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July 16, 1996


Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County. No. 93-CF-785. Honorable James K. Donovan, Judge, presiding.

The Honorable Justice Goldenhersh delivered the opinion of the court. Hopkins, P.j., and Maag, J., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Goldenhersh

JUSTICE GOLDENHERSH delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a jury trial in the circuit court of St. Clair County, defendant, Lorenzo Fayne, was convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of Aree Hunt, age six. The jury found defendant eligible for the death penalty but ultimately recommended a sentence other than death. The trial court sentenced defendant to natural life in the Department of Corrections. Defendant now appeals his conviction, arguing that the trial court erred in denying defendant's motion to suppress his confession because (1) defendant invoked his right to counsel, but custodial interrogation did not cease, and (2) defendant's rights to due process and equal protection under the United States and Illinois Constitutions were violated and, consequently, all Miranda waivers are invalid. Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694, 86 S. Ct. 1602 (1966). We affirm.


The facts of this case are as follows. On July 24, 1993, defendant, age 23 at the time of trial, was arrested in conjunction with the murder of another victim, Faith Davis. All told, defendant would confess to five murders in the Metro-East area. The East St. Louis Fire Department was called to the home of Davis in order to extinguish a fire. Upon investigating that fire, it was determined that Davis had been murdered. A trail of blood led from the home of Davis to the home of defendant's grandmother, where defendant was residing. After police talked to witnesses, defendant was arrested and brought in for questioning. The East St. Louis Police Department contacted the Illinois State Police to assist in the investigation.

Special Agent Joe Bates of the Illinois State Police, an 11-year veteran of the Illinois State Police, interviewed defendant for the first time on the morning of July 24, 1993. Questioning took place at the East St. Louis Police Department. Defendant was given his Miranda warnings at 10:45 a.m. and made a statement at 11:50 a.m. Defendant implicated himself in a burglary at the home of Faith Davis, but not in her murder. Bates immediately told defendant that he did not believe what defendant told him and that he would see to it that defendant was placed in jail if defendant was at all involved in her death.

On July 25, 1993, Bates applied for an arrest warrant and a search warrant, both of which were issued. On July 26, 1993, defendant was arraigned by a judge other than Judge Donovan on the charge of residential burglary. The defendant was charged by criminal complaint. No record of that proceeding exists, other than a court order reflecting the arraignment and a plea of not guilty. The order fails to reflect whether defendant indicated private counsel, whether the public defender was appointed, or whether the issue of counsel even arose.

On July 27, 1993, Bates, along with Detective Crenshaw of the East St. Louis Police Department, went to the jail to talk with defendant. At that time, police officers failed to give defendant the Miranda warnings, and defendant indicated that he did not want to talk about the case. On Thursday, July 29, 1993, Bates returned to the jail to talk to defendant. Bates did advise defendant of his Miranda rights at this time. According to Bates, defendant indicated that he understood his rights and waived them. Bates testified at the suppression hearing that defendant orally confessed to killing Faith Davis and told Bates he would give a written statement on the following day. Defendant also told him he had other information which would shock Bates. Bates testified that as he was leaving the jail on July 29, 1993, defendant requested him to come back the next day. Bates specifically stated: "He told me that he liked me. I seemed to be like the big brother that he never had. I was the only one that would really listen to him. And he seemed to be very comfortable with me."

On Friday, July 30, 1993, Bates again met with defendant. Bates attempted to give defendant the Miranda warnings again, but defendant did not want to be given the warnings. According to Bates, defendant did not want to take his rights but just wanted to talk. Defendant told Bates that if he waived his rights, what he told Bates could be used in court, but if he did not receive the Miranda warnings, the statement could not be used in court. Defendant requested that a note be signed by Bates indicating the confidential nature of their meeting. Bates testified that in his previous 11 years with the Illinois State Police, a suspect had never made such a request. Bates was unsure how to handle such a situation, but he ultimately signed a note which stated: "This conversation is between Lorenzo Fayne and S.A. Bates and no one else. It is completely confidential." During the ensuing conversation, defendant talked openly to Bates again, admitting involvement in the Davis murder. At the end of the conversation, defendant requested information on the possible punishments he would receive if convicted of homicide. Bates informed defendant that only the State's Attorney could comment on possible punishment. Defendant then requested to talk with a State's Attorney.

On Monday, August 2, 1993, Bates, accompanied by an assistant State's Attorney, Jim Stern, went to the St. Clair County Jail and met with defendant. Defendant was given his Miranda warnings, via a written form which defendant initialed. After signing the waiver of his Miranda rights and being introduced to Stern, defendant asked, "Where is my lawyer?" Bates told defendant he would call the public defender's office and have a public defender sent over to the jail. Stern then explained that if the public defender had not been assigned to the case, "they probably will not come." Bates told defendant, "If one has not been assigned to you, you heard him, they won't come." Bates and Stern then prepared to leave the interview room. Bates buzzed the guard and the two waited for the door to open. As they waited, a general conversation occurred in which Bates explained to defendant that other police officers would come by to talk to defendant about other cases. Defendant shrugged his shoulders and stated: "So what, do they think I'm crazy?" When the door to the interview room was opened, Stern left. Defendant requested Bates to "hold up for a minute." Defendant explained to Bates that the assistant State's Attorney made him nervous and that next time Bates should come back alone. However, defendant knew from previous conversations with Bates that Bates was going on vacation and was in charge of a family reunion. Defendant did not want his case to interfere with Bates's vacation. Defendant told Bates to come back on August 16, 1993, after Bates's vacation and, at that time, defendant would give Bates a written statement in regard to the Davis murder.

On Wednesday, August 4, 1993, Agent Calvin Dye, Bates's partner, received a call at headquarters from someone identifying himself as defendant and requesting Bates to come to the jail and talk to him. On August 10, 1993, Master Sergeant Robyn Blaha, who had been conducting an ongoing investigation in the instant case, the murder of Aree Hunt, was informed by a forensic scientist that a latent print recovered from the thigh of Aree Hunt matched the fingerprint of defendant. Hunt was murdered in July 1989, and the case remained unsolved. Blaha contacted Bates and the two arranged to meet at the jail on Tuesday, August 10, 1993, at 1 p.m. to interview defendant.

On August 10, 1993, defendant was advised of his Miranda rights. The agents told defendant that his fingerprint matched the latent print recovered from the body of Aree Hunt. Defendant requested time to think about the information and asked the agents to return the next day. On August 11, 1993, Bates and Blaha returned and administered Miranda warnings. At that time, defendant confessed to the murder of Aree Hunt. Defendant gave a written statement describing his involvement in the death of Aree Hunt. The statement began at 8:55 a.m. and concluded at 9:50 a.m. At 11:37 a.m., on the same day, Bates returned and again administered Miranda warnings. Defendant then gave a five-page written statement, confessing to the murder of Faith Davis.

On Friday, August 13, 1993, Blaha and Bates returned to inform defendant of articles which had appeared in the Belleville News-Democrat, a general circulation newspaper. Defendant was upset that his grandmother would read the articles and also that Bates had been called off vacation to talk to him. The conversation ended with defendant telling Bates to return to talk with him on August 16, 1993, when his ...

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