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07/15/96 J.E. v. J.E.

July 15, 1996

IN THE INTEREST OF J.E., A MINOR, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
J.E., A MINOR, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. HONORABLE JOHN ROGERS, JUDGE PRESIDING.

As Corrected July 16, 1996. Released for Publication August 29, 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

JUSTICE WOLFSON delivered the opinion of the court:

This case requires us to examine a statutory procedure that routes a juvenile offender into the adult criminal justice system.

The State contends a finding of probable cause at a minor's detention hearing, without more, creates a rebuttable presumption that the minor's case should be transferred from the juvenile court to the criminal court.

In this case, the trial judge at the transfer hearing refused to adopt the probable cause finding made at the detention hearing. He also held the State failed to establish probable cause to transfer on all counts it had charged. The motion to transfer was denied.

We conclude that the probable cause finding made at the detention hearing cannot be used to establish a rebuttable presumption of transfer at the transfer hearing. We also find it is not necessary for the State to establish probable cause to transfer on each charge listed in its motion. For these reasons, we reverse the order denying the motion to permit prosecution of a minor under the criminal laws and remand this case for a new transfer hearing.

FACTS

J.E.'s detention hearing (705 ILCS 405/5-10) was held February 3, 1995. J.E. was two months shy of 17 at the time. The petition for adjudication of wardship contained five charges against J.E.: two counts of aggravated battery, one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm, one of attempt murder, and one of armed violence.

The charges grew out of the shooting of Kenny Mercado (Mercado) on January 28, 1995, at 1637 North Artesian in Chicago.

Officer Joseph Corona (Corona) was the only witness at the detention hearing. He spoke to Mercado about three days after the shooting. Mercado told him he was outside his home when a car pulled up. Someone came out of the car and began shooting at him. Mercado described the car as "a brownish color 98 with very dark tinted windows." There was damage on the left side of the car. One bullet went into Mercado's arm and lodged in his shoulder. He was taken to a hospital.

Corona spoke with Marquis Carter, who said he was walking in the area when the shooting took place. Carter said he saw the car pull up. He described it as a "brownish 98 with very, very dark tinted windows. Then someone came out of the car and began firing. He said he was familiar with the shooter and knew where that person "hung around."

Corona was familiar with a person who drove the described car. Physical descriptions from witnesses matched that person. Corona and others were brought to the 14th district police station, where they looked at photos of gang members. J.E.'s photo was identified as the shooter, although the record is unclear as to which witness made that identification.

J.E. was picked up and taken to the police station for a lineup. Marquis Carter identified J.E. as the shooter.

On cross-examination, Corona said that at first J.E. was tentatively, not positively, identified. Counsel asked:

Q. And Marquis Carter, by the way, is a member of the gang called the Satan Disciples, isn't that right?

The State's objection to the question was sustained on the grounds that it was ...


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