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12/23/96 J.E. AND V.B. v. J.E. AND V.B.

December 23, 1996

IN RE J.E. AND V.B., MINORS (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
J.E. AND V.B., RESPONDENTS-APPELLANTS).



APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY. Nos. 93 JD 10151, 93 JD 10152. THE HONORABLE LYNNE KAWAMOTO, JUDGE PRESIDING.

Released for Publication February 13, 1997.

Presiding Justice Cousins delivered the opinion of the court: Leavitt and Gordon, JJ., concur.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cousins

PRESIDING JUSTICE COUSINS delivered the opinion of the court:

Minor respondent J.E. was found to be a delinquent juvenile in that he committed the offenses of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated battery, two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm, armed violence and aggravated assault. Minor respondent V.B. was also found to be a delinquent juvenile in that he committed armed violence and two counts of aggravated battery. Both respondents were committed to the Department of Corrections. On appeal, the respondents contend that the trial court: (1) erred in denying their motions to suppress statements they made to police officers; (2) lacked jurisdiction to enter a delinquency finding and a dispositional order committing V.B. to the Department of Corrections; and (3) abused its discretion in excluding J.E.'s parents from the adjudicatory hearing.

BACKGROUND

Prior to trial, motions to suppress statements were filed alleging, inter alia, that the statements J.E. and V.B. made to investigating officers on the night of the offense should be suppressed because the statements were coerced. At the hearing on the motion to suppress, Officer Kwasinski testified that, on August 9, 1993, at approximately 9 p.m., he and Officers Mok and Rice responded to a shooting at 3601 W. Foster and were conducting a search for the offenders. Approximately 20 minutes after the shooting, the officers saw J.E. and V.B., who fit the description of the wanted offenders. The officers asked J.E. and V.B. to take a ride in the police car to participate in a showup approximately one block away. J.E. and V.B. were arrested after being identified in the showup. On the way to the police station, Officer Kwasinski advised J.E. and V.B. of their rights. J.E. and V.B. stated that they understood their rights and that they did not know anything about the shooting. Officer Kwasinski testified that, when they arrived at the police station at 9:15 p.m., the juveniles were separated so that they could not confer with one another. J.E. was placed in the "tact" office, a 10-foot by 13-foot room with desks and a table. Officer Rice was with him. V.B. was placed in an interview room with a pop machine, a long bench and two tables. Officer Mok was with him. Officer Kwasinski testified that he re-advised J.E. of his rights, stopping to ask him if he understood each individual right as it was given. After stating that he understood each right, J.E. said he did not have anything to do with the shooting. Officer Kwasinski also re-advised V.B. of his rights, stopping to ask him if he understood each individual right as it was given. After stating that he understood each right, V.B. said he did not have anything to do with the shooting. Officer Kwasinski then left the station to notify the respondents' parents. When Officer Kwasinski arrived at J.E.'s house, he informed J.E.'s mother that J.E. had been arrested, that he was located at the 17th district police station and that she should go to the station. Also, after receiving the mother's permission, Officer Kwasinski searched J.E.'s room. He then went to V.B.'s residence, but he was unable to make contact with anyone who knew V.B. Officer Kwasinski stated that he returned to the police station between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Upon arriving at the station, Officer Kwasinski saw J.E.'s mother and he had a brief conversation with her. He denied preventing J.E.'s mother from seeing her son, and he also denied hitting or threatening J.E.

Officer Mok testified that he arrested respondents after the shooting incident. The police officers transported respondents to the police station, and they arrived at the station at approximately 9:15 p.m. Respondents were separated. J.E. was placed in the tact office and handcuffed to a pole in the room. Officer Mok testified that he never saw anyone threaten or hit J.E. On cross-examination, Officer Mok stated that when J.E.'s mother asked to see her son, Officer Mok responded, "You cannot see your son at the moment." Officer Mok further testified that he did not see anyone hit V.B. or hear any screaming or witness any injury to V.B.

Officer Rice testified that the respondents were not questioned regarding the shooting on the way to the police station, but they were given their Miranda rights. He stayed with J.E. in the tact office for over four hours. Officer Rice stated that he first learned that J.E.'s mother was at the police station when the officer on duty at the desk notified him on the intercom system. J.E.'s mother then came into the tact office and spoke with J.E. The mother then returned to the lobby. Officer Rice testified that he did not hit or threaten J.E. or V.B. He also did not witness anyone hit or threaten them.

