Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Second Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 88 CR 7771 The
Honorable William J. Hooks, Judge Presiding.
Attorneys for Appellant: Michael J. O'Rourke, Myles P.
O'Rourke, and Robert E. Williams, Special Assistant
State's Attorneys, of Chicago, for the People
Attorneys for Appellee: G. Flint Taylor, John L. Stainthorp,
and Christian Snow, of People's Law Office, and Elliot
Slosar, of The Exoneration Project, both of Chicago, for
JUSTICE LAVIN delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices Pucinski and Coghlan concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 Officers William Fahey and Richard O'Brien were fatally
shot while on duty on February 9, 1982. This led to the
biggest manhunt in Chicago's history. While in custody,
defendant Jackie Wilson (petitioner) gave a statement
regarding those murders. He was ultimately convicted of armed
robbery and the murder of Officer O'Brien but was
acquitted of Officer Fahey's murder. More than 30 years
after the shooting, the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief
Commission (Commission) found there was sufficient evidence
that petitioner was tortured to warrant an evidentiary
hearing under the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief
Commission Act (Torture Act) (775 ILCS 40/1 et seq.
(West 2010)). Following an evidentiary hearing, the trial
court suppressed petitioner's statement as the product of
torture, vacated his convictions, and ordered a new trial.
2 On appeal, the State asserts that the trial court (1)
misapplied the burden of proof, (2) erroneously prevented the
State from questioning petitioner about the contents of his
statement, (3) made manifestly erroneous factual findings,
and (4) demonstrated bias and unwarranted hostility toward
the State. We affirm the trial court's judgment and
remand for a new trial.
3 I. Background
4 Initially, we note that the record on appeal contains a
staggering amount of evidence. Consequently, we recite only
those facts necessary to understand and resolve this appeal.
5 A. Motion to Suppress
6 Petitioner and Andrew Wilson (A. Wilson), petitioner's
older brother, were arrested separately on February 14, 1982.
A. Wilson arrived at Area 2 headquarters (9059 South Cottage
Grove Avenue) between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. At about 8 a.m.,
the police arrested petitioner at 5157 South Prairie Avenue
and transported him to Area 1 headquarters. Four detectives
subsequently transported him to Area 2. After being
interrogated, petitioner gave a court-reported statement to
Assistant State's Attorney (ASA) Lawrence Hyman in the
presence of Detective Thomas McKenna and court reporter
7 According to the statement, petitioner, then 21 years old,
and A. Wilson went to Donald White's home (8024 South
Carpenter Street) on the afternoon of February 9, 1982. The
brothers drove there in their sister's brown Chevrolet.
Inside the home, individuals discussed helping Edgar Hope
escape from the Cook County Hospital. Hope was in custody for
the murder of police officer James Doyle.
8 After leaving White's home, petitioner and A. Wilson
dropped off Derrick Martin and were subsequently pulled over
by a police car. Petitioner exited the driver's seat as
Officer O'Brien approached the car. When petitioner was
unable to produce a license, Officer O'Brien proceeded to
search the car. Meanwhile, A. Wilson exited the front
passenger seat, and Officer Fahey approached his side of the
car. Officer O'Brien then emerged with a .38-caliber
firearm that A. Wilson had been carrying and ordered
petitioner to freeze. He complied.
9 As A. Wilson and Officer Fahey disappeared from
petitioner's vision, petitioner heard a gunshot. Although
not specified in petitioner's statement, he had
apparently heard the gunshot that killed Officer Fahey.
Petitioner then saw A. Wilson holding a gun and heard another
shot. A. Wilson had shot Officer O'Brien. As Officer
O'Brien moved around on the ground, A. Wilson yelled at
petitioner to get the officer's weapon. Initially,
petitioner was scared and did not speak. He then said,
however, that Officer O'Brien "was still there, you
know. He was up an[d] about." In response, A. Wilson
shot at Officer O'Brien four or five more times, picked
up the firearms, and said, "Let's go."
