door listening for signs that people were home; he heard nothing coming from Tyson's apartment, so he tried the door, found it unlocked, entered the apartment, and started to look around with a flashlight for small items to steal.

Defendant stated further that after a few minutes Tyson came home and asked him who he was; he told her "I'm nobody, I am leaving"; Tyson screamed, ran towards the kitchen and grabbed a paring knife from the counter; he grabbed Tyson and they struggled over the knife; he was cut on the arm, but managed to get the knife away from her and stab her ...

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