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People v. Boose

Court of Appeals of Illinois, Second District

March 28, 2018

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
JOHN CARLOS BOOSE, Defendant-Appellee.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Winnebago County, No. 15-CF-490; the Hon. John S. Lowry, Judge, presiding.

          Joseph P. Bruscato, State's Attorney, of Rockford (Patrick Delfino, Lawrence M. Bauer, and Adam Trejo, of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office, of counsel), for the People.

          Michael J. Pelletier, Thomas A. Lilien, and Andrew Smith, of State Appellate Defender's Office, of Elgin, for appellee.

          Panel JUSTICE SCHOSTOK delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justice Jorgensen concurred in the judgment and opinion. Justice Spence dissented, with opinion.

          OPINION

          SCHOSTOK JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 Defendant, John C. Boose, was charged with six counts of first degree murder (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(1), (a)(2) (West 2014)) in connection with the death of his wife, Regina Boose. Defendant moved to quash a search warrant and to suppress evidence seized as a result of the execution of the warrant. Defendant pointed out that the items to be seized, as described in the warrant, would have pertained to the investigation of a drug offense. The officers who executed the warrant seized items related to the investigation of the death of the victim, but those items were not described in the warrant. The Winnebago County circuit court denied the motion to quash and suppress. However, defendant moved to reconsider, and the trial court granted the motion. The State appeals. We affirm.

         ¶ 2 The warrant was obtained by Jeff Schroder, a detective with the Rockford Police Department. Schroder prepared a complaint for a search warrant and an accompanying affidavit. The complaint stated as follows:

"I, Detective Jeff Schroder being first duly sworn on oath, say that certain instruments, articles or things, which may constitute evidence of Violation of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act and/or Violation of the Cannabis Control Act are located within the described place situated in the County of Winnebago, State of Illinois, to wit:
That such instruments, articles or things, are more particularly described as follows: Cocaine, Cannabis, United States currency, narcotic paraphernalia, including but not limited to plastic baggies, zip lock bags, and/or paper folds, scales, grinders or mixing devices, spoons, pots, pans, kitchen utensils, kitchen appliances, any instruments or devices used to cook or process cocaine, straws, glass tubes, syringes, pipes and powders used to adulterate cocaine, pagers, safes, binoculars, intercom systems, two way radios, scanners, cellular telephones, video cameras, firearms and ammunition, broom handles, bludgeons, wooden handles, extension cords, ropes, belts, any binding agents[, ] records (both written and recorded) and computer hardware and software describing names, quantities of currency and narcotics sold, purchased or possessed, and any documents listing the name of the person or persons who receive mail or who own or rent the premises, or any clothing or personal effects indicating who resides at the premises, or who was in possession of any of the above mentioned items, or who rents, owns, or otherwise controls the premises located at 2204 Van Wie Avenue, Rockford, Illinois.
That complainant has probable cause to believe that aforesaid facts are true for the following reasons: see attached affidavit, which is incorporated by reference herein." (Emphases added and in original.)

         ¶ 3 The affidavit indicated, inter alia, that at 10 a.m. on January 30, 2015, two Rockford police officers were dispatched to Rockford Memorial Hospital. The officers learned that the victim had been taken to the hospital and was deceased. One of the officers met with the victim's seven-year-old granddaughter, who lived with defendant and the victim at their home at 2204 Van Wie Avenue. She told the officer that, the previous night, she saw defendant beat the victim with a broom. The officers met with two deputy coroners, who took them to the trauma room where the victim's body was located. The deputy coroners showed the officers various injuries that the victim had sustained, including bruises, abrasions, and lacerations to her nose, forehead, and forearm. The victim's granddaughter was later interviewed by a detective. She told the detective that she saw defendant beat the victim numerous times in the head, face, legs, arms, stomach, and back with a broom.

         ¶ 4 The warrant, which was signed by Judge Steven L. Nordquist, stated, in pertinent part:

"Whereas, a written complaint under oath has been made before me this day stating facts sufficient to show probable cause for search of the following described place, to wit: The premises located at 2204 Van Wie Avenue, Rockford, Illinois ***.
***
YOU ARE HEREBY COMMANDED to execute this search warrant *** by searching the premises herein described and seizing the instruments, articles or things herein described, if found therein ***." (Emphases in original.)

         ¶ 5 The warrant's description of the items to be seized was identical to the complaint's description of items that would be relevant to the investigation of a drug offense. However, the warrant did not include the following items listed in the complaint that were germane to the investigation of the victim's death: "broom handles, bludgeons, wooden handles, extension cords, ropes, belts, [and] any binding agents." In his motion to quash and suppress, defendant argued that the warrant was defective because the affidavit did not establish probable cause to seize the items listed in the warrant. No witnesses testified at the hearing on the motion. In denying the motion, the trial court stated that the warrant "contains incorporation language 'whereas a ...


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