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People v. Hardaway

September 10, 1999


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Zwick

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable Daniel J. Kelley Judge Presiding.

Following a jury trial, the defendant, Derrick Hardaway, was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 45 years in prison. He now appeals his conviction, arguing: (1) that the trial court improperly denied his motion to quash his arrest and suppress evidence, (2) that the trial court improperly denied his motion to suppress statements, (3) that the juvenile court improperly transferred his case to the adult criminal division, (4) that the trial court's voir dire examination was inadequate, (5) that the trial court improperly denied his motion for a continuance based on pre-trial publicity, and (6) that the State's rebuttal argument deprived him of a fair trial. Issues (1) and (2) will be considered in this opinion; issues (3) through (6) will be determined in a separate Supreme Court Rule 23 order disseminated contemporaneously. For the reasons which follow, we affirm defendant's conviction.

The 14-year-old defendant and his brother Cragg Hardaway (the 16-year-old co-defendant), were charged with the first degree murder of 11-year-old Robert "Yummy" Sandifer (Sandifer). Because of his age, defendant's case was initiated in Juvenile Court. Following a transfer hearing, defendant's case was transferred to the criminal division, where he would be tried as an adult. Prior to separate trials, the trial court conducted a joint hearing on the defendants' motions to quash arrest and suppress statements. The pertinent evidence at the hearing established the following.

On August 28, 1994, Sandifer, a member of the Black Disciples street gang, shot 14-year-old Shavon Dean, 16-year-old Kianta Britton and 17-year-old Sammy Seay. Dean died as a result of her wounds. An intensive police search for Sandifer ensued and around 12:22 a.m. on September 1, 1994, Sandifer was found under a viaduct in the area of 108th and Dauphin. Sandifer had been shot twice in the back of the head. Three empty shell casings were found near his body.

In the early morning hours of that same day, Mrs. Cassandra Cooper phoned the police and told them that Sandifer had been at her home at 10609 S. Edbrooke at approximately 11:30 p.m. the night before. The Cooper home is 9 blocks from the viaduct where Sandifer's body was found. Mrs. Cooper told the police that her daughter, Jimesia, saw Sandifer leave the Cooper's porch with Derrick Hardaway and that his brother Cragg was involved. Shortly after 7 a.m. police took Mrs. Cooper and Jimesia to Area Two.

Lieutenant Murphy and Detectives Arbataitis and Lane had been assigned to investigate the murder. After learning that witnesses reported having seen the victim in the company of defendant and co-defendant less than one hour before his death, the three went to the Hardaway home. At approximately 8 a.m., the detectives arrived and spoke to defendants' father at the door. After identifying themselves, Lt. Murphy asked whether Derrick and Cragg were home, explaining that the police were investigating the murder of Sandifer, and they had information that his sons were with Sandifer shortly before his murder. Mr. Hardaway stated that Cragg was not home but that Derrick was home. He brought Derrick to the police in the living room. Lt. Murphy told defendant what he had told his father and asked defendant to accompany them to the police station to help with the investigation. Defendant agreed to go with the officers. Mr. Hardaway also told defendant to go with the police and see what was going on. Lt. Murphy told Mr. Hardaway that defendant would be taken to Area Two police headquarters at 727 E. 111th Street and offered Mr. Hardaway a ride if he wanted to accompany his son. Mr. Hardaway declined, saying he would wait at home for Cragg. The Hardaways lived about 12 blocks from Area Two. Detective Arbataitis gave Mr. Hardaway his business card with his and Lt. Murphy's phone numbers. Derrick left the room unescorted to get dressed and was patted down but was not handcuffed while being transported. Upon arrival, he was placed in an unlocked interview room.

Detectives Arbataitis and Lane interviewed defendant shortly after arriving at the station. Defendant admitted knowing the victim but stated that he had last seen the victim three days previously. Arbataitis left the interview room and spoke to Jimesia Cooper who was in another interview room.

Jimesia told Arbataitis that she had been sitting on her porch at 10609 S. Edbrooke around 11:30 p.m. the previous evening with Mike Griffin and Sandifer when defendant came out of a gangway and approached the group. Jimesia had known defendant for several years and he had slept at the Cooper residence on occasion. Defendant told Sandifer "that he had to go with Derrick, that (Cragg Hardaway) and the boys wanted to take him out of town." Jimesia then saw Sandifer walk through the gangway toward the alley with Derrick and Mike.

The police knew that defendant and his brother were members of the Black Disciples street gang and lived one block from the Coopers. Sandifer's body was found at 12:22 a.m.. A canvass of the neighborhood turned up information that shots had been fired in the area of the viaduct at approximately 12:15 a.m., some 45 minutes after Sandifer left with defendant.

After speaking to Jimesia, Detectives Arbataitis and Lane reentered defendant's interview room. They again asked defendant when he had last seen Sandifer. Defendant repeated that he had not seen Sandifer for three days. Detective Arbataitis then read defendant his Miranda rights and advised him that he could be tried as an adult.

