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The People of the State of Illinois v. Raymond Lee

April 24, 2012


Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 00 CR 3709 Honorable Joseph M. Claps, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Cunningham

JUSTICE CUNNINGHAM delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion.

Presiding Justice Quinn and Justice Harris concurred in the judgment and opinion.


¶1 Following a jury trial in the circuit court of Cook County, defendant Raymond Lee was convicted of first-degree murder, robbery, arson, home invasion and residential burglary. Subsequently, he was sentenced to natural life in prison for the murders, to be served concurrently with prison terms of 15 years for home invasion and residential burglary, and 7 years for robbery and arson. On direct appeal, the defendant argues that: (1) the trial court erred in denying his amended motion to suppress his inculpatory statement; (2) he was denied his constitutional right to confront and cross-examine the medical examiner who performed the victims' autopsies and authored the autopsy reports; and (3) under the one-act, one-crime rule, the mittimus should be corrected to reflect only two first-degree murder convictions, one arson conviction, one conviction for home invasion, and one conviction for robbery. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the circuit court of Cook County, but order that the mittimus be corrected.


¶3 This case has an extensive factual background and only the most pertinent facts necessary to resolve the issues are included in this order. On January 3, 2000, elderly brothers Preston (Preston) and Raymond Stofer (Raymond) were robbed and beaten in their home at 1041 W. 112th Place in Chicago, Illinois, and subsequently killed when the home was set on fire. On January 4, 2000, at approximately 10:30 p.m., the defendant was arrested for the crime. On January 6, 2000, while in police custody, the defendant made inculpatory oral and videotaped statements to the police. On January 28, 2000, the defendant, along with co-defendants John Mitchell (co-defendant Mitchell) and Robert Campbell (co-defendant Campbell), were charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder, home invasion, residential burglary, arson and robbery.

¶4 On October 31, 2000, the defendant filed motions to quash arrest (motion to quash) and to suppress his inculpatory statements (motion to suppress). On March 8, 2004, the trial court*fn1 granted the motion to quash, finding that the police had lacked probable cause to arrest the defendant. Thereafter, the State filed a motion for attenuation, arguing that intervening probable cause existed shortly after the defendant's arrest and that his inculpatory statement was sufficiently attenuated from the illegal arrest. On January 5, 2005, at the attenuation hearing, the trial court ruled that the defendant's inculpatory statement was sufficiently attenuated from his illegal arrest. However, upon reconsideration on February 24, 2005, the trial court reversed its previous ruling on the motion for attenuation and found that no attenuation existed. On March 18, 2005, the State appealed the trial court's February 24, 2005 ruling, arguing that probable cause existed for the defendant's arrest. On October 17, 2006, in reversing the trial court's ruling, this court found that the defendant's arrest was supported by probable cause and remanded the matter for a hearing on the defendant's motion to suppress. People v. Lee, No. 1-05-0923 (Oct. 17, 2006) (unpublished order under Supreme Court Rule 23).

¶5 On remand, the defendant filed an amended motion to suppress statements (amended motion to suppress), alleging that his inculpatory statement was involuntary because it was obtained as a product of police coercion and in violation of his constitutional rights. On October 15, 2008, a hearing on the amended motion to suppress was held.*fn2 Sergeant Robert Larson (Sergeant Larson) testified on behalf of the State that on the evening of January 4, 2000, he located the defendant in the vicinity of 112th Place and Aberdeen Street and escorted him to the Area 2 police station. The defendant did not invoke his right to counsel at any time; however, Sergeant Larson stated that he did not advise the defendant of his Miranda rights nor question him regarding the crimes at issue during his contact with the defendant.

