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12/21/95 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. FRANK BOUNDS

December 21, 1995

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,
v.
FRANK BOUNDS, APPELLANT.



The Honorable Justice Miller delivered the opinion of the court: Justice Harrison took no part in the consideration or decision of this case.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Miller

The Honorable Justice MILLER delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a jury trial in the circuit court of Cook County, the defendant, Frank Bounds, was convicted of murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and aggravated kidnapping. At a separate sentencing hearing, the same jury found the defendant eligible for the death penalty and further determined that there were no mitigating circumstances sufficient to preclude imposition of that sentence. The defendant's execution has been stayed pending direct review by this court. (Ill. Const. 1970, art. VI, ยง 4(b); 134 Ill. 2d Rules 603, 609(a).) For the reasons that follow, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court.

I. Facts

The charges against the defendant arose from the sexual assault and murder of Carolyn Lewis. The victim was abducted on the morning of December 9, 1986, while she was walking to catch a bus that would take her to work. The victim was then taken to a nearby building, where she was sexually assaulted and later murdered.

Carolyn's mother, Tommie Lewis, testified at the defendant's trial that her daughter had worked for the Internal Revenue Service in downtown Chicago for 13 years. According to Mrs. Lewis, Carolyn would leave for work between 6 and 6:30 each morning and walk to a nearby bus stop. Mrs. Lewis stated that Carolyn left for work at her usual time on December 9, 1986. Around 9 o'clock that morning, Mrs. Lewis received a call from one of Carolyn's coworkers, who said that Carolyn had failed to arrive for work. Later that day, Mrs. Lewis called the police to report that her daughter was missing. At trial, Mrs. Lewis identified, as belonging to her daughter, several items that were found in the building where Carolyn's body was later discovered. Mrs. Lewis stated that the shirt that Carolyn was wearing at the time her body was found did not belong to her daughter.

Delores Dennis, a resident of the neighborhood where these offenses occurred, testified that she heard a woman scream around 6 or 6:15 on the morning of Carolyn's disappearance. Dennis looked out her window but did not see anything suspicious. Dennis lived near the intersection of 74th and Princeton Streets.

The victim's body was discovered on December 13, 1986, in the second-floor apartment of a two-story frame house located at 7347 South Princeton Street, in Chicago. The victim was wearing only a T-shirt and was lying on a mattress on the floor in one of the rooms. The body was frozen, and an electrical extension cord was wrapped around the victim's neck.

Investigators found in another room a bed with sheets and covers; electrical space heaters stood on both sides of the bed. The room was also furnished with a television set and a dresser. There were liquor bottles, orange juice bottles, clothing, and boots in the room. Investigators discovered a purse containing the victim's identification. A broom stick was broken in two pieces, and one end of one piece was smeared with what appeared to be fecal matter. The toilet bowl in the bathroom was frozen, and there was no heat in the apartment. Investigators found food on the kitchen table and in the cabinets. The apartment on the first floor of the building appeared to be vacant.

Investigators spoke with some of the members of the family that owned the building where the victim was found, and a warrant for the defendant's arrest was issued on December 15, 1986. The defendant was placed on the police department's "10 most wanted" list, and his photograph was provided to the news media. Investigators would occasionally receive reports that the defendant had been seen, but none of those tips led to his arrest.

Police investigators collected from the crime scene a number of objects that bore fingerprint ridges, including orange soda cans, a glass orange juice bottle, a vodka bottle, wine bottles, and a glass candy jar. The impressions on these objects were later examined, and 16 of them were found to match the defendant's fingerprints.

Dr. Robert Stein, the chief medical examiner of Cook County, performed an autopsy on the victim on December 15, 1986. An external examination of the victim revealed an electrical cord ligature around her neck; abrasions or contusions were also present around the neck, arms, right buttock, and right and left lower extremities. Dr. Stein stated that curvilinear abrasions around the victim's neck were probably produced by the victim as she tried to relieve the pressure of the ligature. An internal examination revealed a fracture to the victim's neck bone and areas of hemorrhage to the victim's neck muscles. Dr. Stein found no injuries to the victim's anus or vagina, although he explained that the absence of injuries was not inconsistent with sexual assault. A toxicological report showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.205. Dr. Stein said that the elevated reading could be attributed partly, but not wholly, to alcohol produced by bodily decomposition.

