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People v. Lira

January 05, 2001


Appeal from the Circuit Court of the 14th Judicial Circuit, Rock Island County, Illinois, No. 98--CF--1174 Honorable James Teros, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Slater

The defendant, Paul Lira III, submitted to an Iowa police interview accompanied by counsel. During this first interview, the defendant confessed to an Iowa crime. Later the same day, he was interviewed by Illinois police while under arrest in Iowa, but not accompanied by counsel. During the second interview, the defendant confessed to an Illinois crime. The defendant later was charged in Illinois with aggravated battery with a firearm. 720 ILCS 5/12--4.2(a)(1) (West 1998). The defendant moved to suppress his Illinois confession. The trial judge granted the motion based on violation of the defendant's fifth amendment right to counsel under Miranda. On appeal, the State argues that the trial judge's ruling was manifestly erroneous because (1) the defendant did not personally invoke his right to counsel, (2) if the defendant invoked his right to counsel, he was not in custody during the Iowa police interview, and (3) even if Iowa police knew the defendant invoked his right to counsel, such knowledge cannot be imputed to the Illinois police. We affirm.


At the hearing on defendant's motion to suppress, Detective Mike Hutton, of the Moline, Illinois, police department, testified that he received confidential information that the defendant was involved in a shooting in Moline. As a result of this information, Hutton phoned the Davenport, Iowa, police department on December 14, 1998, and spoke with Detective Gerald McCabe. McCabe told Hutton that he also was looking for the defendant regarding an Iowa shooting. McCabe testified that he had no contact with the Moline police department on that day. Moline police records, however, corroborate Hutton's version of events.

McCabe stated that he previously had given the defendant's photograph to the news media with the information that the Davenport police were looking for the defendant. The defendant testified that he received a phone call from a friend on December 15, 1998, saying that the police were looking for him.

Following this conversation, the defendant called attorney David Treimer, who previously represented the defendant. The defendant told Treimer that he heard Iowa police were looking for him and asked Treimer to determine whether this was true. Treimer called the Davenport police department to ask if a warrant was outstanding for the defendant's arrest and he spoke with McCabe. Treimer could not recall whether he learned if a warrant had issued for the defendant's arrest. McCabe told Treimer that the defendant could come to the police station or otherwise be arrested. Treimer told McCabe of his contact with the defendant and that he was willing to surrender the defendant to McCabe that day.

Treimer then phoned the defendant asking him to come to Treimer's office. After the defendant arrived, he agreed to surrender to and be interrogated by the Davenport police. The defendant testified that he told Treimer he was not involved with the Davenport shooting. Treimer testified that he explained to the defendant his right to remain silent and his right to have counsel present during interrogation. The defendant testified that he told Treimer that he would go to the police station to be interviewed only if accompanied by counsel. Treimer and the defendant then went to the Davenport police station at about noon.

McCabe testified that even if the defendant made no statements, he would have been under arrest. According to McCabe, the defendant was actually under arrest as soon as he arrived at the police station.

After McCabe arrived at the police station, Treimer, the defendant, and McCabe entered an interrogation room where McCabe showed Treimer and the defendant a waiver of rights form. Treimer testified that he briefly may have discussed the defendant's rights with him again. The defendant signed the form and McCabe began the interrogation. McCabe testified that the interview was taped.

Treimer indicated to McCabe that he was representing or had represented the defendant in the past. Treimer told McCabe that the defendant needed an attorney and that Treimer was present for the limited purpose of the interview. Counsel stated that the defendant would speak to McCabe in the presence of counsel. The defendant testified that he did not tell McCabe that he would only speak with the officer in the presence of counsel because McCabe never asked him a question about the subject.

During the interview, the defendant admitted to purchasing a gun and delivering it to a residence near the location of the shooting. Because this statement indicated to Treimer that the defendant might have confessed to a violation of Iowa law, the interrogation was terminated by Treimer. He testified that the defendant did not at any time ask to terminate the interview.

Treimer stated that next he probably told McCabe he would be representing the defendant through court appointment, and if not, the defendant would have another attorney appointed. Counsel and McCabe agreed that the interview was concluded. Counsel discussed the defendant's statement with McCabe outside the interrogation room.

McCabe told Treimer that he had no further questions for the defendant. The officer did not re-enter the interrogation room with the defendant. The interview lasted approximately 45 minutes.

Treimer returned to the interview room where the defendant asked Treimer if he would be allowed to go home or if he was going to be arrested. Treimer told the defendant he was certain the defendant would be incarcerated. He advised the defendant not to speak with anyone. The defendant indicated that he did not wish to speak to the police. Treimer told the defendant to allow himself to be arrested and to let Treimer do his job. The defendant was formally arrested following termination of the interview.

McCabe testified that, after the interrogation, he received a phone call from a confidential source saying that the defendant might be wanted for a shooting in Moline, Illinois. McCabe called the Moline police following the interview and advised Lieutenant Brockway that the defendant was in custody in Davenport and that the defendant could be questioned by Moline authorities. Brockway communicated this information to Hutton. Hutton then traveled to Davenport to interview the defendant, arriving at the Davenport police station around 4 p.m.

McCabe testified that he was not present in the Davenport police station after 4 p.m. that day. He stated that he did not communicate to anyone in the Davenport police department that the defendant was represented by counsel on the Iowa offense or that counsel was present during the interview concerning the Iowa matter. McCabe said that he did not inform anyone at the Moline police department that the defendant was under ...

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