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People v. Wanke

March 01, 2000


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County. No. 92--CF--1504 Honorable Robert G. Coplan, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Inglis

Following a bench trial, defendant, Richard E. Wanke, Jr., was convicted of burglary (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1991, ch. 38, par. 19--1 (now 720 ILCS 5/19--1 (West 1998))) and sentenced to three years' imprisonment. We reverse and remand.

Defendant was charged with the burglary of the Sandy Hollow Golf Course (Sandy Hollow). He waived trial by jury and presented the defense of insanity. The following uncontested evidence was introduced at trial. We will refer to additional facts from the trial as needed during the course of this disposition.

About 2 a.m. on July 13, 1992, a neighbor of Sandy Hollow heard a banging noise in the clubhouse and called the police. Rockford police officers North and Hoshaw responded to the call. North saw defendant run out of a door of the clubhouse, carrying a backpack, and continue across the golf course. North and Hoshaw chased after defendant until North apprehended and handcuffed defendant. Defendant was never out of North's sight during the chase. Defendant wore leather gloves and carried a small flashlight. The backpack contained a set of wire cutters. Neither officer perceived defendant to be incoherent or under the influence of any substance.

A golf course employee testified that a closet, which contained a safe, had been forced open and a crowbar had been wedged into the door of the safe. The telephone lines had been cut.

Defendant claimed that he was insane at the time of the offense. He testified that he did not recall the incident. On his behalf, defendant presented two non-expert witnesses, Diane Chavez and Pastor Bradford Wilson, who each testified about defendant's insomnia, erratic moods, and incidents of blackouts in which defendant could not remember his conduct. Chavez described incidents that occurred in 1995 through the time of trial. Wilson testified about defendant's distraught and agitated condition while defendant was jailed in 1991 and about instances of insomnia and memory loss when defendant lived with Wilson's family while on bond between 1992 and 1995.

Defendant also presented two expert witnesses on his behalf. Dr. Frank Cushing, a licensed clinical psychologist, met with defendant in November and December 1992. He testified that defendant had a "dissociative disorder" that causes persons to be unaware of "where they are, who they are, what they are doing or what's going on." Various life stresses could trigger dissociation because persons with the disorder are unable to cope with their lives on a consistent basis. Dr. Cushing remarked that a multiple personality disorder is a dissociative disorder and might well be defendant's problem. He felt that defendant also displayed some symptoms suggestive of schizophrenia. Because defendant demonstrated an inability to recall events in his life, he was capable of committing a crime while dissociating and then not recalling it afterward. Dr. Cushing opined that defendant suffered from this disorder at the time of the burglary and was unable to appreciate the criminality of his conduct and conform his conduct to the requirements of the law. The second defense expert, William Evans, a therapist and licensed clinical professional counselor, testified that he had had 50 sessions with defendant since June 1992. Evans also believed that defendant suffers from dissociative disorder.

In rebuttal, Dr. Robert Gordon, a licensed clinical psychologist, testified that defendant's history and psychological testing were not consistent with dissociative disorder. He diagnosed defendant as having a generalized anxiety disorder with some depressive and conversion symptoms. He believed that defendant did not suffer from a mental disease or defect and was able to conform his conduct to the law and to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct.

The State also presented Rockford police detective Dave Hopkins. He talked to defendant in 1991 after defendant was arrested for another incident. Defendant was responsive to questions and did not claim to have blackouts or to lose track of time. Several days after he was arrested in 1991, defendant provided Hopkins with specific details and made no claims about losing periods of time. Hopkins also interviewed defendant following his arrest in the present case. Defendant communicated with Hopkins and gave no indication that he had lost track of time or suffered a blackout.

The trial court found defendant guilty of burglary and sentenced defendant to a term of three years' imprisonment. After denying a motion to reconsider sentence, the trial court ordered that defendant receive credit for his 156 days in jail. However, the court ruled that defendant could not receive credit toward his sentence for the period when defendant was on home confinement while on bond or for the period when he was on electronic monitoring. Thereafter, defendant filed this timely appeal.

On appeal, defendant first contends that he was denied a fair trial when the State introduced evidence regarding defendant's post-arrest silence. During the State's case, both officers who arrested defendant testified that, after defendant was handcuffed, they took him to the squad car and asked him for his name and address. Both stated that he did not want to give them any information and that he just wanted an attorney. Later, during its rebuttal case, the State asked Detective Hopkins to recall the conversation he had with defendant two days after the robbery. He testified that he read defendant his rights and that defendant understood those rights; however, defendant did not wish to talk about any possible pending crimes that he might be involved in until his public defender was present. Additionally, during closing argument the State referred to Hopkins's testimony.

The prosecutor stated:

"It's important to note that in 1991 when the defendant talked to Detective Hopkins he gave specific details. And what was the result? He ended up in jail, so it was in 1992 when he was arrested in the act at the golf course that he asks for a lawyer immediately.

It's his right. He has every right to do that, but now we've got this dissociative disorder. We got this insanity. Did he come completely out of the dissociative disorder the moment before he asked for an attorney? When he asked for an attorney he certainly would have to have knowledge that he ...

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