On cross-examination, Dr. Stein stated that he did not find any marks or other signs that would indicate that the victim's wrists or ankles had been bound. He was not able to determine the time of death, though he said the victim could have died three or four days before her body was discovered, on December 13. Dr. Stein was not able to determine whether the victim was killed where she was found.

The defendant was arrested for these offenses on October 6, 1987. Robert Easley, a private security guard, was working that day at the Daley Center at a display of old Chicago Transit Authority buses. According to Easley, around 1 o'clock in the afternoon he saw the defendant, whom he knew from the defendant's former employment with Easley's girlfriend. The defendant was handing out leaflets and was standing next to a sign that said, "Down with Death in the Streets." Easley was aware that the police were looking for the defendant, so Easley flagged down a passing patrol car.

Sergeant Leo Crotty, the officer whom Easley stopped, called for the assistance of a tactical unit. Three officers in plain clothes soon arrived. The officers received a description from Easley and later saw the defendant get off one of the buses that was on display. The officers then approached the defendant and asked him for identification. The defendant said that he did not have any with him, but said that his name was Michael Jones and gave an address on the north side. In response to a question from the officers, the defendant said that he was not familiar with the name Frank Bounds. The defendant agreed to accompany the officers to a police car so that they could make a further investigation. While the officers were checking the name the defendant had provided, they asked Easley to come to the car to attempt to identify the defendant. Easley did so, said the person was Frank Bounds, and leaned into the car and said, "Hi, Frank." According to Roberts, the defendant then bolted from the vehicle. Sergeant Crotty was able to catch the defendant.

That evening, the defendant gave an oral statement to Casimir Bartnik, an assistant State's Attorney. Bartnik prepared a written summary of the statement, which the defendant then reviewed and signed. At the defendant's trial, Bartnik read the summary of the statement to the jury. In the statement, the defendant said that he did not previously know the victim and that he first saw her on the morning of December 9, 1986, around 6:30, as she was walking on a sidewalk on Princeton Street. At the corner of 74th Street, the defendant grabbed the victim, placing his hand on her mouth. The victim bit his hand and screamed. The defendant then dragged the victim to an abandoned house owned by his family at 7347 South Princeton Street. The defendant took the victim to the second floor, where he had been living since he had been kicked out of his mother's house.

The defendant said that he then removed the victim's clothing, threw her on a bed in the main bedroom, and had vaginal intercourse with her at least once. The defendant stated that he might have had sex again later in the day and explained that he had been highly intoxicated on December 9 and was unable to remember all the details of the crimes. The defendant later tied the victim's hands and feet with an extension cord and stuffed a towel in her mouth. The defendant left the apartment at least twice that day, to buy liquor and food.

The next morning, December 10, the defendant ran out of money, and he found about thirty to forty dollars in the victim's purse. The defendant said that he panicked when he saw the victim's identification, which showed that she worked for the Internal Revenue Service. The defendant next went to a liquor store and then returned to the apartment, where he sat drinking for several hours. The defendant said that the victim was calm and had a piercing stare, and he knew that she would remember his appearance. The defendant believed that he could not release the victim and decided to kill her instead.

The defendant wrapped an extension cord around the victim's neck and pulled on the ends of the cord until the victim stopped moving. The defendant said that this took about four to five minutes. The defendant then left the apartment, but he was unable to remember where he went. The defendant returned to the vicinity the next day around 4 p.m. but left when he saw police cars and police officers in the area. During this time the defendant remembered hearing and reading missing persons reports about the victim.

The defendant said that he realized that he would need help in disposing of the victim's body, so he called one of his brothers, Willie Amos, probably on December 10. On December 12, the defendant, Willie, and another brother, Raymond, drove to the building in Raymond's car. The defendant and Willie went upstairs, and Willie put his hand over his mouth and looked sick when he saw the victim's body. The defendant then told Willie to leave. Ray then drove the defendant to 79th Street and Halsted.

At the conclusion of the statement, the defendant said that he had not been promised or threatened in any way. Asked why he committed the crimes, the defendant said that he was angry at his step-father and family for throwing him out of the family house. The defendant said that he wanted to get even and that Lewis seemed to be an easy victim.

