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12/29/95 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. DAVID RANDLE

December 29, 1995

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
DAVID RANDLE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. HONORABLE THOMAS J. HETT, JUDGE PRESIDING.

As Corrected January 17, 1996.

The Honorable Justice Wolfson delivered the opinion of the court: Buckley and Braden, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Wolfson

The Honorable Justice WOLFSON delivered the opinion of the court:

After a jury trial, defendant David Randle was convicted of first degree murder, armed robbery, and felony murder. Defendant was sentenced to serve 100 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

ISSUES PRESENTED FOR REVIEW

Defendant presents the following issues for review: (1) Whether defendant was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel; (2) Whether the trial court committed reversible error by refusing to answer the jury's questions during deliberations; (3) Whether the trial court erred in refusing to quash the warrantless arrest of the defendant; (4) Whether the trial court should have suppressed the defendant's statements; and (5) Whether the prosecution failed to prove the offense of armed robbery, as charged in the indictment, beyond a reasonable doubt.

We affirm.

FACTS

THE MOTION TO QUASH ARREST AND SUPPRESS STATEMENTS

The defendant took the stand at a hearing on his motion to quash his arrest and suppress his statements. He testified that at approximately 10 p.m. on January 4, 1991, the police knocked on the door to his trailer. His brother Frank answered. The police asked for defendant. After Frank said defendant was present, the police entered. Neither Frank, nor the defendant, invited the police into the trailer. The brothers were handcuffed and taken to the police station.

The parties stipulated that there was no warrant for defendant's arrest.

Detective James Boylan testified that on December 18, 1990, he arrived at the home of Sophie Lorek. He found Sophie slumped against the kitchen wall. There was a butcher knife at her feet and a pool of blood around her. Blood was splattered on the floor, kitchen table, and refrigerator. The front doors of the house were locked from the inside. The rear door was open and ajar. The bedroom window was broken. Broken glass was on the window sill, undisturbed. A dresser drawer had been removed. Towels were stuffed in the ceiling light, and a blanket hung over the broken window. Small amounts of change were scattered on the kitchen table and in the bedroom area. Based on the physical evidence, Detective Boylan did not believe it was possible for someone to enter the house through the window.

Detective Boylan learned from the victim's neighbors that the victim always carried a snub-nose colt revolver. He also learned that the victim was very cautious. She kept her doors locked, and would only allow people she knew into her home. Mrs. Jones, one of the victim's neighbors, told the officer that Sophie often hired defendant to do odd jobs. Mrs. Jones also told Detective Boylan that she had last seen the defendant at the victim's home on Friday, December 14th. The reports differed as to the last time anyone saw the victim alive.

Detective Boylan learned of an interview other officers had with defendant on December 21, 1991. Defendant told police that he had mowed the victim's lawn a couple of times, but he had not been at the victim's house since the summer of 1990. Defendant's criminal history revealed defendant had been convicted of robbery and burglary. He was presently on parole.

Prior to defendant's arrest, Detective Boylan had conversations with certain anonymous individuals. The police received a large number of calls that defendant was attempting to sell a snub-nose revolver in the neighborhood of the victim's home.

The police also received a report from Officer Tillman, a Chicago police sergeant on leave. Tillman told Detective Boylan that her son told her the defendant was attempting to sell a snub-nose revolver to boys in the neighborhood and that defendant had approximately $1,000 in cash on him.

Based on the information he received, Detective Boylan went to the defendant's home. The officer knocked on the door and defendant came out. Defendant was placed under arrest.

The trial court found the police had probable cause to arrest the defendant.

On a subsequent court date, defendant was allowed to reopen the hearing on the motion. Paula Tillman testified that her only son was not in Chicago in December 1990 or January 1991. Tillman denied that she had told the police her son had any knowledge of the murder.