According to petitioner's statement, he "was still
scared, standing there, you know, and [A. Wilson] was
hollering move, move, move." Petitioner drove them home
and parked their sister's car. The brothers then went
their separate ways.
10 Petitioner and A. Wilson were charged with the murder and
armed robbery of both officers. Petitioner, through attorneys
Richard Kling and David Thomas, moved to suppress his
statement. According to petitioner, the police questioned him
without administering Miranda warnings or honoring
his request for his attorney. See Miranda v.
Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). Additionally, the police
physically assaulted him and put a gun in his mouth. We note
that the motion did not allege petitioner was subjected to
11 At the suppression hearing, the officers who transported
petitioner to Area 2 testified that they advised him of his
Miranda rights. They denied that petitioner asked to
speak to his attorney or that they engaged in threatening
behavior. Additionally, when they arrived at Area 2 at about
10 a.m., they transferred custody of petitioner to Detective
McKenna and Detective Patrick O'Hara. Those detectives
testified that petitioner was then advised of his
Miranda rights for a second time and brought to an
office on the second floor. When they asked if he knew why he
was there, petitioner referred to the two police officers
that were killed. Petitioner voluntarily answered the
officers' questions about the murder for 20 to 25
minutes. It is undisputed that Detective McKenna and
Detective O'Hara worked under Lieutenant Jon Burge.
12 ASA Hyman testified that at about 11:45 a.m., petitioner
gave his written statement. He did not complain of
mistreatment and did not appear to have been beaten. Although
ASA Hyman knew petitioner had an attorney before his arrest,
he did not ask petitioner if he wanted to speak with him. At
5:30 p.m., ASA Hyman and Hartnett, the court reporter, took a
statement from A. Wilson, who was in an office about 35 feet
away from petitioner.
13 In contrast, petitioner testified that on the way to Area
2, the four officers in the car questioned him without
administering Miranda warnings. When petitioner
denied knowing anything about the shooting, the two officers
on either side of him in the backseat elbowed him in the
chest. The officer in the front passenger seat turned around
to slap him in the face several times.
14 Upon arriving at Area 2 at about 9 a.m., petitioner was
rushed upstairs to be interrogated. The police did not
immediately administer Miranda warnings but did
administer them at some point. In the presence of 12 to 16
officers, Detectives McKenna and O'Hara told petitioner
that he appeared to be a victim of circumstances and should
"come straight." Petitioner asked to talk to Fredrick
Solomon, his lawyer, and showed them his business card. They
responded that he did not "need no fucking lawyer."
When petitioner said he did not want to talk, five or six
officers beat him. In an interrogation that lasted one to two
hours, officers hit him with a telephone book and a
dictionary, poked him, slapped him, shook him, twisted his
head, twisted his fingers, and kicked him in the groin. One
officer put a cocked revolver in petitioner's mouth and
asked if it made him nervous, to which petitioner replied,
"Damn right." When Detective O'Hara slapped
petitioner, Detective McKenna told him not to damage
15 The officers asked petitioner what he did after Officer
Fahey was shot. Petitioner said he "was doing
nothing," which led the officers to kick him in his side
and stomach. Petitioner then told the police that he froze
when Officer Fahey was shot. According to petitioner, he told
the police that after the second shot he "was shocked
and *** started backing out [of] the way."
During the interrogation, petitioner denied knowing White and
Martin. He later acknowledged, however, that he knew the two
individuals by their respective aliases, Kojak and Dee.
Petitioner eventually agreed to answer questions because he
heard A. Wilson screaming and heard furniture being kicked.
16 Petitioner then gave ASA Hyman a written statement in the
presence of Detective McKenna and Hartnett. The police had
warned petitioner that if he did not tell ASA Hyman what the
police wanted him to say, the police would "start all
over again." Despite that warning, petitioner told ASA
Hyman he would not sign the statement without talking to his
lawyer. ASA Hyman and Hartnett then left the room, and
Detective O'Hara threatened to break petitioner's
fingers unless he signed. Furthermore, petitioner's
initials were different on each page because his fingers were
swollen, and he was nervous. Detective O'Hara
subsequently ordered him to smile for a photograph.
