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People v. Mabrey

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Fourth Division

November 17, 2016

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
TYRONE MABREY, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 00 CR 18817 Honorable Arthur F. Hill, Jr., Judge Presiding.

          JUSTICE McBRIDE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justice Burke concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          McBRIDE JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 Following a jury trial, defendant, Tyrone Mabrey, was convicted of first degree murder in relation to the shooting death of Manuel Jiminez and sentenced to 40 years in prison. In this appeal, defendant challenges the summary dismissal of his pro se postconviction petition in which he asserted claims of actual innocence and that his confession had been coerced.

         ¶ 2 Because the facts relating to defendant's trial are relevant to our resolution of this appeal, we will recite them below. Prior to trial, defendant filed a motion to suppress, and thereafter an amended motion to suppress, in which he alleged that his videotaped confession, which was taken after three days of interrogation, was the product of police coercion. Defendant specifically stated that he had not been informed of his constitutional rights prior to his interviews with the police and that the officers had coerced his confession by telling him "false statements to the effect of 'you will never see your children again'; and 'we will help you make a self-defense statement to present [sic] a conviction for first degree murder'; 'you do not need a lawyer, you are not getting a lawyer' and 'go along with the program' or 'you will never be released from custody.' " Defendant's motion also alleged that the detectives "coached" him "as to the content of the statements that they wanted him to tell to the Assistant State's Attorney, " and therefore, his statements were involuntary and the introduction of them would violate the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

         ¶ 3 The trial court held a hearing on defendant's motion, at which Detectives Adrian Garcia and Mark Richards and Assistant State's Attorney (ASA) Scott Herbert testified. The witnesses testified consistently that defendant was informed of his Miranda rights prior to the interviews, that defendant agreed to speak to them, and that he provided a series of differing alibis as to his whereabouts at the time of the shooting. After police investigated those alibis and found evidence disproving them, defendant confessed. The witnesses denied making the statements that defendant had attributed to them or coaching him as to what to say. They further testified that defendant was fed and allowed to use the bathroom during the time he was in custody. Defendant did not testify at the hearing and presented no witnesses.

         ¶ 4 The trial court denied defendant's motion, finding that the witnesses were "credible, they were logical, they were internally consistent with each other, they were unimpeached and the video statement also corroborates their testimony." The trial court further found that defendant "was properly advised of his rights, " "was not denied any necessities, " "was not threatened or coerced in any way, " and was not "refused an attorney."

         ¶ 5 Immediately thereafter, the court took up the State's motion to introduce proof of other crimes. The State specifically requested that it be allowed to introduce prior convictions relating to defendant's sale of drugs at the corner of Ohio and Springfield, where the murder occurred. The State contended that proof of other crimes was relevant as to defendant's identity, as it showed that defendant frequented that corner, and as to motive, because it showed that defendant had "a lucrative drug business that need[ed] to be protected." Defense counsel initially maintained that identification would be an issue in the case, as the defense would be "alibi in the sense that he was not there. Hopefully I'll be able to bring somebody in to show where he was when it occurred, which is not going to be the scene here." However, after speaking with defendant, defense counsel retreated from that position, and stated, "Let me correct myself, Judge. An identification is not going to be an issue, Judge, it's not going to be an alibi. The defendant will testify or evidence will show that he was in the vicinity of that alley, he was there, but was not the shooter." The court asked defense counsel, "Let me understand, you're asking to strike the alibi defense?" Defense counsel responded, "I am, Judge." The trial court confirmed that defendant had "talked to [his] Attorney about that" and asked if that was "[defendant's] "request as well, " and defendant responded, "Yes, sir." The court then ruled, "Based on that then the People's motion to introduce proof of other crimes is denied."

         ¶ 6 The following summary of the trial testimony and evidence is taken from this court's December 1, 2003, Rule 23 order from defendant's direct appeal:

