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People v. Pettis

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District

May 14, 2015

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
KEVIN P. PETTIS, Defendant-Appellee

Appeal from Circuit Court of Champaign County. No. 13CF1092. Honorable Heidi N. Ladd, Judge Presiding.

Julia Rietz, State's Attorney, of Urbana (Scott M. Bennett, Assistant State's Attorney, and Patrick Delfino, David J. Robinson, and Kathy Shepard (argued), all of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

Michael J. Pelletier, Jacqueline L. Bullard, and Joel C. Wessol (argued), all of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Springfield, for appellee.

Harris, Justice concurred in the judgment and opinion. Justice Appleton dissented, with opinion.

OPINION

Page 745

HOLDER WHITE, JUSTICE.

[¶1] In July 2013, the State charged defendant, Kevin P. Pettis, by information with (1) armed habitual criminal (720 ILCS 5/24-1.7(a) (West 2012)), (2) aggravated unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon (730 ILCS 5/5-5-3(c)(2)(F) (West 2012); 720 ILCS 5/24-1.1(e) (West 2012)), and (3) reckless discharge of a firearm (720 ILCS 5/24-1.5(a) (West 2012)). In December 2013, defendant filed a motion to quash the warrant and suppress evidence and a motion requesting a Franks hearing pursuant to Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154, 98 S.Ct. 2674, 57 L.Ed.2d 667 (1978). In February 2014, the trial court suppressed the evidence seized, finding (1) no probable cause to support the search warrant and (2) the good-faith exception was inapplicable. On appeal, the State argues these findings were in error. We reverse and remand, concluding the issuing judge had a substantial basis for concluding probable cause existed. Further, we decline to consider whether defendant failed to meet the threshold necessary to warrant a Franks hearing.

[¶2] I. BACKGROUND

[¶3] On July 7, 2013, at approximately 3:19 a.m., officers responded to a " shots fired" call. As part of the investigation, Officer John Lieb composed two complaints for search warrants with individual affidavits attached to each. The complaints sought warrants to search (1) 407 South State Street, Apartment 5, Champaign, Champaign County, Illinois (Apartment 5); and (2) a tan-colored Chevrolet Tahoe bearing the vehicle identification number of 1GNEK13R2XJ461650 and Illinois registration number P686056 (Vehicle). That morning, the complaints and

Page 746

affidavits were presented to Judge Richard Klaus. The record indicates the only facts presented to Judge Klaus were those contained in the affidavits. The affidavit for Apartment 5, in relevant part, is as follows:

" [O]n July 7, 2013[,] at approximately 0319 hours [Officer Lieb] investigated a shots fired report where the reporting party, [S.S.R.] ***, advised she witnessed [defendant] *** fire a handgun in the air as he was driving a tan colored Chevrolet Tahoe bearing Illinois registration P686056.
[S.S.R.] advised she knows [defendant] on sight and spoke directly to him prior to him firing the weapon in the air.
[S.S.R.] pointed out where the Tahoe was located in the parking lot when [defendant] fired the handgun out the driver's window. Officers located one shell casing in the same area that was pointed out by [S.S.R.].
[O]n July 7, 2013[,] at approximately 0328 hours officers located [defendant] in the common area of 407 South State Street. Officers advised he may have been inside his apartment prior to their arrival. [Sergeant Matt Crane] called Francis H. Anastasia ***[,] the property manager of 407 South State[,] who confirmed [defendant] currently lives at 407 Sout [ sic ] State Street apartment #5.
[O]n July 7, 2013[,] at approximately 4:30 am[,] [Officer Lieb] drove by the apartment complex and confirmed that it is legally addressed as [407 South State Street, Apartment 5, Champaign, Illinois]."

The affidavit for the Vehicle, in relevant part, is as follows:

" [T]hrough the official performance of his duties, [Officer Lieb] has come to know that a [tan-colored Chevrolet Tahoe with Illinois registration number] P686056 has been used in the performance of unlawful use of a weapon and/or aggravated discharge of a firearm. [O]n July 7, 2013[,] at approximately 0319 hours the Champaign Police Department received a report of shots fired near Oak Wood Trace apartments.
[W]hile speaking to [S.S.R.] *** she advised she spoke to [defendant] *** on this night. They argued because [S.S.R.] told [defendant] to leave the parking lot and this upset [defendant]. He advised he would not leave so [S.S.R.] said she was calling the police. As she ...

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