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People v. Golden

June 29, 2001

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
TERRENCE GOLDEN, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County No. 96 CR 15347 Honorable Michael B. Bolan, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Cahill

UNPUBLISHED

Defendant Terrence Golden was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to a 40-year prison term. He argues on appeal that: (1) his confession should have been suppressed because it was not made knowingly and voluntarily; (2) he established a prima facie case of purposeful discrimination in the State's two final peremptory challenges; and (3) his sentence is excessive. We also consider an odd occurrence at the close of the trial. After an earlier finding that the defendant's statement about his involvement in the murder was voluntary, the trial court ordered defendant's signature on the statement redacted before it went to the jury. We affirm.

Defendant was charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the February 29, 1996, shooting of Ronald Samuel. Defendant filed a motion to suppress, alleging that his statements to police and the assistant State's Attorney were involuntary. At the hearing on the motion, Chicago police officer Robert Schaefer testified that, in the early afternoon of March 3, 1996, he and other officers went to defendant's home to investigate the murder. The officers told defendant's mother that they wanted to talk to defendant about a pending investigation. Defendant was not home, so the officers asked his mother to call them when he returned.

The officers arrested another suspect, Kevin Wright, a short time later. Wright told the officers that defendant was across the street at that time. Schaefer approached defendant on foot and asked his name. Defendant said his name was Terrence Golden. The officer conducted a pat-down search, placed defendant in handcuffs and advised him of his Miranda rights. Defendant said that he understood his rights.

The officers and defendant arrived at the police station at about 3:20 p.m. Officer Schaefer discovered that defendant was 14 years old. Schaefer called defendant's home about 4 or 4:15 p.m. to inform defendant's parents that he was in custody but no one answered the telephone. Chicago police detective Edward Siwek testified that another detective, John Solecki, eventually spoke to defendant's brother-in-law, Ron Davis, and told him defendant was in custody.

Siwek further testified that he spoke to defendant at about 5 p.m. Solecki was present in the room and defendant was not handcuffed. Siwek advised defendant of his rights and defendant said he understood them. Their conversation lasted about 20 minutes.

Siwek testified that he did not speak to defendant's mother at the police station nor was he aware that she was at the station. He said he believed the police report showed that defendant's mother called the station about 6:45 p.m. Defendant never asked to speak to his mother and never indicated that he did not want to speak to detectives.

Assistant State's Attorney Lawrence O'Reilly testified that he spoke with defendant at about 6 p.m. on March 3, 1996. Schaefer and youth officer Daniel Grzyb were also present. Grzyb testified that his duty was to make sure defendant was advised of his rights and that defendant was not physically or psychologically coerced during questioning. The assistant State's Attorney advised defendant of his Miranda rights and that he could be tried as an adult. Defendant said he understood his rights and agreed to give a statement. O'Reilly interviewed defendant again a short time later about how the police had treated him while he was in custody. Defendant said he had been treated "nicely" and that everything was "fine."

O'Reilly further testified that at 8:50 p.m., in the presence of Schaefer, Grzyb and a court reporter, defendant gave a statement. O'Reilly again advised defendant of his constitutional rights. Defendant was not handcuffed. He gave a 27-page court-reported statement. Defendant reviewed the statement with O'Reilly, Schaefer and Grzyb, was given the opportunity to make corrections, and signed the statement. O'Reilly and Grzyb testified that defendant did not ask to see his mother and never said he did not want to speak to the officers or O'Reilly.

Defendant's mother, Jeanette Golden, testified that at least 10 police officers were in front of her house when she returned home from the store on March 3, 1996. Detective Solecki told her he wanted to question defendant about a fight he had been in. Solecki said that one of the boys had been injured. Solecki gave Golden a business card and told her to have defendant call when he returned home. Golden testified that all the officers then left the house, but two remained in a parked car outside the house.

Golden further testified that, between 1:30 and 2 p.m., she went to Bellwood, Illinois, about 30 miles away. In Bellwood, Golden received a telephone call at about 7 p.m. from Ron Davis, who told her defendant had been arrested. But Golden also testified that she and her fiancé left Bellwood shortly after 6 p.m. and arrived at the police station between 6 and 7 p.m.

At the station, Golden spoke to Solecki, who told her that someone from the State's Attorney's office would be out to speak with her. Golden testified that she asked to speak to someone three more times before Solecki returned between 9:30 and 10 p.m. Solecki was surprised that no one had spoken to her yet and told her he would check again. Golden testified that she waited another two hours before the assistant State's Attorney came and told her defendant had been involved in a murder. Golden asked to see defendant.

An hour later, Golden saw defendant. He was seated in a chair and was not handcuffed. He was crying and his lip was bleeding and had a lump on it. Defendant told Golden that one of the officers had hit him in the mouth. Golden testified that she did not speak to the officers about defendant's injury.

Leon Cleveland, Golden's fiancé, testified that he and Golden arrived at the police station sometime after 6 p.m. He testified that Golden did not see defendant until 2:30 a.m.

Defendant testified that in the early afternoon of March 3, 1996, police officers stopped him, asked his name, and then put him and Kevin Wright into a squad car. The officers handcuffed him in the car. They slapped him repeatedly in the back of the head and verbally threatened him on the way to the station. Defendant testified that the squad car stopped suddenly and he hit his head on the front seat.

Defendant further testified that he was placed in a room by himself at the police station. He was handcuffed to a bench and repeatedly smacked on both sides of the face by Officer Schaefer and kicked in the shins by another officer. The officers told him what to say in his statement. Defendant testified that he was not advised of his constitutional rights when he was arrested or before either time he spoke to the assistant State's Attorney. Defendant said his picture was taken at the station and that he signed the back of the photo, which noted the time, date and location. He did not tell the judge at his bond hearing that officers beat him and threatened him. After his arrest, defendant took courses in constitutional rights at the juvenile detention center.

Assistant Public Defender Amy Thompson testified that she was assigned to represent defendant and visited him in April 1996 to discuss his transfer hearing. Defendant told her that the police had hit him while he was in custody and told him what to say in his confession.

The parties stipulated to the testimony of Janine Bostick, a social worker for the State of Illinois Forensic Clinical Services. Bostick interviewed Jeanette Golden on October 31, 1996. Golden told Bostick that defendant was depressed after the deaths of his father, brother and cousin. Golden enrolled defendant in outpatient therapy at Michael Reese Hospital. Golden also told Bostick that, when he was in seventh grade, defendant was in special education ...


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