Detectives Bogucki and Schalk were assigned to the case and arrived at the police station at approximately 10 p.m. The detectives spoke with the arresting officers, interviewed a witness and then left to interview the victim at Children's Memorial Hospital. The detectives testified that they saw J.E. and V.B., but they did not interrogate them prior to going to the hospital. The detectives saw J.E.'s mother at the police station, and they informed her that they were waiting for the youth officer. They did not ask J.E.'s mother if she would like to see her son or if she wanted to be present when her son was questioned.

Youth officer Hedy Woods testified that she was assigned to the case at approximately 12:30 a.m. She arrived at the station at 1 or 1:15 a.m. Officer Woods testified that she spoke with the detectives, reviewed the police reports and spoke with J.E.'s mother. Officer Woods spoke with J.E.'s mother several times throughout the night, giving her updates on what was occurring with J.E. Officer Woods testified that J.E.'s mother did not ask to speak with her son. After Officer Woods spoke with J.E.'s mother, she spoke with J.E. Detectives Bogucki and Schalk were present. J.E. told Officer Woods that he knew his mother was in the police station, but he never asked for his mother to be present. Officer Woods gave J.E. his Miranda rights. J.E. made a statement about the shooting. Officer Woods testified that J.E. never indicated that he had been mistreated by the police. She did not see any marks, bruises or injuries on J.E.

Officer Woods then spoke with V.B. Detectives Bogucki and Schalk were also present. Officer Woods informed V.B. that she was a youth officer, but she did not explain the function of a youth officer. She then learned that officers had gone to V.B.'s residence in an attempt to locate his parents, but no one was home. Officer Woods tried to call V.B.'s home telephone number, but no one answered. She asked V.B. where his mother was, and he responded that she was with a friend, but he did not know the friend's address or telephone number. V.B. stated that his father lived in Florida, but he did not know his telephone number. Officer Woods then read V.B. his Miranda rights, and V.B. made a statement regarding the shooting. Officer Woods testified that V.B. did not tell her that he had been struck or threatened and it did not appear that he had been crying. She also did not see any marks, bruises or injuries on V.B.

At the close of the State's case, the court denied defense counsel's motion for a directed finding.

J.E. testified that he was arrested with V.B. by three uniformed police officers, transported a short distance and told that they had been identified. On the way to the police station, he was asked about the location of the gun. Once at the station, J.E. and V.B. were taken to a room together, handcuffed to rings in the wall and questioned about the location of the gun. J.E. stated that he did not have a gun. He testified that a tall, white, middle-aged police officer came into the room, threatened him, cursed at him and called him a "pussy." He further testified that this officer said he would like to catch J.E. in a dark alley and do to him what J.E. had done to the boy that got shot. The officers informed J.E. and V.B. that they did not find a gun and then removed V.B. from the room. J.E. stated another group of officers came into the room and called him a liar and told J.E. that he would be hit each time that J.E. said "I don't know." J.E. testified that he was hit with a fist in the chest and in the face. J.E. started to cry. V.B. returned to the room and he was handcuffed to the wall. Two officers then came into the room and stated that the victim had died and that he and J.E. were now going to be charged for murder. J.E. testified that he and V.B. began to cry and the police officers laughed. J.E. then made a statement incriminating himself. He said he made the statement because he was scared and he had been hit. He testified that he had not been read his Miranda rights prior to the statement.

J.E. further testified that after he had been at the police station an hour, he became aware that his mother was there. When he turned to talk to her, the officers pushed him into a room. The officers told him he could not see his mother. After several hours, J.E. was taken to a youth officer. J.E. testified that the youth officer read him his rights for the first time. After he made the statements, the officers read the statement to him and asked if it was correct. J.E. admitted that he did not ask to have his mother present during questioning.

J.E.'s mother testified that she immediately went to the police station when the officers came to her house and informed her that J.E. was being held in connection with a shooting. When she arrived at the station, she asked to see her son and was told that she could not see him until the youth officer arrived. When the youth officer arrived, she told the mother that she would be permitted to see her son after he gave a statement. J.E.'s mother testified that she requested to be with her son during questioning, but the officers refused. When the youth officer arrived, J.E.'s mother saw and spoke to J.E. J.E. told her that a police officer had slapped him and beaten him up. However, she did not see any marks or bruises on him. She also testified that she heard J.E. scream, but she did not complain to anyone about it. She also did not tell anyone about her son's complaint regarding being beaten up. She stated that when she spoke with J.E., he told her that he told the police that he had "done it."

At the conclusion of her testimony, the State requested that J.E.'s mother remain outside the courtroom because she was a potential rebuttal witness. The defense raised no ...


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