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People v. Gonzalez

July 15, 2004

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
MARCELINO GONZALEZ, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Kane County. No. 01-CF-390. Honorable Philip L. DiMarzio, Judge, Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Grometer

PUBLISHED

Following a jury trial in the circuit court of Kane County, defendant, Marcelino Gonzalez, was convicted of one count of attempt (first-degree murder) (720 ILCS 5/8--4(a), 9--1(a)(1) (West 1998)), four counts of aggravated battery with a firearm (720 ILCS 5/12--4.2(a)(1) (West 1998)), and five counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm (720 ILCS 5/24--1.2(a)(2) (West 1998)). The trial court merged defendant's convictions of aggravated discharge of a firearm into his other convictions. The court sentenced defendant to consecutive terms ranging from six to nine years on each of the four convictions of aggravated battery with a firearm and a term of 14 years' imprisonment on the attempt conviction. The court ordered the sentence for attempt to run concurrently to the sentences for aggravated battery with a firearm. On appeal, defendant argues that the trial court erred in denying his pretrial motion to suppress his confession. Alternatively, defendant contends that the sentences imposed on his convictions of aggravated battery with a firearm should be modified to run concurrently because there was no evidence that the victims suffered severe bodily injury. We affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

On July 2, 1998, at approximately 7:40 p.m., a shooting occurred at Copley One Park in Aurora. Justin Cavazos, Samuel Perez, Guillermo Pacheco, and Sergio Castellanos were wounded in the shooting. Shortly after the incident, defendant was apprehended. After being taken to the Aurora police department, defendant made a taped statement in which he confessed to participating in the shooting. Defendant was approximately 16 years 10 months old at the time of the offense. Following a hearing, defendant's case was transferred from juvenile court to the adult division of the criminal court for prosecution.

Prior to trial, defendant filed a motion to suppress his statement. In the motion, defendant asserted that the statement he made to the police was not voluntarily, knowingly, and intelligently made because the officers who questioned him never (1) contacted his parents; (2) inquired into his educational background or mental capacity; (3) employed the use of a juvenile officer; or (4) made any other attempts to treat defendant differently than an adult suspect. A hearing on the motion commenced on January 16, 2002, at which the following evidence was adduced.

Officer Jeffrey Sauer of the Aurora police department testified that at approximately 10:33 p.m. on July 2, 1998, he interviewed defendant in connection with the shooting. The interview took place in an interview room of the special operations unit of the Aurora police department. The room was fitted with equipment used to make video and audio recordings. Because defendant was only 16 years old, Investigator Robert Downs, a certified juvenile officer, was also present.

After Sauer obtained defendant's consent to record the interview, Downs asked defendant whether he understood and read English. Defendant informed Downs that he had some problems reading English. Downs then read defendant his Miranda rights from a preprinted form. After reading each of the five enumerated rights, Downs asked defendant whether he understood them. Defendant responded in the affirmative. Downs then gave defendant the form, which provided:

"RIGHTS OF THE ACCUSED YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT[.] ANYTHING THAT YOU SAY CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU IN A COURT OF LAW.

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO TALK TO A LAWYER AND HAVE HIM PRESENT WITH YOU WHILE YOU ARE BEING QUESTIONED.

IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY, ONE WILL BE APPOINTED TO REPRESENT YOU BEFORE ANY QUESTIONING, IF YOU WISH.

YOU CAN DECIDE AT ANYTIME TO EXERCISE THESE RIGHTS AND NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS OR MAKE ANY STATEMENTS.

WAIVER OF RIGHTS

I HAVE HAD THE ABOVE RIGHTS EXPLAINED TO ME[,] AND I UNDERSTAND WHAT MY RIGHTS ARE.

NO PROMISES OR THREATS HAVE BEEN MADE TO ME AND I AM WILLING TO ANSWER QUESTIONS.

SIGNATURE: ____________________________

WITNESSED BY _________________________

WITNESSED BY _________________________

DATE: __________________________________ TIME: ...


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