Appeal from Circuit Court of Vermilion County. No. 92CF68. Honorable Thomas J. Fahey, Judge Presiding.
Released for Publication July 25, 1994. As Corrected September 6, 1994.
Honorable James A. Knecht, J., Honorable John T. McCULLOUGH, P.j., Honorable Carl A. Lund, J.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Knecht
JUSTICE KNECHT delivered the opinion of the court:
After a bench trial, defendants were convicted of an armed robbery of a Pizza Hut restaurant in Danville, Illinois. After their arrests, defendants confessed to the crime, but claim their confessions were inadmissible because (1) the police failed to stop the interrogation when defendant Thomas Ravellette exercised his right to counsel and (2) used defendant Daniel Ravellette to encourage defendant Anthony Ravellette to waive his right to counsel, and (3) Anthony's and Daniel's confessions were coerced because of promises of leniency given by the police. Defendants Daniel and Anthony were convicted of armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 18-2) and sentenced to 17 and 14 years' imprisonment, respectively. Defendant Thomas was found guilty of armed robbery under the theory of accountability and sentenced to 17 years' imprisonment. All three defendants appeal, alleging the court improperly denied motions to suppress their confessions. We affirm in part and reverse and remand in part.
The facts will be addressed as they relate to the individual defendants' claims.
A. Thomas Ravellette's Claim
Thomas, then 22 years old, was arrested on February 21, 1992, by the Terre Haute, Indiana, police department. Thomas testified he was brought to the police station, brought into an interview room, and read his Miranda rights. He was then told his father, Daniel Ravellette, had also been arrested and told the police about the crime. According to Thomas, the Indiana police told Thomas his father had worked out a deal for him and all he had to do was cooperate.
As the police prepared to take a taped statement from Thomas, he requested an attorney. Lieutenant Melton, an officer with the Kokomo, Indiana, police department, then left the interview room. This left Sergeant Kelly, also with the Kokomo police department, alone with Thomas in the room. Kelly then asked Thomas, "Why do you want to do this? You're doing so well?" Thomas responded he wanted a lawyer and he was confused. Sergeant Kelly confirmed such a conversation did take place.
Thomas testified Sergeant Smith, of the Danville, Illinois, police, entered the room after this exchange with Kelly and served him with a warrant for his arrest from Danville. At this point Thomas stated he was confused, he knew he was in a lot of trouble, wanted to get it off of his chest, and decided to tell the police what he knew.
When Smith entered with the Danville warrant, Thomas started thinking of questions he wanted answered. In response to this the police officers repeatedly told him he must initiate the conversation, he must first decide to talk to them without counsel, or they could not discuss the case with him. Thomas decided to talk to the police and gave a taped confession which implicated himself and his codefendants.
Defendant Thomas relies on the statement by Kelly as violating his right to counsel and rendering his later waiver invalid and his later confession inadmissible.
B. Anthony Ravellette's Claims
(1) Sergeant Smith's Alleged "Reinitiation" of Interrogation Claim
Anthony was 34 years old at the time of his trial and was taken into custody on February 21, 1992, in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was taken into custody at approximately 5 a.m. and was taken to the Vigo County jail. Anthony testified Sergeant Smith, a Danville officer, approached him at the jail around 2 to 3 p.m. and asked if he wanted to talk; Anthony declined and requested an attorney.
Later in the day, Smith returned to the jail and told Anthony they really should talk. Anthony was told Daniel and Thomas had alreadyconfessed and Smith had a "sweet deal" for Anthony. Smith then told Anthony his brother, Daniel, would like to talk to him about the deal. Anthony agreed to talk to Daniel.
At this meeting between Daniel and Anthony, the two allegedly discussed this "deal." According to Anthony, during this Discussion Smith was in the room with the two brothers and acknowledged his approval to certain parts of the deal. This deal would allow only two charges to be brought against each defendant, one for the robberies they committed in Illinois and one for the robberies they committed in Indiana. Smith allegedly stated there were certain "strings" he could "pull" and all the police were really interested in was solving the crimes. Anthony testified Smith then listed several jurisdictions which would likely file charges against the defendants if they did not cooperate with the police. At this point Anthony decided to cooperate.
Daniel testified he was told defendants could get a deal where they would only get 10 years' imprisonment for the robberies. To get this deal, however, all defendants must cooperate. He was then told Anthony was not cooperating. Daniel testified he told the officers he should talk to Anthony because he may be able to convince him to cooperate. Daniel was a former police officer and Anthony respected his "grasp of the law." Daniel felt he could explain things to Anthony so he would go along with the deal.
Daniel testified he told Anthony he had a deal worked out and Anthony should go along with it. After this Discussion, Anthony decided to give a statement to the police. In his statement, Anthony confessed to committing the armed robbery in Danville, along with several other armed robberies ...