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February 16, 1994


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable John Morrissey, Judge Presiding.

Released for Publication April 19, 1994. Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied June 2, 1994.

Tully, Rizzi, Greiman

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Tully

PRESIDING JUSTICE TULLY delivered the opinion of the court:

Codefendants Eric Caine and Aaron Patterson were charged with murder, felony murder, armed robbery, home invasion, residential burglary and armed violence in the deaths of 73-year-old Vincent Sanchez and 62-year-old Rafaela Sanchez. At the Conclusion of Eric Caine's trial, he was convicted of two counts of murder, two counts of home invasion and one count of residential burglary. As to the imposition of the death penalty, the jury could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant was eligible for the death sentence. Accordingly, the trial court sentenced defendant to natural life imprisonment.

On April 19, 1986, the mutilated and bloody bodies of Vincent and Rafaela Sanchez were found strewn about their home. Vincent suffered 25 stab wounds, including 3 to the neck, and Rafaela suffered 10 stab wounds. After being taken into police custody, defendant stated he had no knowledge of the Sanchez murder, but he admitted that a few days before the murders that Aaron Patterson approached him about "going on a mission" concerning "an old white guy." On April 15 or 16, 1986, defendant was with "Darnell" at "Rambo's" house and Patterson again indicated they would "go on a mission," meaning to kill someone. Patterson wanted to "get" Mr. Sanchez, whom defendant knew to be an elderly Mexican man who bought and sold guns. After being read his Miranda rights, defendant then admitted that he was present when the Sanchezes were murdered. The plan was to rob them of their guns, but when Mr. Sanchez would not give them the guns, Aaron Patterson stabbed them and defendant fled.

Defendant testified that on April 17, 1986, he went to a bar until 2:00 a.m. He denied asking the Apache Rangers gang to sell him a gun. He also denied that Patterson ever asked him to "go on a mission" nor did anyone accompany him to the Sanchez home. He further testified he never saw Aaron Patterson stab Mr. Sanchez.

After his arrest on April 30, 1986, defendant testified that detective Pienta told defendant that Patterson had committed the murder and told him defendant had been present but ran. Defendant told Pienta he knew nothing about it. He was then taken to see Patterson who was beat up and could barely speak. Pienta struck defendant in the chest and told him he "better be cool" or he would get the same treatment as Patterson.

The next morning detective Madigan brought defendant his breakfast, read him his rights and informed him he was under arrest. Madigan also said that if defendant cooperated he would have nothing to worry about and could go home. Madigan kept taking notes although defendant was not talking. He hit defendant in the head a few times and eventually defendant signed the notes. Defendant later met with two assistant State's attorneys who wanted a court reported statement. According to the defendant, the assistant State's attorneys told him that they wanted the questions answered in a certain way so that the statement would correspond with Madigan's notes. Upon completing the statement, Madigan and the assistant State's attorney started laughing at defendant, who then began to cry.

On cross-examination, defendant testified that Madigan had told him everything that Patterson had said. Defendant then "went along with" everything Patterson had said in order to go home, as Madigan had promised. According to defendant, most of his admissions were facts which Madigan had told him: the mission, the gun deal, the Sanchez home, the stabbing and the fact that defendant ran from the house.


On appeal, defendant contends: (1) defendant's motion to quash arrest and suppress statements should have been granted; (2) the State racially discriminated in its use of peremptory challenges; and (3) the codefendant's statement, implicating defendant, should not have been allowed into evidence.

The first issue we consider is whether or not defendant's motion to quash his arrest and subsequent statements should have beengranted. On April 30, 1986, defendant Aaron Patterson implicated Eric Caine in the Sanchez murders. Detective Pienta testified that Patterson confessed that he and defendant planned to rob the Sanchez home for guns and money. Although Patterson admitted that he had stabbed both husband and wife, this was the first time that defendant's name had surfaced in the investigation. Patterson told them that defendant needed guns and that he knew how to get into the Sanchez home.

Defendant's mother, Laura Rene Johnson, testified that on April 30, 1986, she was living at 9219 South Brandon in Chicago and on that day defendant was visiting her. When she arrived home that evening, Sergeant Wilson, with whom she was acquainted, was waiting outside the house and he informed her that her son was in a lot of trouble. Wilson explained that defendant would not open the apartment door. Upon entry, Sergeant Wilson grabbed defendant by the arm and pants and told him he had been implicated in a ...

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