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06/28/95 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. TERRY STARNES

June 28, 1995

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
TERRY STARNES, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Themis N. Karnezis, Judge Presiding.

The Honorable Justice Cerda delivered the opinion of the court: Greiman, P.j., And Rizzi, J., Concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cerda

JUSTICE CERDA delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a bench trial, defendant, Terry Starnes, was convicted of murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)(3) (now 720 ILCS 5/9-l(a)(3))(West 1992)), three counts of attempted murder (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, pars. 8-4, 9-1(a) (now 720 ILCS 5/8-4, 9-1(a))(West 1992)), and armed robbery (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1989, ch. 38, par. 18-2-A (now 720 ILCS 5/18-2-A) (West 1992)). He was sentenced to 60 years' imprisonment for murder, 30 years' imprisonment for attempted murder, and 30 years' imprisonment for armed robbery, all sentences to run concurrently.

On appeal, defendant asserts that (1) his confession was obtained involuntarily under Edwards v. Arizona (1981), 451 U.S. 477, 68 L. Ed. 2d 378, 101 S. Ct. 1880; (2) he was denied his sixth amendment right to effective assistance of counsel; and (3) the trial court abused its discretion in sentencing him to 60 years' imprisonment. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.

At trial, David K. Urban, who was a liquor store clerk at the PM Club, 2049 West Howard Street, Chicago, testified that the PM Club is a combination liquor store and tavern. On the evening of July 14, 1991, Urban was working in the liquor store and Ken Goll was the bartender in the tavern. Around 12:30 a.m., Urban went into the tavern and saw defendant sitting at the bar with another man. After Urban returned to the liquor store, defendant came into the store to use the public phone. He stayed on the phone for three or four minutes, then returned to the tavern. At that time, Urban and Goll were behind the store counter.

A few seconds later, Urban saw defendant standing next to the employee doorway. He was holding a large revolver and was motioning for Urban and Goll to come toward him, which they both did. When Goll came to within one foot of defendant, defendant ordered him to the floor. Goll started to get on the floor, but defendant grabbed him by his shirt and began to strike him on the head with the gun. After Urban saw defendant strike Goll twice, he turned around and ran out of the liquor store. On his way out of the store, he heard two gunshots. Outside, Urban flagged down a Chicago police squad car.

Chicago police officer Joseph Serb testified that at 12:38 a.m. on July 15, 1991, he and his partner were driving on Howard Street when Urban flagged them down and told them that someone was robbing the PM Club. As the police officers got out of the car and moved toward the tavern, Serb heard four gunshots in rapid succession coming from inside the tavern. A man came out of the tavern door and collapsed 10 feet away. He had been shot in the back and was bleeding. By that time, several police officers were outside the tavern with their guns drawn.

A few minutes later, defendant came out of the tavern door. At that time, several police officers entered the tavern. Between the two doors leading into the tavern, Serb saw a large amount of cash on the floor. He later learned that there was $150 in cash. Inside the door, Michael Gordon was on the floor. He appeared to be dead. Serb also saw Salvadore Venzor, who had a gunshot wound to the head, lying on the ground. Partially underneath him was Stark Neville, who was not moving. When Serb went into the liquor store, Goll came from behind the coolers where he had been hiding. He was bleeding from head lacerations.

Chicago police officer Robert Kuczak testified that he and his partner were driving on Howard Street at 12:30 a.m. on July 15, 1991, when he saw Officer Serb get out of his car with his gun drawn. Kuczak stopped his car and approached Serb, who stated that he had heard shots. Kuczak drew his weapon and went to the tavern's front door while his partner helped Darnell Persons, who had a gunshot wound in his back.

Chicago police detective Robert Soreghan testified that he and his partner spoke with defendant at the police station at 4:35 a.m. on July 15, 1991. After being informed of his Miranda rights, defendant stated that he had been having a beer in the bar when he went to use the telephone. After completing the call, a man entered the bar with a gun and approached him. The man pushed defendant into the bartender, hit the bartender over the head with the gun, and started shooting. Defendant stated that he ducked and waited until the man left the bar.

Soreghan testified that the following conversation occurred:

"I then informed Mr. Starnes that he had been identified by a witness at the scene, and Mr. Starnes said that he would tell us the truth. *** Mr. Starnes said that he would tell us about what happened, but he wanted to have a lawyer present with him. *** I said that was fine, that we would stop questioning until -- if he wanted an attorney present with him, that we would stop questioning. *** Well, at that time, Mr. Starnes said that he wanted to tell us what happened and how it happened and why. And I told him, that we were going to suspend questioning until an attorney could be appointed. *** Mr. Starnes then asked how long that would be, and I told him that it would -- an attorney would be appointed to represent him in court. And he said, well -- he asked if he could tell us the truth so that he could get his side of the story in and tell us why and what happened. I again told him that we would not question him any further if he still wanted an attorney present with him, and at that time, Mr. Starnes says, well, I want to tell you what happened and explain my side of it, and I'll do it without an attorney. I then said, are you sure you want to talk to us without an attorney present, and he said, yes."

Soreghan then spoke with defendant for 45 minutes before calling the assistant State's Attorney. At 5:30 a.m., assistant State's Attorney Nick Ford arrived. After he interviewed the victims and witnesses who were at the police station, he interviewed defendant and then called a court reporter. At 7:25 a.m., defendant gave a court-reported statement. Later that morning, Ford brought the typewritten statement into defendant, who read a couple ...


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