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12/22/89 the People of the State of v. Julio Montes

December 22, 1989




Before the trial the defendant made a motion to quash his arrest and to suppress his confessions. After a hearing, the motion was denied; and that denial is one of the defendant's contentions of error.


549 N.E.2d 700, 192 Ill. App. 3d 874, 140 Ill. Dec. 49 1989.IL.2015

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

Rehearing Denied January 18, 1990.


PRESIDING JUSTICE EGAN delivered the opinion of the court. McNAMARA and LaPORTA,* JJ., concur.


The defendant, Julio Montes, was indicted with Walter Godinez for murder, attempted armed robbery and armed violence. The defendant's case was severed from that of Godinez; after a bench trial, he was found guilty of all three charges and sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment. A jury later convicted Godinez of murder; and that conviction was affirmed. People v. Godinez (1989), 191 Ill. App. 3d 6.

Eduardo Soto was shot to death around 1 a.m. on April 28, 1986, at 1653 North Francisco in Chicago. A post-mortem examination of Soto's body disclosed a close-contact wound to the right ear penetrating the brain, a close-range wound to the left side of the neck exiting the right cheek and a close-range wound to the left side of the neck exiting from the back. A .38 caliber bullet was recovered from the body.

The defendant was arrested by investigating officer William Rose on April 30 at 11 p.m. in the 1600 block of Fairfield, approximately one-half mile from where Soto had been killed. The defendant orally confessed to his participation in the killing and subsequently made a typewritten confession to an assistant State's Attorney. In substance, he said that Walter Godinez had attempted to rob Soto and shot him while the defendant acted as a lookout. Two witnesses, who lived near the scene of the shooting but in separate buildings, testified that they heard shots and looked out their windows; one saw two men, and the other saw one man. One identified Godinez; but neither was able to identify the defendant.

William Rose testified that he had been a member of the 14th District Tactical Unit for three years and a police officer for five years. He was assigned to investigate the homicide of Soto on April 28. On April 29 he interviewed neighbors around the scene; he also spoke to people and gang members known to frequent the area. From those interviews, he had reason to believe that members of the Latin Disciples street gang committed the Soto homicide.

He continued his investigation on April 30 by interviewing other people in the area. He spoke with two informants. One informant, a member of the Latin Disciples street gang, told him that one of the offenders was named "Wally." The informant had previously heard on the street that "Wally" was the offender. At approximately 10 p.m. he spoke to a second informant. That informant, who was also a gang member, told Rose that he had heard "Wally" bragging about the killing; and "Wally" said "Little Man" was involved in the killing. Rose knew both informants; the second informant had given him reliable information in the past. Rose knew "Wally" to be Walter Godinez and "Little Man" to be the defendant. He also knew that both Godinez and the defendant were members of the Maniac Latin Disciple street gang.

Another officer on Rose's team made arrangements through a friend of Godinez to meet Godinez at the corner of Western and Wabansia. Meanwhile, Rose and other members of the tactical unit continued to tour the neighborhood to locate the defendant. At approximately 11 p.m. the officers saw the defendant at the 1600 block of Fairfield. Rose stopped the defendant, announced he was an officer, handcuffed him and put him in a squad car. He told the defendant that he had been implicated in a homicide and advised him of his rights. The defendant, who was 16 years old at the time, began to cry and stated that he did not shoot the victim but that "Wally" did. Without further conversation, Rose and his partner brought the defendant into the tactical office and turned the case over to the Area 5 detectives. Rose said that he knew "Wally" based upon his nickname and did not have to look up his identity in the files. He repeated that he also knew the defendant as "Little Man."

The defendant testified that three officers stopped him on Fairfield and Wabansia, searched him, read him his rights, handcuffed him and transported him to the Shakespeare Avenue police station. At about 5 p.m. on May 1, 1986, the officers took him for a polygraph test. His nickname was "Little Man" and Godinez's nickname was "Wally." When he got into the squad car at about 11 p.m., he told the officers that "Wally" committed the murder under investigation. He admitted that he and Godinez were members of the Latin Disciples from the area of the homicide. Godinez was a chief.

In People v. Tisler (1984), 103 Ill. 2d 226, 469 N.E.2d 147, the supreme court expressed certain rules applicable to warrantless arrests in which the arresting officer relies on an informant's "tips":

Since the term "reasonable grounds" justifying a warrantless arrest has the same substantive meaning as "probable cause" which is required of a magistrate before he may issue a warrant, the trial court making a determination of the validity of a warrantless arrest is to apply standards at least as ...

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