Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. The Honorable Leo Holt, Judge Presiding.
Rehearing Denied February 27, 1995. Released for Publication March 21, 1995.
The Honorable Justice Zwick delivered the opinion of the court: *fn1 Rakowski, J., concurs. Egan, J., dissents.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Zwick
JUSTICE ZWICK delivered the opinion of the court:
The State has appealed an order entered at the conclusion of defendant's trial which reversed the trial court's previous denial of defendant's motion to quash his arrest and to suppress evidence. On appeal, the State contends that (1) the evidence presented was sufficient to support the police officers' stop of defendant and subsequent search of the vehicle in which the contraband was found, and (2) the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to allow the prosecution to present additional evidence in opposition to defendant's motion to suppress.
Defendant, Charles Washington, was charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana with the intent to deliver. He filed a motion to quash his arrest and to suppress evidence. At the hearing on the motion to quash and to suppress, defendant called Monica Lewis, who testified that on the night of February 15, 1990, defendant was in her apartment. Ms. Lewis stated that when defendant left the apartment at approximately 6:30 p.m., she was looking out of the window. According to Ms. Lewis, a police car pulled up in front of the building as defendant was coming out of the front door. A male officer called defendant over to the squad car while a female officer went over to a vehicle which was parked nearby and began to search it. After searching the interior of the car, the female officer took the keys from the ignition and opened the trunk. Ms. Lewis stated that the female officer removed a brown paper bag from the trunk and took something out of the bag. Defendant was then arrested.
Defendant testified that on the evening of February 15, 1990, he was wearing a blue Chicago Bears "starter jacket" and a dark blue hat. On that date, defendant was with Monica Lewis and a man known as "Slim" at Ms. Lewis' apartment. Defendant stated that "Slim" was the boyfriend of his sister, Brenda Foreman, and that "Slim" was using Foreman's car. Defendant asked to use the car to go buy liquor, and "Slim" gave him the keys. At about 6:20 p.m., defendant went outside and started the car. He then went back inside Ms. Lewis' apartment, leaving the car running and unattended. Approximately five minutes later, defendant went back out to the car to go to the store. As he left the apartment building, a squad car pulled up. As defendant approached Foreman's car, a male police officer called defendant over to the squad car and said that defendant fit the description of the perpetrator in a robbery of a restaurant which was two blocks away. The male police officer told defendant to put his hands on the squad car and conducted a pat-down search of defendant. Defendant testified that while he was with the male officer, a female officer searched Foreman's car and found a brown paper bag in the trunk. Thereafter, defendant was placed under arrest.
Defendant rested after presenting the testimony of these two witnesses, and the prosecution moved for a directed finding on the motion to quash and to suppress. The trial court granted the prosecution's request, finding that defendant did not have standing to challenge the search of the vehicle.
At trial, two Chicago police officers testified for the prosecution. According to the officers' testimony, they received a radio dispatch at approximately 6:30 p.m. on February 15, 1994, that a restaurant in their vicinity had been robbed. At that time, they observed defendant brushing snow from a parked vehicle which had its motor running. The officers testified that they approached defendant because he fit the description of the perpetrator of the robbery contained in the radio dispatch. The officers exited their squad car, drew their guns, and told the defendant to walk to the rear of his car. When the officers reached the defendant's vehicle, they saw in plain view on the front seat a clear plastic bag containing blocks of a white powdery substance and another bag which held a green leafy substance and money. Defendant was then arrested.
The parties stipulated that the bags contained 1,257 grams of cocaine and 74.9 grams of marijuana. It also was determined that defendant was not involved in the restaurant robbery. The prosecution then rested.
Defendant called Brenda Foreman, who testified that, on February 15, 1990, she had loaned her car to a friend known as "Slim." Foreman stated further that when she last saw the car, it did not contain any drugs.
Monica Lewis was called as a witness on behalf of defendant. Ms. Lewis' trial testimony was substantially the same as that presented at the hearing on defendant's motion to suppress.
Defendant also testified to substantially the same facts as those presented at the hearing on his pretrial motion.
After the parties presented their closing arguments, the trial court noted that defendant's pretrial motion to suppress was still before the court for reconsideration. The trial judge stated that he would read the transcript of the hearing on the motion to suppress as well as the officers' trial testimony regarding the stop and search of defendant. Approximately three weeks later, the trial court vacated its original ruling on the motion to suppress. In a written memorandum and order, the ...