17 When petitioner saw A. Wilson at the criminal court
building the next day, A. Wilson had a patch over his eye and
a patch on the back of his head, where he had been hit with a
.45-caliber semiautomatic weapon. Additionally, A. Wilson had
burns all over his body. It was obvious to petitioner that
"the police had jumped on him."
18 Following argument, Judge John Crowley denied
19 B. Petitioner's First Trial and Direct Appeal
20 Following a joint trial, the jury found petitioner and A.
Wilson guilty of two counts of armed robbery and two counts
of first degree murder. The court sentenced petitioner to
concurrent 30-year prison terms for armed robbery and natural
life in prison for the murders. A. Wilson was sentenced to
21 On direct appeal, the reviewing court initially rejected
petitioner's challenge to the denial of his motion to
suppress but found that reversible error occurred during
voir dire. People v. Wilson, 139 Ill.App.3d
726 (1985). The supreme court then reversed that
determination and remanded the cause with directions to
consider petitioner's remaining issues. People v.
Wilson, 112 Ill.2d 567 (1986) (supervisory order).
Shortly thereafter, however, the supreme court determined
that A. Wilson's statement was involuntary and should
have been suppressed based on evidence showing that he
sustained 15 separate injuries to his head, torso, and leg
while in police custody. People v. Wilson, 116
Ill.2d 29 (1987); see also People v. Wrice, 2012 IL
111860, ¶ 57 (stating that A. Wilson's case was the
first Area 2 brutality case to reach the supreme court).
According to A. Wilson, he was kicked, punched, smothered
with a bag, subjected to electric shock, and burned against a
radiator. Wilson, 116 Ill.2d at 35.
22 On remand to the appellate court in petitioner's case,
he filed a supplemental brief urging the court to reconsider
his challenge to the denial of his motion to suppress. The
court upheld the denial of petitioner's motion but
reversed and remanded for a new trial so that petitioner
could be tried separately from A. Wilson. People v.
Wilson, 161 Ill.App.3d 995 (1987).
23 C. Petitioner's Second Trial and Appeal
24 At petitioner's second trial, Tyrone Sims essentially
testified that he witnessed this shooting through his living
room window. When Officer Fahey approached the passenger side
of the Chevrolet, A. Wilson exited the car, throwing his
jacket inside. Officer Fahey seemed to order A. Wilson to
retrieve the jacket, and A. Wilson complied. Upon searching
the jacket's pockets, Officer Fahey "apparently
found something that caused him to grab [A. Wilson]." A
struggle ensued. Additionally, Officer O'Brien grabbed
petitioner, who did not struggle or brandish a weapon.
25 A. Wilson then removed Officer Fahey's service
revolver from its holster and shot him in the back of the
head. Next, A. Wilson shot Officer O'Brien, who fell to
the ground. Once Officer O'Brien was down, A. Wilson
fired two more shots at him and shouted, "Let's get
out of here." Sims acknowledged testifying at
petitioner's first trial that when A. Wilson yelled for
them to leave, petitioner did not get in the car. Instead, he
stood there with a blank look on his face, as if he was in a
state of shock.
26 Dwayne Hardin, a passerby, testified that he saw
petitioner and A. Wilson getting in the Chevrolet and smiling
as they drove away from the scene. Hardin apparently recanted
that testimony in recent years.
27 The State presented evidence that the officers'
service revolvers were recovered from the back of
Willie's Beauty Shop, where A. Wilson had been staying.
Additionally, the State introduced petitioner's
court-reported statement as well as certain statements
petitioner was alleged to have made in prison. The statements
made in prison claimed responsibility for the murders of
Officers Fahey and O'Brien. Inmate William Coleman, also
known as William Clarkson, also testified that petitioner and
A. Wilson planned a mass escape, in part so that petitioner
could kill Sims, the occurrence witness to the murder. We
note that a trial within a trial ensued as ...