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08/01/97 PEOPLE STATE ILLINOIS v. SCOTT BALTIMORE

August 1, 1997

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
SCOTT BALTIMORE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 14th Judicial Circuit, Rock Island County, Illinois. No. 93--CF--507. Honorable James T. Teros, Judge, Presiding.

Rehearing Denied October 8, 1997. Released for Publication October 8, 1997.

Present - Honorable William E. Holdridge, Justice, Honorable Kent Slater, Justice, Honorable Thomas J. Homer, Justice. Justice Holdridge delivered the opinion of the court. Slater and Homer, JJ., concurred.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Holdridge

The Honorable Justice HOLDRIDGE delivered the opinion of the court:

Following a bench trial on stipulated evidence, the defendant, Scott Baltimore was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder in the death of Howard Floyd. Defendant was sentenced, only on the first count, to a term of imprisonment of 55 years.

On appeal, the defendant argues that: (1) the trial court erred when it denied his pre-trial motion to suppress his inculpatory statement made to police three days after he executed a written waiver of his Miranda rights; and (2) the trial court erred in summarily disposing of defendant's post-trial claim of ineffective assistance of counsel without conducting a preliminary investigation to determine whether to appoint new counsel to argue the post-trial motion.

We affirm the trial court's ruling on the motion to suppress. We remand the matter with instruction to the trial court to conduct an appropriate inquiry into defendant's claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.

FACTS

At the hearing on the defendant's motion to suppress, Sgt. Ronald Tacey, of the Rock Island police department, testified that he interviewed the defendant on June 15, 1993, at the sheriff's department in Scott County, Iowa, where defendant was in custody for DUI and other traffic charges. At the time defendant was taken into custody, he was driving Floyd's car.

Sgt. Tacey testified that he interviewed the defendant in the presence of Rock Island Police Officer Roy Melton. The officers told defendant they wanted to talk to him about a death investigation, and that Floyd had been found dead. Prior to questioning, the defendant was given a copy of the Rock Island police department waiver of rights form and was asked to read along while Sgt. Tacey read each right aloud. Sgt. Tacey then asked the defendant if he understood each right, and he responded in the affirmative. The defendant was asked if he wished to waive his rights and answer questions, which he also answered in the affirmative. The defendant then signed the waiver form and spoke to the officers.

The defendant told the officers that he and his girlfriend, Cynthia Doss, had been at Floyd's house, that he and Floyd had been drinking, and that he asked Floyd if he could borrow Floyd's car to take Doss home. The defendant stated that Floyd was in the kitchen, alive, when he and Doss left. The defendant then gave a taped statement to the officers, and agreed that he would read over and sign a written transcription when it was available. The officers left to continue their investigation.

Three days later, on June 18, 1993, Sgt. Tacey returned to the Scott County facility, this time with Rock Island Police Officer Michael Noon. The defendant was given the transcript of his previous statement to review. He reviewed each page, making written corrections and initialing them. The transcribed statement contained a reference to the defendant's signing the waiver of rights form. After defendant finished reviewing the transcript, which took 30 to 45 minutes, Sgt. Tacey asked the defendant if he understood his rights and remembered what his rights were, and the defendant answered in the affirmative. Sgt. Tacey did not re-read the Miranda rights and did not ask the defendant to sign another waiver.

Sgt. Tacey then told defendant that they had interviewed his girlfriend and she told them that the defendant had taken some money from Floyd. This caused the defendant to tell Sgt. Tacey and Officer Noon that he had cut an electrical cord from a vacuum cleaner and used it tie up Floyd, and that he took money from Floyd's wallet. He also said that he did not intend to kill Floyd. At that point, Officer Noon asked the defendant if they could tape record that statement. The defendant responded by saying that he wished to speak to an attorney first, at which point the officers immediately terminated the interview.

Officers Melton and Noon also testified at the suppression hearing, and completely corroborated Tacey's testimony. Defendant did not ...


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