At trial, the State also presented the testimony of Renolde Cannon, who was married to the defendant's mother at the time of the offenses involved here. Cannon stated that the defendant was living with him and the defendant's mother, Castella Cannon, in the fall of 1986. According to Cannon, he and the defendant got into an argument the weekend after Thanksgiving about a space heater that the defendant was using in his bedroom. On Sunday, December 7, Cannon told the defendant to move out.

The defendant presented the testimony of several witnesses. Susan Mitchnick, the defendant's girlfriend, testified that she met the defendant in December 1986 at a meeting of the Homeless Union. They developed a relationship, and in March 1987 they began living together. Mitchnick said that during the afternoon of October 6, 1987, an officer from the Homeless Union called to tell her that the defendant had been arrested. Mitchnick later learned that the defendant was being held at Area 3 headquarters. She called there and left a message for the defendant. That evening, two police officers arrived at her home and spoke with her about the defendant. They asked her if she knew about the murder in December 1986, and she told them that she did not. According to Mitchnick, one of the officers stated that the case would receive widespread coverage in the news media and that the police could portray Mitchnick unfavorably. The officers then left. The defendant did not return Mitchnick's call until the next evening, October 7, when she told the defendant what the police had threatened to do.

On cross-examination, Mitchnick said that the officers did not ask her where she worked and that she did not tell them; Mitchnick testified that she was working for a small public relations and consulting firm. Mitchnick also listed the different residences where she lived during the year of her relationship with the defendant. In December 1986 she lived at 3165 West Palmer. She moved to 2147 West Charleston in March 1987, with the defendant, and then in June 1987 she and the defendant moved to 3248 West Beach.

Willie Amos, Sr., who had previously been married to the defendant's mother, also testified in the defendant's behalf at trial. Amos stated that he owned the building located at 7347 South Princeton, where the victim's body was discovered. According to Amos, the family lived there until 1975, when they moved out and it was rented to others. In 1985 one of his sons, Willie Jr., moved into the second-floor apartment, where he lived for about six months. When Willie moved out, he left many of his belongings behind, including clothing and furniture. No one else occupied the apartment after that, according to the witness. He also stated that the building did not have gas, electrical, or water service.

Moses Cheeks, a city building inspector, also testified in the defendant's behalf at trial. Cheeks had inspected the building located at 7347 South Princeton on December 15, 1986, following the discovery of the victim's body there. Cheeks said that someone had apparently been living there, for he found clothing and furniture in both units. According to Cheeks, there was no heat, and the electricity and water had been turned off.

The defendant's final witness was Lance Lee, who lived at 7345 South Princeton, next door to the building where the victim's body was discovered. Lee testified that Willie Amos, Jr., had moved into one of the apartments at 7347 South Princeton during 1985 and moved out several months later; the building then stood vacant. Lee also testified that he saw either Ralph or Raymond Amos, who were identical twins, at the building around 7:15 on the mornings of both December 9 and December 10. Lee stated further that he did not see the defendant in the neighborhood on either of those days.

At the conclusion of the trial, the jury returned verdicts finding the defendant guilty of murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and aggravated kidnapping. The case then proceeded to a capital sentencing hearing. At the first stage of the hearing, the parties stipulated that the defendant was born in April 1952 and thus was 34 years old at the time of the murder charged here. At the conclusion of the first stage of the hearing, the jury determined the defendant eligible for the death penalty, finding the statutory aggravating circumstances that the victim was killed during the course of aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping.

At the second stage of the sentencing hearing, the State introduced evidence of the defendant's extensive criminal record. Chicago police officer Johnny Robinson testified that he was driving home on August 22, 1970, when he saw the defendant grab a woman's purse; Robinson got out of his car, fired a shot at the defendant, and eventually captured him.

Beverly Restina Robinson testified to an occurrence involving the defendant on September 23, 1971. Early that morning, as Robinson was leaving her place of employment in River Grove, the defendant forced his way into her car and drove off with her. The defendant demanded money from Robinson, and she gave him some. The defendant choked Robinson and later placed her in the trunk of her car. The defendant then resumed driving. Robinson later was able to escape from the trunk and get help.