The detectives confronted Derrick with Jimesia's statements. Defendant then changed his story. He told Arbataitis and Lane that at 11:30 p.m. the previous night he was in a car with his brother Cragg when they saw Sandifer on the porch with Jimesia Cooper and Mike Griffin. Cragg told defendant to go get Sandifer. Defendant said he walked to the porch and told Sandifer he had to come with him because they were going to get him out of town. Defendant said that Sandifer and Griffin followed him off the porch and went to the car. Cragg then drove off with Sandifer. Defendant walked home as did Griffin. Arbataitis testified that it was at this point that defendant was no longer free to leave the Area.

Later that same day, Mike Griffin was interviewed and he told the police that defendant had gotten into Cragg's car with Sandifer and defendant refused to give Griffin a ride home because "they were in too deep."

Detective McCann testified that at 4 p.m. he relieved Arbataitis and Lane in the case and he contacted Area Two Youth requesting that a youth officer be assigned to participate in the interview of Derrick. McCann was told that the shift was just changing and a youth officer would assist McCann shortly. At approximately 4:30 p.m. McCann entered Derrick's interview room accompanied by Gang Crimes Specialist Oliver. McCann read defendant his Miranda rights and advised him that if he was charged he could be transferred from juvenile court and tried and sentenced as an adult. Defendant repeated his statement of 10:30 a.m.. McCann testified that he then told Derrick that Mike Griffin had said something different. Derrick told McCann that he did not believe him. McCann then had Derrick walk down the hall and showed him that Griffin was in another interview room.

Derrick then told McCann and Oliver that he did indeed get into Cragg's car with Sandifer and that he was present when Cragg shot Sandifer under the viaduct shortly thereafter.

During the late morning hours of September 1, other police officers had gone to the Hardaway home looking for Cragg, but he was not home. Mr. Hardaway promised to call the officers as soon as he heard from Cragg and told the officers that Cragg had a girlfriend named Shanta.

Gang Crimes Specialist Dennis Cullom testified that around 2:30 p.m., he and Officers O'Neill and Jurek, located Shanta's house. Shanta told the officers that Derrick and Cragg Hardaway had come to her house around 7 p.m., the previous evening. Cragg later received a page and either Cragg or Shanta called the number which appeared on the pager. Shanta and her cousin then drove Derrick and Cragg to "Emma's" house in the area of 108th and Perry. This was at approximately 10:30 p.m., and Shanta did not see them again that night. The officers took Shanta to the area of 108th and Perry, where she identified Emma's house as the one located at 118 West 108th Place.

Shanta accompanied the three officers to the Hardaway home, where Mr. and Mrs. Hardaway were. Mrs. Hardaway paged Cragg who called and agreed to return home. When Cragg arrived, Officer O'Neill explained to him that his brother was at the police station and that witnesses had reported seeing Derrick and Cragg with the victim approximately 45 minutes before he was killed. Cragg asked to speak to the officers outside his parent's presence, so the three officers accompanied him into the kitchen. Officer Cullom then advised Cragg of his Miranda rights and asked him his whereabouts the previous evening. Cragg told the officers that he had been with Shanta the entire night, at which point Officer Cullom told Cragg "he was a liar" and placed handcuffs on him. This happened at approximately 5:30 p.m. Gang Crimes Specialist Cullom also testified that after the shootings by Sandifer on August 28th, the police thought that leaders of the Black Disciples street gang had probably ordered the murder of Sandifer to silence him.

Assistant State's Attorney Theresa Harney testified that she interviewed Derrick at approximately 7 p.m. on September 1. She introduced herself to Derrick and also introduced Derrick to Youth Officer Geraci. Detective McCann was also present for this interview. Harney read defendant his Miranda rights and informed him that if he was charged in connection with the murder of Sandifer, he could be tried and sentenced as an adult. Harney asked defendant to explain to her what the Miranda rights meant and defendant did so. Derrick told Harney the same version of events as he gave to McCann earlier. At 10:45 p.m., defendant gave a court reported statement to Harney in the presence of Geraci and McCann.

Youth Officer Geraci testified that at 6 p.m. on September 1 he was present when Detective Caesar interviewed Cragg Hardaway at Area Two. At 7 p.m., Geraci met Derrick Hardaway with A.S.A. Harney and Detective McCann. In Geraci's presence, Harney told defendant that Geraci was a youth officer and that he was present "as an observer to assist (Derrick) if he had any questions or any problems that I could help him with." Geraci then asked Derrick "if there was anything I could assist him with at that point to which he told me no." Geraci testified that he was also present when defendant gave the court reported statement at 10:45 p.m.

A juvenile probation officer testified as to Derrick's prior contacts with the criminal Justice system. Prior to being arrested for the murder of Sandifer, defendant had 12 court referrals for delinquency, three other court referrals adjusted in Complaint Screening and seven station adjustments.

Mr. Hardaway testified for the defense that he had requested to accompany Derrick to Area Two but the police refused. He also testified that he and his wife placed two telephone calls to Area Two, one at approximately noon and one at 8 p.m. on September 1 and the police officers who answered the phone refused to allow the Hardaways to speak to Derrick. Telephone records indicated that two ...

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