¶6 Detective Eileen Heffernan (Detective Heffernan) testified that she was assigned to investigate the murders of Preston and Raymond. On January 4, 2000, at approximately 11:30 p.m., she and her partner, Detective Michael Cummings (Detective Cummings), interviewed the defendant at the police station. Upon their arrival in the interview room, Detective Cummings advised the defendant of his Miranda rights, to which the defendant responded that he understood his rights and he agreed to speak with the detectives. During the 45-minute interview, the defendant provided the detectives with the following alibi: the defendant stated that he was at the victims' home at 10:45 a.m. on January 3, 2000, in order to collect money which Preston had owed him. Raymond informed the defendant at the time that Preston was not home, but that the defendant could return at about 12:30 p.m. The defendant then drove around in his car for awhile with co-defendant Mitchell, smoked marijuana, and met up with co-defendant Campbell and co-defendant Campbell's girlfriend, Karen Blue (Karen). The four individuals then stopped at a gas station and later went to co-defendant Campbell's house, where the defendant stayed until about 3 p.m. Detective Heffernan further testified that on January 5, 2000, at approximately 9 a.m., food was brought to the defendant and she and Detective Cummings spoke with him for a few minutes in the interview room, during which they informed him that they would investigate his alibi. On January 6, 2000, at approximately 1 a.m., Detectives Heffernan and Cummings had another conversation with the defendant after he waived his Miranda rights. During this 30-minute interview, the detectives informed the defendant that several individuals had implicated him in the murders. At no time did the defendant ever invoke his right to counsel. Detective Heffernan denied that Detective Cummings ever physically struck the defendant or made any verbal threats against him in her presence. She denied ever taunting the defendant with the threat of the death penalty or telling him that he had "better not mess with Detective Cummings because he was crazy and would kill him." Detective Heffernan also denied seeing Detective Cummings walk back and forth during the interview with a weightlifting belt and snapping it in front of the defendant, nor did Detective Cummings tell the defendant to "be smart" because this was a "double murder" for which he would receive the death penalty, but that "[i]t's okay if [he] just went in there to get [his] money and something happened that [he] didn't want to." The defendant never complained to Detective Heffernan or anyone else that he had been struck or mistreated by the police. He was not handcuffed at any time during the interviews.

¶7 Detective Cummings' testimony at the hearing on the amended motion to suppress was substantially similar to Detective Heffernan's testimony. Detective Cummings further testified that during the early evening of January 5, 2000, he introduced the defendant to Detective Graziano, who was also investigating the murders. At noon on January 6, 2000, Detective Cummings informed the defendant of the progress of the investigation, that co-defendants Mitchell and Campbell had confessed to the crime and also implicated the defendant, and that Detective Cummings was going to gather evidence from the crime scene and a co-defendant's home. Detective Cummings denied telling the defendant that a woman named Felicia had made a dying declaration which implicated the defendant in the double murder, and denied ever striking the defendant or having any physical contact with him. He further denied making any verbal threats against the defendant or referencing the death penalty during the interviews. Detective Cummings stated that the defendant neither invoked his right to remain silent nor requested the presence of an attorney at any time.

¶8 Retired detective Phillip Graziano (Detective Graziano) testified that he investigated the murders of Preston and Raymond in January 2000. On January 5, 2000, Detective Graziano was introduced to the defendant, who was not handcuffed and appeared physically and mentally well. Detective Cummings was present at the time and asked the defendant if he needed anything to eat or drink or to use the restroom. On January 6, 2000, at approximately 8 p.m., he and Detective Judge advised the defendant of his constitutional rights, which the defendant acknowledged he understood. Detective Graziano then told the defendant that he knew how and when the crime occurred. Detective Graziano then commented to the defendant that "isn't it better to be known as a liar and a thief than a killer of old men?" He further informed the defendant that he believed that Preston had gotten "the better of [the defendant]" during a physical altercation and that the defendant struck Preston's head with a steam iron from the dining room area. Detective Graziano also expressed his belief that the defendant had taken money from Preston's pocket. In response, the defendant stated that he did not set the house on fire and made incriminating statements regarding the events of January 3, 2000. Detective Graziano denied making or seeing anyone make a promise to the defendant that he would only be charged with strong-arm robbery, which carried a seven-year sentence, if he confessed. During the entire 20 to 30 minutes of conversation, the defendant never asked to speak with an attorney. The defendant did not complain to Detective Graziano of any ill treatment by the police nor did Detective Graziano ever observe any police officers physically or verbally threaten the defendant.

¶9 Assistant State's Attorney George Canellis (ASA Canellis) testified that when he arrived at the police station on January 6, 2000, at approximately 10 p.m., the defendant appeared fine, had no complaints or visible physical injuries, and was not handcuffed. ASA Canellis advised the defendant of his Miranda rights, which the defendant acknowledged he understood and stated that he wished to speak with ASA Canellis.