Florence Hoffman testified that on August 6, 1975, she returned to her apartment building in Des Plaines around 2 a.m. after playing cards with friends. Upon entering the lobby of her building, she noticed a stranger, whom she identified as the defendant. After Hoffman and the defendant got into the elevator together, the defendant stopped the elevator and placed a screwdriver against Hoffman's neck. The defendant then ordered Hoffman to return to her car, and together they drove off, with the defendant driving. The defendant forced the victim to perform an act of oral sex on him. Hoffman later jumped out of the car. Philip C. Bettiker, a police officer with the Cook County sheriff's police, testified that he took a statement from the defendant about the offenses. The defendant admitted his responsibility for the crimes, though he said that he released the victim.

Arthur Schmelka testified that on August 1, 1981, he was an assistant manager at a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Evanston. That day the defendant and an accomplice robbed the restaurant. The defendant was armed, and threatened to kill Schmelka. Schmelka later learned that the defendant had received a 10-year sentence for the offenses.

Evidence of another armed robbery was provided by Martin Carroll. Carroll testified that on July 30, 1981, he went to a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Chicago and interrupted an armed robbery in progress. The defendant grabbed him and hit him on the back of the head. Carroll later learned that the defendant received a 10-year prison sentence for the offenses.

Rebecca Branum, an assistant warden for the Department of Corrections, testified that on March 27, 1986, she received a report that the defendant was harassing a female food supervisor at the Lincoln Correctional Center. Branum talked to the defendant about it, and he said that the woman appeared to be "easy prey." As a result of this conduct, the defendant was placed in segregation, lost good-time credit, and was transferred to a maximum security institution.

Cameron Forbes, a records office supervisor for the Department of Corrections, provided further testimony regarding the defendant's criminal record and his conduct while incarcerated. According to Forbes, the defendant first entered the Department of Corrections in May 1973 on a robbery conviction. He was paroled the following year, and then returned to prison in 1976 on convictions for armed robbery and deviate sexual assault. The defendant was released from prison in November 1979. He returned in May 1980 after he had been convicted of theft, and he was released in June 1981. The defendant returned to prison in October 1982, following convictions for armed robbery and other offenses. The defendant was released in July 1986 and was on parole at the time of the offenses committed here. Forbes also stated that the defendant was placed in isolation on several occasions for various infractions of prison rules. Further details concerning the defendant's criminal record were provided by stipulation.

A number of witnesses provided favorable testimony in behalf of the defendant at the second stage of the sentencing hearing. The defendant's mother, Castella Cannon, stated that the defendant was employed in a construction job following his release from prison in 1986. She said that the defendant took part in church and other charitable activities.

Otis Thomas, the president of the Chicago Homeless Union, also testified in the defendant's behalf at the sentencing hearing. Thomas stated that he met the defendant in late 1986. According to Thomas, the defendant was eager to help other homeless persons. Karen Daniel, an attorney with the appellate defender's office, testified that she met the defendant in January 1987. Daniel was a friend of Susan Mitchnick, the defendant's girlfriend at the time. Daniel believed that the defendant could be rehabilitated and stated that the defendant would try to help other persons in the future. Bonnie Buck, a news reporter and editor, also provided favorable testimony. Like Daniel, Buck had met the defendant through her friendship with Susan Mitchnick. Buck believed that the defendant would help others in the future. Dorothy Robinson, a minister, testified that she first met the defendant in November 1987, when the defendant's mother took her to meet the defendant in jail. Robinson stated that she had talked to the defendant perhaps 30 times since then and believed that he would help others.

At the conclusion of the second stage of the sentencing hearing, the jury found that there were no mitigating circumstances sufficient to preclude imposition of the death penalty. The judge accordingly sentenced the defendant to death for the murder of Carolyn Lewis. At a later hearing, the jury determined that the defendant was a habitual criminal and sentenced him to natural life imprisonment for the offenses of aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping.

II. Suppression Motion

The defendant raises more than 30 allegations of error in the present appeal. In the discussion that follows, we will generally consider these issues in the sequence in which the alleged errors occurred in the proceedings below. The defendant first argues that the trial judge erred in denying his motion to suppress his confession. The defendant contends that the confession was not preceded by Miranda warnings and was the product of physical and psychological coercion.

We will first summarize the evidence presented at the suppression hearing. After the defendant was arrested on October 6, 1987, he was taken to the first district police station. He was picked up there around 3:30 that afternoon by Detectives William Foley and William Kelly from Area 3 violent crimes. Foley gave the defendant Miranda warnings but did not question him at that time. The defendant was booked, and the two detectives then transported him to Area 3, where they arrived around 5 o'clock. The defendant was placed in an interrogation room. Foley and Kelly returned to the room around 6 o'clock and questioned the defendant about the Carolyn Lewis murder for 15 to 20 minutes. Foley, Kelly, and a third detective, Michael Kill, questioned the defendant again around 8 or 8:15. Kill provided the defendant with Miranda warnings, and the detectives then talked to the defendant further, telling him what they had learned about the case. The defendant then gave a statement.

