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06/07/94 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. LAMONT WARE

June 7, 1994

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
LAMONT WARE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Edward M. Fiala, Jr., Judge Presiding.

Hartman, DiVITO, McCORMICK

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hartman

JUSTICE HARTMAN delivered the opinion of the court:

Defendant appeals his convictions by a jury on two counts of first degree murder. He questions whether the circuit court erred in (1) denying his motion to quash his arrest and suppress evidence; (2) barring evidence that a witness submitted to a polygraph examination; and (3) allowing certain photographs to be published to the jury.

On November 12, 1990, David Williams, an employee at McDonald's Fishery opened the store and found the bodies of Ulysses McDonald (McDonald), who owned the fishery, and Leroy Taylor (Taylor), who cleaned and slept at the store. Each had died from single gunshot wounds to the head. The bullet removed from Taylor's head was .32 caliber; the bullet fragments removed from McDonald could not be identified. Both bullets were mangled and could not be linked to a particular weapon.

On December 25, 1990, Luther Ware, defendant's uncle, told the police about an argument he had with defendant in which defendant stated that he had killed somebody and did not want to kill again. When the police questioned defendant, he confessed to murdering McDonald and Taylor, claiming he shot McDonald over a $15 debt.

Defendant's confession revealed he had known McDonald since 1987 and helped cook and sell food at the store. On November 10, 1990, defendant went to the fishery and spent the day cooking, drinking and smoking a marijuana and cocaine mixture with McDonald and Taylor. He felt that McDonald was taking more than his share of the marijuana. Later in the evening, McDonald removed a .32 caliber handgun from his waistband and placed it in a drawer. When McDonald left the room, defendant took the handgun from the drawer and put it in his own pocket, hiding it there for approximately one-half hour to an hour because he needed time to decide whether to shoot McDonald. Defendant was angry with McDonald because the latter had forced him to engage in oral sex with him in April, 1988. Defendant confessed that "everything began to come down on him" and when the opportunity came "he would have to do what he had to do." Sometime between 12:30 a.m. and 1:00 a.m., he shot McDonald once in the head from a distance of three feet. Taylor, who had been asleep, awoke and defendant shot him once in the eye. Defendant claimed that he shot Taylor because he did not want to be identified later.

Defendant wiped off everything that might have his fingerprints, left, locked the front door and threw away the keys, as well as the two expended bullet shells. He then walked to 61st and Calumet nearby and attempted to sell the handgun, but was arrested for unlawful use of the weapon. At the time of his arrest, the bodies of McDonald and Taylor had not yet been discovered. Defendant repeated his confession to an assistant state's attorney and told her that he knew he had committed premeditated murder "because he thought about what he did ahead of time." Defendant chose to have his statement recorded by a court reporter but the statement was terminated when he requested an attorney. After terminating the statement, the police photographed defendant.

On January 28, 1992, the circuit court heard defendant's motion to quash his November 11, 1990 arrest and suppress the handgun. Chicago police officer David Lemieux testified that on November 11, at approximately 1:30 a.m., he and his partner responded to a radio call reporting a disturbance at 6121 South Calumet Street. Lemieux was familiar with the location because the police frequently made weapon and narcotic arrests at that address. When the officers arrived, Lemieux saw defendant walking quickly out of the vestibule of the building located at that address. Lemieux approached defendant, intending to talk to him. From five feet away, he noticed a bulge in defendant's pocket. Lemieux announced "Police," conducted a protective pat-down of defendant, and felt the outline of a handgun. He reached into defendant's pocket and removed a .32 caliber black revolver. Parenthetically, he added at trial that the revolver contained four, silver-tipped, hollow point bullets.

Defendant testified that as he came out of the vestibule, Officer Lemieux exited his unmarked squad car and called him over. Defendant walked to the police car and voluntarily placed his hands upon it. Lemieux did not ask any questions before searching him. According to defendant, Lemieux found the handgun in the pocket of defendant's inside jacket. After the search, Lemieux told defendant that he knew defendant was carrying a gun. Defendant claimed he purchased the weapon for $40 from a man at the building.

The circuit court denied defendant's motion to quash the arrest and suppress the evidence, finding that Officer Lemieux had a sufficient, articulable suspicion to detain and search defendant.

At trial, Brenda Abbott, McDonald's sister, identified the .32 caliber handgun recovered from defendant as the gun McDonald kept at his store. Louis Munoz, a Chicago police detective, testified that the police found a brown holster and ammunition in a drawer in McDonald's store but did not locate a handgun on the premises. At the close of all the evidence, defendant's objections to the publication to the jury of certain exhibits were overruled. The jury convicted defendant on two counts of first degree murder and he was sentenced to natural life imprisonment.

I.

Defendant argues that the circuit court erred in denying his motion to quash his arrest and suppress evidence of the handgun because Officer Lemieux lacked specific and ...


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