APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION
545 N.E.2d 300, 189 Ill. App. 3d 274, 136 Ill. Dec. 776 1989.IL.1495
JUSTICE SCARIANO delivered the opinion of the court. HARTMAN and DiVITO, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SCARIANO
Following a bench trial, defendant was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to four years' imprisonment. She now appeals, arguing that she was arrested without probable cause.
During the hearing on defendant's motion to quash her arrest and suppress her statement, Chicago police officer Ken Mikolajczyk testified that he responded to a radio dispatch regarding a woman seeking assistance at 4220 West Fullerton Avenue in Chicago at approximately 2:30 a.m. on December 8, 1986. He found defendant waiting in front of the Trading Post bar; she was "upset" and repeatedly asked Mikolajczyk to "come with me," saying she thought Joe was dead. Mikolajczyk drove defendant to a two-story residence at 2220 North Keeler and accompanied her into the vestibule, where he noticed bags and a television set outside the front door of an apartment. Defendant unlocked the door to the apartment, and Mikolajczyk followed her in. He saw a body on the couch across from the door and noted that there were blood spatters on the wall and ceiling around the couch. He also found a crowbar in the dining room of the apartment.
Chicago police detective Michael Herigodt arrived at the apartment approximately one half hour later. He noticed that the bags in the vestibule contained clothing and personal items, and he also noticed that a man, later identified as Edward Sauer, was with defendant in the dining room. Herigodt told other police officers to transport defendant and Sauer to the police station for questioning. Shirley Wilson, the woman who had called the police for defendant, was also brought to the station. Herigodt testified that defendant was not under arrest at this time; however, she was not told that she was not under arrest.
At the police station, defendant was placed in an interview room. Herigodt arrived after 5 a.m. and, upon questioning defendant, learned that she had discovered the body. For the first time, Herigodt noticed spots which he thought were blood spatters on defendant's clothing. He testified that when he saw these spots defendant became a suspect and Herigodt considered her to be under arrest. He then advised defendant of her rights, confiscated her clothing and asked her to submit to a polygraph test. After the polygraph, at approximately 1 p.m., Herigodt questioned defendant and she confessed to having killed the deceased.
Assistant State's Attorney Michael O'Donnell testified that upon his arrival at the police station in the early afternoon of December 8, 1986, he went directly to the interview room in which defendant was held. As he entered, he saw defendant vomiting into a wastebasket; and although she declined his offer of medical assistance, she did accept a glass of water. Defendant then gave a statement which was recorded by a court reporter; she initialed each page of the transcribed statement and signed the last page.
Defendant testified that she was handcuffed when she left the crime scene with the police and that she went to the police station against her will. She stated that the officer who transported her to the station said he "was not going to lose another one," and that she thought she was under arrest. She claimed that she was led to believe that if she gave a statement she would be allowed to go home. She also claimed that she did not understand her rights at the time she gave her statement and that the assistant State's Attorney was the only one to read her rights to her, although Herigodt testified that he had given defendant her Miranda warnings.
The parties stipulated that if Chicago police officer Lavouta were to testify, he would state that he transported defendant to the police station at approximately 4 a.m. on December 8, 1986, that she sat in the back seat of his car and that she was not handcuffed.
In denying defendant's motion the trial Judge stated:
"he first question is to determine . . . when [defendant] was detained for purposes of the Fourth Amendment under the case law.
And I find I believe the police officers when they testified that indeed the detention started at the time Herigodt noticed a splattering of blood on ...