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11/30/89 the People of the State of v. Larry Redmiles

November 30, 1989





547 N.E.2d 724, 191 Ill. App. 3d 198, 138 Ill. Dec. 557 1989.IL.1847

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Champaign County; the Hon. John G. Townsend, Judge, presiding.


JUSTICE SPITZ delivered the opinion of the court. McCULLOUGH, P.J., and KNECHT, J., concur.


Defendant was charged with the unlawful possession of a hypodermic syringe or needle in violation of section 1 of "An Act to regulate the possession, delivery, sale or exchange of hypodermic syringes . . .." (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 22-50.) Prior to trial, defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence. The court denied the motion and found defendant guilty of the offense. Defendant appeals the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress evidence.

At the suppression hearing, several officers testified. Officer James P. Hanko-Summers, a Champaign County police officer testified that on the morning of November 3, 1988, he was a member of the SWAT team that executed a narcotics search warrant at 51 East Bradley Street in Champaign. The residence was owned by Larry Hoffman. Nine to twelve police officers participated in the search.

Upon arriving at the house, one of the officers noticed someone, who later turned out to be defendant, standing in the backyard. Defendant ran into the house through the open rear door. The officers followed with guns drawn, also entering the house through the rear door. Once inside the house, Officer Hanko-Summers saw defendant standing in the kitchen, handcuffed him and asked him his name. Hanko-Summers along with Officer Murphy then conducted a pat-down search of defendant for weapons to ensure the officers' safety. This, according to Officer Hanko-Summers, was standard procedure. Officer Hanko-Summers asked defendant if he had anything the officers might injure themselves on, such as needles or razor blades. Defendant responded by motioning his head towards his belt and stating "There's a needle right here." Officer Hanko-Summers found a hypodermic syringe underneath defendant's belt buckle. The officer later found a spoon, some cotton, and a film canister on defendant.

The next officer to testify was police sergeant Scott Colclasure. Sergeant Colclasure testified that he had been on 20 to 25 narcotic search warrants over the last few years and that on most of the searches, he had encountered armed individuals or weapons present on the premises. The sergeant further stated that the officers found a small quantity of drugs at the house.

Officer Jeffrey Jolley testified next. Jolley testified that upon arriving at the residence and coming through an alley, he noticed defendant in the backyard of the premises, walking away from the door. When defendant noticed the police, he turned around and ran back into the house.

The final witness to testify was defendant Larry Redmiles. Redmiles testified that he was not in the backyard, but instead fixing a broken lock on the rear door of the premises when he saw the police come around the back. Defendant then closed the door, went in the house and told Larry Hoffman, the owner of the house, that the police were there. After the police came in, "they immediately asked me [Redmiles] my name, handcuffed me and then started reachin' in my pockets." The officers found a spoon, a film canister, and some cotton and then asked defendant if he had a syringe. Redmiles said he did not have a syringe but the officers threatened to strip search him and find one if he had it on him. It was only after this threat that defendant indicated where the syringe was.

Defendant Redmiles further testified that he used drugs and bought them on Bradley Street. However, defendant claims he did not know that Larry Hoffman dealt drugs.

The trial court specifically rejected claims by the State that the search was valid under section 107-14 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (Code) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 107-14 (temporary questioning without arrest)). The court next discussed section 108-9 of the Code. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 108-9.) Section 108-9 states:

"In the execution of the warrant the person executing the same may reasonably detain to search any ...

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