from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County, No. 16-CF-902;
the Hon. Stephen P. McGlynn, Judge, presiding.
Brendan F. Kelly, State's Attorney, of Belleville
(Patrick Delfino, David J. Robinson, and Chelsea E. Kasten,
of State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor's Office,
of counsel), for the People.
William E. Carroll and Justin M. Whitton, of Belleville, for
JUSTICE CHAPMAN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Overstreet and Justice Welch
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 The defendant, Anthony Firestine, was charged with several
offenses in connection with an incident in which two of his
brothers were shot. The defendant admitted to police that he
shot one of his brothers in the foot. He also admitted firing
five additional shots but told police that he did not know
whether any of those bullets hit his other brother. He
claimed that all six shots were intended as warning shots.
The defendant filed a motion to suppress his statement to
police, arguing that, after he invoked his right to counsel,
the investigating officer continued to ask him questions. The
St. Clair County circuit court granted the defendant's
motion. The State appeals, arguing that the defendant made
only a limited invocation of his right to counsel by stating,
"I don't want to answer that question without my
lawyer." We affirm.
2 The events leading to the defendant's arrest took place
at the home of his brother, John. The defendant and his son,
Mark, went to John's home to confront the defendant's
brothers, John and Joe. According to the defendant, Joe owed
money to various family members, including him. During the
encounter that took place, Joe was shot in the foot, and John
was shot in the leg. Both the defendant and Mark were
arrested in connection with these events.
3 During the early morning hours of July 5, 2016, Officer
Jeffery Hartsoe questioned the defendant in custody. Officer
Hartsoe provided the defendant with the warnings required by
Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), both
verbally and in writing. Officer Hartsoe then told the
defendant that he was there because his brother Joe had been
injured. He explained that other individuals had given him
statements about how that happened. Officer Hartsoe told the
defendant that he wanted to get his "side of the
story" so that he would not have to "rely on only
one person's side." The defendant indicated that he
wanted to hear what others had said first. When asked why, he
told Officer Hartsoe that he wanted to know what people were
saying about him. The following exchange then took place:
"OFFICER HARTSOE: Did you shoot your brother, Joe,
THE DEFENDANT: Did I shoot him?
OFFICER HARTSOE: Mmm hmm.
THE DEFENDANT: No.
OFFICER HARTSOE: Did you shoot him in the foot?
THE DEFENDANT: I don't want to answer that question