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In re D.B.

March 12, 1999

IN RE D.B., A MINOR (THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PETITIONER-APPELLEE,
v.
D.B., A MINOR, RESPONDENT-APPELLANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Greiman

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. The Honorable Christopher Donnelly, Judge Presiding.

Respondent D.B. was adjudicated delinquent of armed robbery and robbery and committed to the Department of Corrections. On appeal, D.B. contends that his adjudications must be reversed because he received ineffective assistance of counsel where his attorney failed to make certain arguments as to the voluntariness of his statements to the police. D.B. also contends that the case must be remanded for a new Dispositional hearing because the trial court did not have a written social investigation report.

In February 1997, two petitions were filed alleging D.B. to be delinquent. One petition alleged that D.B. committed the offense of robbery on February 24, 1997, and the other petition alleged that he committed the offense of attempted robbery on February 17, 1997. The State subsequently amended the second petition to add counts for attempted armed robbery and armed robbery.

D.B.'s attorney filed a motion to suppress statements made by D.B. The motion alleged that: (1) no reasonable suspicion existed to justify the stop and seizure of D.B. and to justify a custodial investigation; (2) no probable cause existed to justify the belief that D.B. committed any crime; (3) once arrested, D.B. was not given his rights, pursuant to Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694, 86 S. Ct. 1602 (1966), and the police did not otherwise assure him of his right to counsel; (4) D.B. was coerced by the police in that he was told he had to indicate whether he was a lookout or a principal and he made involuntary statements; and (5) the illegal arrest tainted the subsequent identifications by the victims.

On June 27, 1997, the trial court heard evidence regarding the propriety of the arrest. Officer Raymond Cowell testified that on February 25, 1997, he and his partner, Officer Ciukowski, observed D.B. and another person approaching a third individual who was walking toward a car. Ciukowski exited the vehicle and began watching D.B. and his friend. Ciukowski notified Cowell that the individual whom D.B. and his friend were following had entered a car but D.B. and his friend did not approach the car. Ciukowski told him that D.B. and his friend then began running up behind him. Before reaching Ciukowski, another unmarked unit stopped D.B. and his friend. Cowell went to the location and asked D.B. why he was in the area. D.B. informed Cowell that he and his friend planned to take Ciukowski's wallet and beat him. Cowell informed D.B. of his arrest and immediately informed D.B. of the Miranda warnings.

On cross-examination, the officer stated that at the time he was assigned to patrol the area, he had received two robbery case reports, one dated February 17 and one dated February 24. The area he was assigned to patrol was the area in which the prior robberies had occurred. Cowell stated that D.B. and his friend wore clothing similar to that described in the February 24 case report and matched the general descriptions of the offenders. Further, both case reports indicated that the robberies occurred as the victims were walking to their cars and at about the same time in the evening, around 7 or 8 p.m. Because he recognized the similarity between the situations, the officers stopped to follow D.B.

D.B. admitted having a conversation with Cowell but denied telling Cowell that he was about to take Ciukowski's wallet. He stated that he and his friend were just walking and they did not have on the clothing that the officer described. The trial court denied the motion to suppress based on questions as to the propriety of the arrest.

On June 30, 1997, the court conducted a hearing on the remaining issues of the motion to suppress. Officer Cowell testified that when he first arrived after the stop, he and Ciukowski took D.B. across the street to conduct a field interview. D.B. informed him that he and his friend were planning to take Ciukowski's wallet and beat him. Cowell informed D.B. that he was under arrest, and Ciukowski informed him of his rights. D.B. stated that he understood his rights. Cowell put D.B. in his car and asked him if he knew of any street robberies in the area. D.B. stated that he did. Cowell never told him that he had to talk to him, and he never told D.B. that he had to indicate whether he was a lookout or a principal in these robberies. No one in Cowell's presence ever said that to D.B.

Detective Peter Bukiri testified that on February 25, 1997, he was assigned to a robbery investigation. When he approached D.B. to speak with him, D.B. began talking to him and telling him that he was involved in a robbery. Bukiri stopped him and said, "[l]et me tell you your rights." Bukiri read him his rights and D.B. told him that he understood his rights. They then spoke about the February 24 and 17 incidents. Bukiri did not tell D.B. that he had to talk to him, and he did not tell D.B. that he had to indicate whether he was a principal or a lookout.

D.B. testified that after he and his friend were stopped by the police, the officers stated that they had been stopped for two robberies. Cowell stated that D.B. was under arrest. Cowell did not tell D.B. that he had to speak to him, but D.B. stated that he was not given the Miranda warnings. After D.B. and his friend were searched, Cowell put D.B. in the car and said that they were caught for robberies and asked D.B. if he was the robber. D.B. told him that he was not the robber. Cowell told him that a woman had identified him. Then Cowell said that D.B. had something to do with it and asked whether he wanted to be put down for the robbery or the lookout. D.B. told the officer that he had nothing to do with the robbery. Cowell asked him again which role, and D.B. said "[p]ut me down as the lookout."

The court asked D.B. if he was ever given the Miranda warnings. D.B. said "no." However, D.B. stated that when Bukiri started talking to him, he asked if D.B. wanted to call his mother or have a lawyer and D.B. said "no." D.B. denied first talking to Bukiri about the robberies. After Bukiri asked D.B. if he wanted to call his mother, Bukiri asked him if he knew that he was there because of two robberies. D.B. said, "yes," because the police officers had told him that information. Bukiri started asking him what happened. D.B. told him that he left so he did not know what happened. Bukiri asked what D.B. wanted him to put on the paper. D.B. again stated that he did not have anything to do with it, but Bukiri told him that he had to put something down because a woman identified him. D.B. told him to "just put me down as the lookout." He said this because Bukiri told him that, if he put him down for the robbery, it was going to be harder on him.

On cross-examination D.B. testified that he was talking to the officer in the car on the way to the station because he wanted to know what was going on. He denied initiating the conversation.The court found that D.B. was given his Miranda rights at the scene by the officers and that the detective at the station also gave him his rights. The court found that D.B. "was not coerced in any fashion" "[a]nd that he simply talked." The court denied the motion to suppress.

During the bench trial on the February 24 incident, the complainant testified that D.B. and another man approached her as she was walking to her car. D.B. asked if she had any change and she said "no." He looked at her car keys and demanded the keys. He asked for the keys again and said, "I have a gun. If you don't give me your car keys, I will shoot." She took a few steps back and he repeated the threat. The other man, who stood behind D.B., yelled, "[g]o ahead and shoot her." D.B. said, "[g]ive me your purse." She reached for the strap. He took the purse and ran away.

Arlene Adamson, a youth investigator, testified that on February 25, 1997, she was assigned to process D.B. She readvised D.B. of his rights and asked him if he wished to make any statements. D.B. said he understood his rights ...


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