ASA Canellis then spoke with the defendant for about 30 to 40 minutes, during which the defendant made incriminating statements about the crime. At about 2:30 a.m. on January 7, 2000, ASA Canellis, in the presence of Detective Judge, offered the defendant a number of ways to memorialize his statement. The defendant chose to videotape his incriminating statement, at which point Detective Judge left the interview room and the defendant privately told ASA Canellis that he had been treated "okay" by the police, that he had been given food and drink, that he was giving the statement freely and voluntarily, and that no force was used to obtain his statement. The defendant also never informed ASA Canellis that any threats or promises were made by the police. The defendant then signed a videotape consent form and, at 4 a.m., made a videotaped statement regarding the events of the crime in the presence of ASA Canellis and Detective Judge. In the videotaped statements, the defendant reiterated that he had not been mistreated by the police and that he was giving the statement freely and voluntarily. ASA Canellis further testified that the defendant never invoked his right to counsel nor informed ASA Canellis that he had previously asked the police for an attorney. ASA Canellis noted that the defendant never told him that the police made any promises or threats to him; specifically, the defendant never mentioned that the police had promised a lesser charge of strong-arm robbery if he confessed.

¶10 The parties then stipulated that, if called to testify, Cermak Health Services medical intake paramedic Charles Spivey (Paramedic Spivey) would testify that on January 8, 2000, he examined the defendant and found no signs of physical injury, nor did the defendant complain of any injuries.

¶11 Defense presented the testimony of several witnesses. Terry Barnett (Terry) testified that on January 4, 2000, when the police arrested the defendant in front of Terry's home, the defendant told the police officers that "I don't want to say nothing, I want a lawyer."

¶12 Dedrick Scales (Scales) testified that on January 5, 2000, he went to the police station where he spoke with police officers regarding the offense at issue. Scales stated that he was repeatedly denied his requests for an attorney, and that Detective Cummings threatened to charge him with murder if he did not tell the truth. The police officers never advised him of his constitutional rights. On cross-examination, Scales stated that an assistant State's Attorney had advised him of his Miranda rights, which he waived by agreeing to speak with her, and that he signed a handwritten statement. He also informed the assistant State's Attorney that he was treated "fair" and "well" by the police.

¶13 Theodore Macklin (Macklin) testified that he voluntarily went to the police station on January 4, 2000 and spoke with Detective Cummings, who told Macklin that he was in trouble for murder. Detective Cummings slapped his face several times, causing Macklin to lose an earring, and pushed him out of his unlaced shoes. The police officers also failed to heed Macklin's requests for an attorney, but he was eventually able to confer with an attorney his mother had sent to the police station. Macklin stated that he was at the police station for three days and that the police gave him food that had been partially eaten and a soda that was already open. Macklin also voluntarily submitted to a lie detector test, but never informed the polygraph examiner, ASA Canellis or the grand jury that he was mistreated by the police. Rather, he indicated that he was treated "okay" by the police officers. Subsequently, Macklin's mother filed a complaint with the police department regarding his mistreatment by the police; however, Macklin later chose not to pursue the complaint.

ΒΆ14 The defendant testified that he was arrested on January 4, 2000, and that the arresting police officers mirandized him in the police car, at which time he invoked his right to remain silent and right to counsel. Upon his arrival at the police station, he was placed in an interview room for 30 minutes before Detectives Cummings and Heffernan appeared. The detectives never told the defendant that he was not obligated to speak with them, nor did they advise him of his rights to an attorney and to remain silent. When the defendant invoked his right to counsel, Detective Cummings began slapping his face and accusing the defendant of murder. Detective Heffernan also told the defendant that he was "going to get the death penalty for the murders. Your family is going to be *** watching it on TV. They're going to be picketing the County trying for [you] not to get the death penalty. Somebody else is going to be raising [your] son, and [your] best friend is going to be [expletive] [your] girl." On the next day, Detectives Cummings and Heffernan came into the interview room and tried to question the defendant, whose request for an attorney was again denied. At some point during the 30-minute encounter, Detective Cummings exited the interview room and the defendant observed him "snapping" a weightlifting belt in an effort to intimidate the defendant. The defendant claimed that during his time in custody, Detective Cummings was "always slapping" him; however, he never reported the physical abuse to ASA Canellis or to Paramedic Spivey, and he never mentioned it in his videotaped statement. The defendant asserted that he eventually provided Detective Cummings with an alibi--namely, that he was at co-defendant Campbell's house at the time of the murders. However, when the defendant later saw co-defendant Campbell's mother, Pat Good (Pat), at the police station, he knew that his alibi was not working because Pat would tell the police that he had not in fact been at Pat's home with co-defendant Campbell until 3 p.m. on the day of the murders. At some point, Detective Cummings also informed the defendant that co-defendants Campbell and Mitchell had implicated the defendant in the crimes, and that Macklin had seen the defendant at the victims' home on the day of the murders and the defendant had threatened to burn the house down. The defendant testified that a detective asked him, "isn't it better to be known as a robber instead of a murderer?" and that the detectives informed him that, if he confessed, he would only be charged with ...

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