"At trial, Orlando Mastache testified that on July 3, 2000, he and his cousins, including Manuel Jiminez, and several girls watched the fireworks show at the Chicago lakefront. Later that evening, he and Jiminez drove to Ohio and Springfield to buy cocaine.
When they arrived in that area, Mastache and Jiminez drove up to three men near a car in the alley. Defendant walked up to the passenger side of the vehicle, where Jiminez was sitting, and said that he provided "24 hour service." He then showed Mastache and Jiminez some rock cocaine in a small plastic bag. Mastache took the bag and bit into the substance to verify that it was cocaine. As a police car approached, defendant grabbed the small bag of cocaine and returned to the car which he had previously been standing near.
Mastache and Jiminez drove away from the area, and upon their return, saw defendant talking to someone in a different vehicle. After that vehicle left, defendant walked up to Mastache's car and told Jiminez to get out.
After Jiminez did so, defendant walked over to a tree and picked up something from the ground. Jiminez and defendant were talking about six feet away, but Mastache could not hear what they were saying. Defendant then extended his right arm and shot Jiminez in the stomach. Mastache heard Jiminez yell and saw him fall back into the bushes. Defendant ran away and Mastache drove Jiminez to the hospital.
There, Mastache spoke to detectives and gave them a description of the shooter. On July 5, 2000, Mastache viewed a police lineup and identified [Todd Hill, ] one of the men he saw in the alley with defendant when Jiminez was shot. Later the same day, Mastache viewed a second lineup and identified defendant as the shooter.
Detective William Fiedler testified that on July 4, 2000, he and his partner, Detective Mark Richards, were assigned to investigate the shooting of Jiminez. About 9:30 a.m., the detectives went to the area of Springfield and Ohio to locate possible witnesses. After interviewing Andrew Jones, the detectives attempted to locate a white Pontiac Sunbird vehicle.
The following morning, Detective Fiedler observed a white Pontiac Sunbird proceeding across an intersection directly in front of him and drove his police vehicle behind it. The driver sped away and Detective Fiedler pursued this car for several blocks. When it stopped, a man, later identified as Todd Hill, ran from the car holding a handgun in his right hand. The detectives apprehended Hill and recovered the handgun Hill threw under a porch stairwell. At the station, Hill provided the officers with defendant's name as a suspect in the shooting of Jiminez.
Detective Adrian Garcia testified that on July 4, 2000, he was assigned to investigate the shooting of Jiminez. Acting on an anonymous tip received the following day, Detective Garcia and other detectives went to an apartment at 1633 West Madison and arrested defendant inside.
About 7:30 p.m., Detectives Garcia and Matteas interviewed defendant at the police station. Detective Garcia advised defendant of his Miranda rights and defendant agreed to answer his questions. Defendant stated that on July 4, 2000, he and a woman named Robin Hayes drove to the area of Ohio and Springfield to purchase marijuana. While purchasing the marijuana, defendant saw a "Mexican" person nearby. As defendant was driving away from the area, he heard a gunshot. Defendant also provided an address and phone number for Hayes and the detectives subsequently interviewed her.
In his second interview with defendant, Detective Garcia informed defendant that Hayes said she was not with him on the date in question. Defendant then stated that he was not in the area of Ohio and Springfield, but had heard that a "Mexican" person was shot there because the two men, Loco and Bollo, who sell drugs in that area, thought that he was "going to rip off the spot."
On July 6, 2000, Detective Garcia interviewed defendant a third time, and advised him of his Miranda rights. Defendant stated that on the date in question, he and a woman named Latrice, also known as Pamela Williams, drove to Ohio and Springfield to purchase marijuana. Defendant got out of his car and saw several people, including a "Mexican" man, in line to make a purchase. After defendant bought his marijuana, he walked back to his car and heard a gunshot. When he looked back, defendant saw the "Mexican" man stumbling. Defendant then drove to Williams' home and stayed there until about 4 a.m., before proceeding to 1633 West Madison to spend the night.
On the following day, July 7, 2000, Detective Garcia interviewed Williams, then spoke with defendant a fourth time. Detective Garcia informed defendant that Williams had told them that she was not with defendant on the date in question.
Detective Mark Richards testified that he advised defendant of his Miranda rights and interviewed defendant on July 8, 2000. Following this interview, Detective Richards called the State's Attorney's office and about two hours later, he and Assistant State's Attorney (ASA) Scott Herbert interviewed defendant. ASA Herbert advised defendant of his Miranda rights and defendant indicated that he was willing to answer their questions.
In the interview that followed, defendant stated that on July 4, 2000, he was selling narcotics in an alley near Ohio and Springfield when two "Mexicans" drove up in a car to make a purchase. Defendant gave one of the men some narcotics and the man bit off a piece of the rock to determine in the substance was as represented. Defendant had noticed that these men had a baseball bat in their car. When a police vehicle approached, the two "Mexicans" drove away, but returned shortly thereafter to purchase drugs. At that time, defendant retrieved more drugs and a gun hidden nearby, then walked down the alley with Jiminez. Defendant sold Jiminez two rocks of cocaine and Jiminez bit off a piece of the cocaine and began chewing on it. Jiminez began rocking back and forth on his feet with a crazed look, and defendant thought about the baseball bat he had seen in the car. He then pulled out the gun and it went off. Defendant provided a similar version of events in a videotaped statement.
Doctor Mitra Kalelkar, a Cook County medical examiner, testified that she examined Jiminez's body and determined that the cause of death was a gunshot wound to his left upper abdomen. She found a muzzle imprint around the wound and the skin blackened from powder and soot deposits which indicated that the barrel of the gun was in contact with Jiminez's body when it was fired.
The State rested its case and the court denied defendant's motion for a directed verdict. Defense counsel recalled Detective Fiedler, who testified that Mastache had told him that Jiminez and the shooter were about 20 to 40 feet east of his vehicle.
Detective Gayle Maurovich testified that on the morning of July 4, 2000, she interviewed Mastache at the hospital. Mastache stated that he was about 40 to 50 feet away when Jiminez was shot. Detective Maurovich viewed Mastache's vehicle, which contained a baseball bat, stereo unit, a steering wheel lock device and a bottle of beer. Detective Maurovich also examined the area where Jiminez was shot and determined that the closest street light was ...

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