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06/23/94 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. EDWARD BOOTH

June 23, 1994

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
EDWARD BOOTH, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable James Chrastka and Shelvin Singer, Judges Presiding.

Petition for Leave to Appeal Denied October 6, 1994.

Cahill, Johnson, Theis

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cahill

JUSTICE CAHILL delivered the opinion of the court:

A jury found the defendant guilty of armed robbery and the murder of Mark Davies. The trial court sentenced the defendant to 30 years in prison. He appeals and argues: (1) the juvenile court abused its discretion when it transferred him from the juvenile system to be tried as an adult; (2) the juvenile court erred by shifting the burden to the defendant to prove he would be rehabilitated within the time allowed under the Juvenile Court Act; (3) the trial court erred in denying a motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence; (4) the court erred in not allowing the investigating detective to testify whether the defendant was in custody; (5) an assistant State's attorney testifying as a witness made two improper comments bolstering his credibility; (6) the State improperly argued in rebuttal that defendant was being tried as an adult; (7) his sentence was an abuse of discretion. We affirm.

The defendant, Paul Williams, and David Williams beat, robbed, and left Mark Davies to die in the Jackson Park lagoon on June 27, 1987. The defendant was 14 years and 10 months old. The next day Samuel Lane was also beaten and robbed near the lagoon. Paul and David Williams were arrested for the attack on and robbery of Samuel Lane. They told the police the defendant was with them.

Detectives Kutz and Romic went to the defendant's home on July 8, 1987, to question him about the Lane incident. He was not home, but his mother spoke with the detectives. Kutz told Mrs. Booth he wanted to ask her son about a robbery committed in the area. Mrs. Booth said she would bring her son to the police station the next day around 2:00 p.m. Mrs. Booth and the defendant arrived at the station at 12:45 p.m. the next day. The detectives were not there, so Mrs. Booth and the defendant waited until they arrived at 2:00 p.m.

Detectives Kutz and Romic took Mrs. Booth and the defendant to an interview room and offered them coffee. Kutz advised the defendant of his Miranda rights and his right to have his mother or a youth officer present. Kutz then asked if he wanted to talk about the robbery at Jackson Park. The defendant agreed but did not want to speak in front of his mother, so the detectives brought him into the main office where they worked. Mrs. Booth was able to watch the defendant from the interview room.

Kutz asked the defendant who was present when Paul and David Williams robbed the man at the Jackson Park lagoon. The defendant said he and two others were present. He knew where one of them lived and agreed 'to show the detectives where. The detectives told Mrs. Booth that the defendant was going to show them where another witness, Darren Perkins, lived. Mrs. Booth had an appointment at 6:25 p.m. and gave the detectives the address so they could take the defendant there if they finished the investigation early. The detectives then drove with the defendant to Darren Perkins' home. They told Perkins they wanted to ask him about a robbery at Jackson Park, and he agreed to go to the police station with them.

They arrived back at the station after 6:00 p.m. Mrs. Booth had gone. The detectives put the defendant and Perkins in separate interview rooms. They spoke with Perkins first. When he described the robbery of Samuel Lane, the detectives realized that the defendant had been describing a different incident. They again advised the defendant of his Miranda rights and his right to have his mother or a youth officer present. The defendant said he understood and wanted neither present. He then identified a photograph of Mark Davies as the man he and Paul and David Williams beat and robbed. The detectives arrested the defendant at 7:15 p.m.

The defendant later made a court reported statement. An assistant State's attorney along with Detective Kutz and two youth officers were present. The defendant stated that he, David Williams, and Paul Williams went to the Jackson Park bridge with baseball bats on June 27, 1987, "to rob some fags." When Mark Davies walked on the bridge they beat him with their fists and the baseball bats. David and Paul Williams went through Davies' pockets and carried him under the bridge. But Davies was making noises, so the defendant went under the bridge and hit Davies again with a baseball bat. All three tried to leave in Davies' car, but could not start it. When they walked back to the bridge the defendant saw Davies, bleeding and "trying to get afloat on the water." They then put the bats in a bush and left.

Following a transfer hearing, the juvenile court granted a State motion to prosecute the defendant as an adult. The trial court denied a motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence. A jury found the defendant guilty of armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 18-2(a)) and murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)), and the court sentenced him to 30 years in prison.

The defendant first contends on appeal that the juvenile court abused its discretion when it ruled that he should be prosecuted as an adult under the Juvenile Court Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 37, par. 701-1 et seq.). Section 702-7(3)(a) of the Act directs the court to consider six elements to determine whether to permit prosecution of a minor as an adult. They include:

(1) whether there is sufficient evidence upon which a grand jury may be expected to return an indictment; (2) whether there is evidence that the alleged offense was committed in an aggressive and premeditated manner; (3) the age of the minor; (4) the previous history of the minor; (5) whether there are facilities particularly available to the Juvenile Court for the treatment and rehabilitation of the minor; (6) whether the best interest of the minor and the security of the public may require that the minor ...


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