Kelly reentered the interrogation room alone around 9:10 or 9:15 and asked the defendant if he needed to use the bathroom. The defendant said that he did not. At some point the defendant requested cigarettes, which Kelly provided to him.

Beginning around 9:15 p.m., the defendant was questioned by Assistant State's Attorney Casimir Bartnik in an interview that lasted about 25 to 30 minutes. Bartnik testified that he began by introducing himself to the defendant and giving the defendant Miranda warnings. Bartnik also asked the defendant if he needed to use the restroom or wanted anything to eat or drink; the defendant requested something to eat, so food was obtained for him. The defendant then told Bartnik about the offenses committed here. Afterwards, the defendant declined to repeat his statement in the presence of a court reporter. The defendant did agree, however, to review a written summary prepared by Bartnik and to sign the summary if it was accurate.

After preparing the summary, Bartnik returned to the interrogation room around 10:30 p.m. to review the statement with the defendant. The defendant signed a provision in which he acknowledged that he was waiving his Miranda rights. After Bartnik had read aloud one page of the statement, the defendant took the papers from Bartnik and began reading them to himself. According to Bartnik, at several points the defendant seemed to become emotional or upset and shook his head from side to side. Apart from one minor correction, which was made, the defendant did not wish to make any other changes to the statement. The defendant, Bartnik, and Kelly then signed each page.

Assistant State's Attorney Bartnik and Detectives Foley, Kelly, and Kill all denied that anyone kicked, threatened, or physically coerced the defendant, or that the defendant ever requested the assistance of counsel. In addition, Bartnik stated that the defendant did not complain to him of any mistreatment at the hands of the police, and Bartnik did not observe any marks or blood on the defendant. The defendant also told Bartnik that he had not been promised anything in exchange for the statement. Detectives Kelly and Kill specifically denied that anyone threatened to release the name of the defendant's girlfriend to the news media.

The defendant testified in his own behalf at the suppression hearing. The defendant stated that after he arrived at Area 3 he asked to speak to an attorney, but that Foley and Kelly told him to shut up. When the defendant denied knowing anything about the crimes, Kelly hit him on the forehead and tried to kick him in the groin.

Detective Kill later told the defendant that he had talked to the defendant's girlfriend, Susan Mitchnick, and that Mitchnick would lose her job if the defendant did not sign a statement. According to the defendant, Foley, Kelly, and Kill each told him that if he signed a statement confessing to these crimes, Mitchnick's name would not be released to the media.

The defendant said that he finally agreed to sign a statement so that Mitchnick's name would be kept out of the case. The defendant said that he did not actually read the statement before signing it. The defendant also denied that he ever received Miranda warnings in the period following his arrest. The defendant insisted that he would not have signed the statement if the officers had not hit him, interrogated him for so long, or threatened to reveal Mitchnick's name to the press.

On cross-examination, the defendant said that he knew that his name had previously appeared in the newspapers in connection with this case and that the police were looking for him. The defendant said that the did not tell Bartnik about his mistreatment, and he acknowledged telling Bartnik that he was signing the statement voluntarily. The defendant also stated that he did not report the beating when he was examined at the county jail. The defendant maintained that the beating did not leave any visible marks.

The defendant's girlfriend, Susan Mitchnick, also testified in the defendant's behalf at the suppression hearing. She was 30 years old and had known the defendant since December 1986. She stated that during the afternoon of October 6, 1987, she received a phone call from the president of the Homeless Union telling her that the defendant had been arrested. Mitchnick then tried to find where the defendant was being held, and around 4:30 she learned that the defendant was at Area 3. She called Area 3 around 5:15 and asked to speak with the defendant. Mitchnick was told that the defendant was being interrogated and could not receive phone calls. Around 7 p.m., Detective Kill and another officer arrived at her home and questioned her about the defendant and about the December 1986 murder of Carolyn Lewis. Mitchnick told the officers that she did not know anything about the case. In response, Kill told Mitchnick that he could arrange for her name to be run "through the mud" in the media. Mitchnick was then working for a small public relations and political consulting firm, and she believed that her employment would be jeopardized if that occurred. Mitchnick told the officers once more that she knew nothing about the case. Kill then said that the case could be portrayed as involving "a nice social worker" who befriended a homeless person who happened to be a murderer. The detectives later left. Mitchnick said that a friend, Karen Daniel, subsequently arrived.

