Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County. No. 98-CF-1486 Honorable Stephen M. Kernan, Judge, presiding.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Maag
Rule 23 Order filed August 17, 2000; Motion to publish granted September 13, 2000.
Orion Ingram (defendant) was indicted for the offense of first-degree murder. Subsequent to a hearing held prior to the trial, the circuit court granted defendant's motion to suppress evidence. The State filed an interlocutory appeal.
The State filed a criminal complaint against defendant on November 16, 1998, for first-degree murder. The court also issued an arrest warrant. On December 11, 1998, an indictment was filed charging defendant with first-degree murder in the death of Aurelious Burris. On August 13, 1999, defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence and a motion in limine seeking to preclude the State's introduction of evidence that he attempted to flee at the time that he was arrested. A hearing on the motions was held on August 25, 1999.
At the hearing, now-retired East St. Louis police detective Gerald Crenshaw testified that the victim was attacked and beaten on October 1, 1998. The case was apparently assigned to Crenshaw approximately one week later. In his grand jury testimony, Crenshaw testified that the victim died on October 8, 1998, after being removed from life support.
Crenshaw interviewed Damon Cobin and Gwendolyn Cherry on October 8, 1998. (Cherry was defendant's cousin, and Cobin was Cherry's boyfriend.) Cobin and Cherry told Crenshaw that defendant and his brother, Clarence Guy, came to Cobin's and Cherry's apartment. Defendant was apparently very excited and "hyper." Cobin and Cherry both observed blood on defendant's clothes and on Guy's shoes.
Defendant told Cobin and Cherry that he had beaten up the victim because he had been selling crack cocaine out of the residence of defendant's grandmother. Defendant also stated that he had struck the victim several times with a tire iron. Cherry said that defendant described the victim's "guts" hanging out of his wound. Defendant repeatedly stated that he knew the victim got his point.
Guy was arrested on November 13, 1998. The next day, he gave Crenshaw a statement regarding the offense. Guy told Crenshaw that after being told that the victim was selling crack cocaine from their grandmother's home, defendant and Guy went to a liquor store for cigarettes. On their way home, they saw the victim sitting in a burgundy car. Defendant confronted the victim and struck him with his fist, knocking him out. Defendant then picked up a wooden board and struck the victim with it several times. After the attack, defendant and Guy went to Cherry's house where they remained for "awhile."
Guy told Crenshaw where he might find defendant. At Crenshaw's request, Guy telephoned defendant, and Crenshaw spoke with him on the telephone. When Crenshaw asked defendant to come to the police station, defendant initially claimed that he did not have transportation. When Crenshaw offered to give him a ride, defendant stated that he did not wish to talk to him. Defendant also told Crenshaw that he would talk to him when he was ready.
Subsequent to this conversation, Crenshaw asked Guy to show him where he could find defendant. Guy, Crenshaw, and Detective Desmond Williams drove to St. Louis, Missouri, in an unmarked police car. The officers did not have an arrest warrant for defendant. Crenshaw claimed that he believed that he had probable cause to arrest defendant, but he did not approach the State's Attorney's office because it was that office's policy that police officers submit proof beyond a reasonable doubt and, ideally, a statement from the suspect prior to seeking a warrant.
Upon his arrival in St. Louis at the apartment that Guy pointed out, Crenshaw, who did not know that building's address prior to his arrival, used his cellular telephone and attempted to telephone the St. Louis police for assistance. Crenshaw stated that he knew that he did not have jurisdiction in St. Louis and that he needed St. Louis police officers present. Crenshaw said that the battery on his cellular telephone was low and that he lost his connection with the St. Louis police. Crenshaw then telephoned his supervisor and asked her to relay his message to the St. Louis police. She obliged and the dispatcher to whom she spoke told her that Crenshaw had contacted them.
Crenshaw stated that he drove to the rear of the building and stopped. He directed Detective Williams to monitor the front of the building. Crenshaw testified that since he was awaiting the arrival of the St. Louis police, he did not knock on the door.
Detective Williams testified that while he was standing at the front of the building, he saw defendant climb out of a window on the second floor. The window appeared to be approximately 10 feet or more above the ground. When Williams saw defendant place one foot and his head out of the window, Williams announced his office and ordered defendant to come down. Defendant said something, climbed back into the room, and closed the window. Williams stated that he assumed that Crenshaw had knocked on the door before defendant began climbing out.
Crenshaw stated that while he was waiting for the St. Louis police to arrive, he heard Williams say that someone was trying to come out of the front window. Crenshaw heard Williams tell defendant to come down. A few seconds later, Crenshaw saw defendant attempting to leave the building by the rear door. Crenshaw arrested him. A few seconds later, the St. Louis police arrived and Crenshaw turned defendant over to them. Crenshaw ...