Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

People v. McMichaels

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division

October 29, 2019

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
DeANDRE McMICHAELS, Defendant-Appellant.

          Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 16 CR 8706 The Honorable Vincent M. Gaughan, Judge Presiding.

          Attorneys for Appellant: James E. Chadd, Patricia Mysza, and Lauren A. Bauser, of State for Appellate Defender's Office, of Chicago, for appellant.

          Attorneys for Appellee: Kimberly M. Foxx, State's Attorney, of Chicago (Alan J. Spellberg, Marci Jacobs, and Delicia D. Zayas, Assistant State's Attorneys, of counsel), for the People.

          JUSTICE PUCINSKI delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Justices Lavin and Coghlan concurred in the judgment and opinion.

          OPINION

          PUCINSKI JUSTICE

         ¶ 1 Following a bench trial, defendant DeAndre McMichaels was convicted of one count of being an armed habitual criminal and was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment. On appeal, he argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence where police officers conducted an unreasonable stop and search in violation of Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), and lacked probable cause to arrest him. We affirm.

         ¶ 2 I. BACKGROUND

         ¶ 3 Defendant was charged by indictment with one count of being an armed habitual criminal, two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, and four counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, arising from an incident in Chicago on May 24, 2016. The State proceeded on one count of the armed habitual criminal offense (720 ILCS 5/24-1.7(a) (West 2016)) and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon (id. § 24-1.1 (a)). Defendant filed a motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence, which was heard concurrently with the trial.

         ¶ 4 Chicago police officer Christopher Cannata testified that on May 24, 2016, at approximately 3:25 p.m., he was on patrol with Officers Patrick Martino and Pavone[1] in an unmarked vehicle near the 4900 block of West Ferdinand Street. The officers received a dispatch regarding "a male black with a black T-shirt, yellow shorts and dreadlocks in possession of a black handgun" near Ferdinand Street and Lamont Avenue. The description matched a person the officers had seen there earlier in the day, whom Cannata identified in court as defendant. When the officers returned to the area, Cannata observed defendant wearing the same clothes and standing with three other men. The officers parked 10 to 15 feet away, exited the vehicle, announced their office, and "asked to see all the individuals's [sic] hands."

         ¶ 5 According to Cannata, the three men around defendant showed their hands, but defendant "immediately placed one hand into his right short pockets [sic] and then began to turn away from us." The officers approached defendant and again asked to see his hands, but he "did not comply." Seconds later, Martino grabbed defendant's shoulder or upper arm. Cannata observed defendant's hand "break free from his pocket" and noticed "the butt and re-slide of a semiautomatic handgun" protruding from the right pocket of his shorts. Cannata seized the firearm, which was loaded with seven live rounds, and defendant was handcuffed. As Cannata and Martino walked defendant to their vehicle, "he blurted out that he just had the gun for protection because he had been shot."

         ¶ 6 On cross-examination, Cannata stated that he saw defendant at Lamont Avenue and Ferdinand Street in a large group of people "less than an hour" before the dispatch but had no contact with him. At that time, defendant was not holding a weapon, and only his clothing caught Cannata's attention. Cannata never spoke with the person who called the police to report an individual with a firearm and did not know the person's identity. Cannata added that, when the officers exited their vehicle and approached defendant, he turned away but did not make other movements. When Martino grabbed defendant, his hand was in his pocket. Cannata explained that Martino made physical contact with defendant "[f]or our safety, mainly based on his lack of listening to our orders."

         ¶ 7 Martino testified that he advised defendant of his Miranda rights at the police station. See Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). Defendant stated that he understood his rights and said "the only reason why he had a handgun on his person was for his protection because he ha[d] been shot earlier on that block." On cross-examination, Martino did not recall whether defendant made any statements at the location of his arrest.

         ¶ 8 The State entered a stipulation between the parties that defendant had two qualifying felony convictions for purposes of the armed habitual criminal statute. Afterwards, the State rested, and defendant moved for a directed finding, which the trial court denied. The defense rested without presenting evidence.

         ¶ 9 In support of defendant's motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence, defense counsel argued that the call to police, reporting someone with a firearm, was unreliable because nothing established the caller's identity, motive, or basis for knowledge. Counsel posited that the fact that officers noticed defendant wearing the same clothes as the person whom the caller described was insufficient corroboration for a search and seizure and that no probable cause existed because the officers did not observe a firearm until they searched defendant. The State, in response, submitted that "a concerned citizen is ordinarily considered more credible" than a paid informant. Additionally, the State maintained that the officers conducted a valid Terry stop where they were told a person resembling defendant was carrying a firearm and defendant put his hand in his pocket and turned away when the officers approached him and asked to see his hands.

         ¶ 10 The trial court denied defendant's motion and found him guilty of being an armed habitual criminal and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. According to the court, the fact the officers had seen defendant prior to the dispatch "just goes to location" and did not prove "any type of *** criminal activity." The court explained, however, that defendant's conduct in putting his hand in his pocket and turning away when the officers asked to see his hands, coupled with the officers' knowledge that someone resembling defendant reportedly possessed a firearm, created an "articulable suspicion about officer safety" and, therefore, the Terry stop was justified. The court did not comment whether probable cause existed for defendant's arrest.

         ¶ 11 Defendant filed a motion for new trial, arguing, in relevant part, that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress. The court denied the motion. Following a hearing, the court merged the counts and sentenced defendant ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.