On cross-examination, Mitchnick stated that the defendant had never told her that the police were looking for him. She also said that the police did not ask her where she worked, and that she did not volunteer that information.

Karen Daniel, the friend mentioned by Mitchnick, also testified in the defendant's behalf at the suppression hearing. Daniel, an attorney with the State Appellate Defender's office in Chicago, stated that Mitchnick told her that the police had threatened to drag her name through the mud if she did not cooperate.

At the suppression hearing, the parties stipulated that Wayne Kinzie, a medical technician at Cermak Health Services, of the Cook County jail, would testify that he conducted an intake examination of the defendant on October 7, 1987, and observed no bruises, cuts, swellings, sores, or bandages on the defendant at that time. Moreover, the defendant did not complain to Kinzie of any injuries. The parties also stipulated that the defendant had been convicted of armed robbery, unlawful restraint, and aggravated battery in October 1982.

The trial judge denied the defendant's suppression motion. The judge rejected the defense assertions that Miranda warnings were never given to the defendant, that the defendant requested counsel, and that police coerced the defendant, either physically or psychologically. Noting that the medical evidence contradicted the defendant's claim that he had been physically mistreated, the judge also said that he disbelieved the defendant's other testimony regarding coercion. Finally, the judge believed that conduct of the officers toward Mitchnick would be significant only if what was said to her was later communicated to the defendant. The judge found, however, that threats of that nature had not been made to the defendant.

The State must establish the voluntariness of a defendant's confession by a preponderance of the evidence. ( People v. R.D. (1993), 155 Ill. 2d 122, 134, 184 Ill. Dec. 389, 613 N.E.2d 706; People v. King (1986), 109 Ill. 2d 514, 525, 94 Ill. Dec. 702, 488 N.E.2d 949; Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 38, par. 114-11(d); see Lego v. Twomey (1972), 404 U.S. 477, 489, 30 L. Ed. 2d 618, 627, 92 S. Ct. 619, 627.) Voluntariness will be determined by considering the totality of the circumstances. ( People v. Smith (1992), 152 Ill. 2d 229, 253, 178 Ill. Dec. 335, 604 N.E.2d 858; People v. Melock (1992), 149 Ill. 2d 423, 447, 174 Ill. Dec. 857, 599 N.E.2d 941; People v. Clark (1986), 114 Ill. 2d 450, 457, 103 Ill. Dec. 102, 501 N.E.2d 123.) The trial judge's finding will be upheld on review unless it is against the manifest weight of the evidence. People v. Jones (1993), 156 Ill. 2d 225, 242-43, 189 Ill. Dec. 357, 620 N.E.2d 325; People v. Evans (1988), 125 Ill. 2d 50, 77, 125 Ill. Dec. 790, 530 N.E.2d 1360; People v. Kincaid (1981), 87 Ill. 2d 107, 120, 57 Ill. Dec. 610, 429 N.E.2d 508.

Applying these precepts to the case at bar, we see no reason to disturb the trial judge's ruling in the present case. The State presented sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the defendant made his statements "freely, voluntarily, and without compulsion or inducement of any sort." ( Clark, 114 Ill. 2d at 457.) The trial judge will assess the credibility of the witnesses ( People v. Ramey (1992), 152 Ill. 2d 41, 58, 178 Ill. Dec. 19, 604 N.E.2d 275), and here the judge found the State's witnesses to be more credible and rejected the defendant's explanations for his statement. Accepting Mitchnick's testimony as true, and her allegation that the officers threatened to release her name to the news media, as she testified, we are not persuaded that the trial judge erred in denying the defendant's suppression motion. The defendant must still show that the police overcame his will and compelled him to provide the statement he now seeks to suppress. As we have stated, however, the trial judge in the present case found that the defendant's testimony lacked credibility. The conduct complained of was directed at Mitchnick, and represented tactics designed to elicit information from her, not from the defendant. ...


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