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People v. Schoening

August 21, 2002

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
GUENTHER H. SCHOENING, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County. No. 99-CF-1111 Honorable F. Keith Brown, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Callum

Released for publication August 29, 2002.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
GUENTHER H. SCHOENING, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County. No. 99-CF-1111 Honorable F. Keith Brown, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Callum

PUBLISH

The State charged defendant, Guenther H. Schoening, with the unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon (720 ILCS 5/24--1.1(a) (West 1998)), the unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia (720 ILCS 600/3.5(a) (West 1998)), and the unlawful possession of cannabis (720 ILCS 550/4(a) (West 1998)). The trial court granted defendant's motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence. Arguing that the trial court erroneously found that police officers executing a warrant to arrest defendant's companion could not ask defendant his name without first giving him the warnings required by Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 16 L. Ed. 2d 694, 86 S. Ct. 1602 (1966), the State appeals. See 188 Ill. 2d R. 604(a). We reverse and remand.

During the hearing on defendant's motion, defendant called Kane County Sheriff's Deputy Steven Collins. Collins testified that at about 12 a.m. on May 5, 1999, he and Deputy Wolf executed a warrant to arrest Colette Welch. They went to 6N531 Essex Street in St. Charles, which, according to the warrant and information obtained from the Secretary of State, was Welch's address. Collins and Wolf arrived in a squad car and were in uniform. As Collins approached the home, he heard the voices of a man and a woman coming from the front window. Wolf covered the rear of the residence.

Collins knocked on the front door and announced his office and the reason he was there. Looking through the window on the front door, he saw a woman approach and then walk into the hallway from which she emerged. Collins knocked repeatedly, and a man approached the door. When Collins repeated the purpose for his presence, the person responded that Welch was getting dressed and would be there shortly. The man went back and forth down the hallway.

After a few minutes, the man, whom Collins identifed in court as defendant, opened the door. Collins asked for Welch, and defendant replied that he thought she was in either the bedroom or the bathroom. By this time, Wolf had returned to the front entrance, and the officers entered the home. Collins testified that defendant never consented to the officers' entry. Collins saw several rifles or shotguns stored in a display case near the entrance. The officers asked defendant to sit on the living room couch while they looked for Welch. Twice, defendant began following the officers as they walked toward the bedroom. In response, the officers handcuffed defendant and sat him on the couch.

The officers found Welch hiding in the back bedroom and arrested her. The officers removed the handcuffs from defendant. As the officers were taking Welch outside, they "waited a moment." They allowed Welch to kiss defendant and, for the purpose of preparing a report, asked defendant his name and birth date. Defendant told the officers that he was Walter H. Schoening and was born on August 3, 1966. At the time, the officers did not know defendant's identity. After obtaining the information, the officers walked Welch outside.

As the officers were escorting Welch to a squad car, she told them that defendant's name actually was Guenther Schoening. The officers ran a computer check and discovered that there were two outstanding warrants for Guenther Schoening. Welch asked for her purse, and the officers returned to the house to retrieve it. The officers knocked on the door and, when defendant answered, they told him that they had come for Welch's purse. Defendant allowed them to enter. After finding the purse near the front entrance, the officers asked defendant if he had any identification. Defendant stated that his identification was in the bedroom, and defendant and Wolf started to walk back to the bedroom area. After defendant stated that his name was Guenther Schoening, the officers arrested defendant and placed him in a separate squad car.

While he was being transported to the sheriff's department, defendant told Collins and Wolf that he had hunted with the guns in the display case. Defendant stated that the guns belonged to his brother. After Collins arrived at the sheriff's department, he learned that Walter Schoening was defendant's brother and lived near the Essex Street address. Also, Collins learned that, about two weeks earlier, Walter was living at the Essex Street address. While at the jail, Welch told Collins and Wolf that defendant owned and used the weapons. A computer search revealed that defendant had been convicted of a felony and did not have a firearm owner's identification card. Collins obtained a warrant to search the Essex Street residence.

Defendant testified that, on the date in question, the officers knocked on the door for about two minutes and two or three times threatened to kick it down. The officers were knocking hard, and defendant could see the door moving in from the jamb. As defendant opened the door, the officers pushed their way in and asked for Welch. Defendant testified that, ...


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