Detective Boylan and Beverly Draper, a police dispatcher's aid, both testified that they had a conversation with Tillman and that Tillman said that her son told her defendant was attempting to sell a handgun and that defendant had $1,000 in cash. After Draper spoke with Tillman, Draper called Area 2 and told Detective Binkowski what she had learned. Detective Binkowski testified to his conversation with Draper.

Tillman's testimony, which was contradicted by the testimony of Draper, Detective Boylan, and Detective Binkowski, did not change the court's previous ruling. The court found that Tillman had made the statements to Draper and Detective Boylan.

THE MOTION TO SUPPRESS STATEMENTS

At approximately 10:50 p.m, Detectives Boylan and McDermott began interrogating the defendant in an interview room at Area 2 headquarters. Detective Boylan said he read defendant his rights, and, when asked, the defendant stated that he understood those rights. Defendant was interrogated for 10-15 minutes before the detectives left the interview room. During this period of questioning, the defendant denied any knowledge of what happened to Sophie. Detective Boylan testified that defendant stated on the evening of December 14, 1990, he had gone to a motel with his brother Frank and two girls. Defendant said he paid for the hotel room in cash.

Detectives Basile and Wilkins spoke with defendant at Area 2 while Detectives Boylan and McDermott were at 11th and State Streets headquarters with Frank Randle, defendant's brother. At one point, Detective Wilkins left the room. While alone with Detective Basile, defendant made an admission that he was at Sophie's home on the night of the murder.

Detectives Boylan, Basile, and McDermott interviewed defendant for the third time that night. The Felony Review Unit of the State's Attorney's Office was called. Assistant State's Attorney (ASA) Dorothy Matthews came to the police station. Detective Boylan, ASA Matthews, and Detective Basile again interviewed the defendant. ASA Matthews advised defendant of his rights and the fact that she was an attorney working with the police. ASA Matthews reduced defendant's statement to writing and reviewed it with him. Defendant signed the statement, as did ASA Matthews, Detective Boylan, and Detective Basile.

Detective Boylan, Detective Basile, Detective McDermott, and Detective Wilkins all testified that they never employed either physical or psychological coercion on the defendant in order to get him to speak. Detective Basile said he never grabbed defendant by the testicles. ASA Matthews testified that defendant did not appear injured when she spoke to him. Defendant never complained to ASA Matthews of any physical abuse and never said he was in need of medication.

Officer McDermott was not aware that defendant had any seizure medication with him when he was arrested. Defendant never told him that he had a seizure disorder and had medication for the disorder.

Defendant testified that he was asleep in the trailer when four police officers came and knocked on the door, asking for him. Defendant got dressed. He and his brother were taken to the police station, where he was handcuffed to the wall in an interview room. Defendant had his wallet with him. He also had dilantin, which he took for seizures, in his pocket.

Detective Boylan and another detective came in and started asking him questions about Sophie Lorek. The detectives left the room. After 20-30 minutes, Detectives Basile and Wilkens came in and began questioning defendant. The detectives told defendant that Frank had already said defendant "did it." Defendant was left alone in the room with Detective Basile.

Defendant's dilantin was on the table in a plastic bag. Detective Basile dropped the bag on the floor and stepped on it. Defendant told Detective Basile that he needed the medication because he had not taken it yet that day and he was supposed to take it three times a day. He had last taken his medication at 8 p.m. Detective Basile grabbed defendant by the testicles and kept squeezing until defendant said that he stabbed Sophie.

After the assistant State's Attorney left, defendant told the police he needed to take his medication. The police took defendant to Roseland Community Hospital. The emergency room doctor gave him dilantin.

Defendant said he did not read his statement before he signed it. The assistant State's Attorney read it to him. The statement contained in the confession that said he was treated well by the police was not there when he signed the confession. Defendant said he told the doctor at the Cook County jail that his testicles were hurting.

The parties stipulated that if called to testify, Dr. Anthony Alexander would testify that he was employed at Roseland Community Hospital as an emergency room physician on January 5, 1991. Dr. Alexander saw ...


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