860 N.E.2d 178 (Ill. 2006), 99047, People v. Sutherland

Docket Nº:99047.
Citation:860 N.E.2d 178, 223 Ill.2d 187, 307 Ill.Dec. 524
Party Name:The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. Cecil S. SUTHERLAND, Appellant.
Case Date:September 21, 2006
Court:Supreme Court of Illinois

Page 178

860 N.E.2d 178 (Ill. 2006)

223 Ill.2d 187, 307 Ill.Dec. 524

The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee,

v.

Cecil S. SUTHERLAND, Appellant.

No. 99047.

Supreme Court of Illinois

Sept. 21, 2006

As Modified Upon Denial of Rehearing Dec. 4, 2006.

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John Paul Carroll, Rochester, Minnesota, for appellant.

Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, Springfield, Gary D. Duncan, State's Attorney, Mt. Vernon (Gary Feinerman, Solicitor General, Linda D. Woloshin and Ira Kohlman, Assistant Attorneys General, Chicago, of counsel), for the People.

Page 190

FITZGERALD Justice

[307 Ill.Dec. 536] Following a jury trial in St. Clair County, defendant Cecil Sutherland was convicted of aggravated kidnapping (Ill.Rev.Stat.1987, ch. 38, par. 10-2(a)(2)), aggravated criminal sexual assault (Ill.Rev.Stat.1987, ch. 38, par. 12-14(b)(1)), and first degree murder (Ill.Rev.Stat.1987, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)(1)). The circuit court sentenced defendant to death. This appeal followed. 134 Ill.2d R. 603.

For the reasons discussed below, we affirm defendant's convictions and death sentence and remand for additional sentencing.

BACKGROUND

On July 2, 1987, the body of 10-year-old Amy Schulz was discovered on a dirt road in rural Jefferson County. Amy had been strangled, her throat had been slit, and she had been sexually assaulted. Amy had been missing from her Kell, Illinois, home in neighboring Marion County since the prior evening.

In early October 1987, four months after Amy's murder, defendant (then 32 years old) left his Dix, Illinois, home in Jefferson County and drove to Montana. Later that month, federal authorities arrested defendant on charges unrelated to this case. Based in part on information provided by Montana authorities, on October 22, 1987, Jefferson County police officers secured a search warrant from a Jefferson County judge authorizing a search of defendant's person, vehicle, and possessions. At the time, defendant was in federal custody at the Missoula County jail in Missoula, Montana, and defendant's vehicle was being held by federal park rangers at Glacier National Park in Montana. Jefferson County police officers flew to Montana, where they executed the warrant, seizing defendant's vehicle and personal property. They also obtained samples of defendant's head, beard, chest and pubic hair. Jefferson County police officers also arranged for transfer of defendant's vehicle to Illinois. On October 28, 1987, Jefferson County police officers secured a second warrant authorizing a search of the vehicle, which police executed in Illinois.

Eight months later, in June 1988, defendant was indicted in Jefferson County for the aggravated kidnapping, aggravated criminal sexual assault, and first degree murder of Amy Schulz. Defendant filed a motion to suppress all evidence seized in Montana pursuant to the October 22, 1987, search warrant. The circuit court denied the motion to suppress.

Following a change of venue to Richland County, a jury convicted defendant of all charges and subsequently found him eligible for the death penalty. The circuit court sentenced defendant to death. On direct appeal to this court, we affirmed defendant's convictions and sentence. People v. Sutherland, 155 Ill.2d 1, 182 Ill.Dec. 577, 610 N.E.2d 1 (1992). Defendant filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, which was denied. Sutherland v. Illinois, 510 U.S. 858, 114 S.Ct. 170, 126 L.Ed.2d 130 (1993).

Defendant thereafter filed a postconviction petition raising numerous claims. The trial court held an evidentiary hearing on certain claims, but ultimately dismissed the petition. On appeal to this court, we reversed defendant's convictions and sentence and remanded for a new trial, citing ineffectiveness of trial counsel and improper prosecutorial argument. People v. Sutherland, 194 Ill.2d 289, 299-300, 252 Ill.Dec. 56, 742 N.E.2d 306 (2000).

On remand, venue was transferred to St. Clair County. Prior to trial, defendant filed several motions challenging the [307 Ill.Dec. 537]

Page 191

validity of the search warrants issued on October 22 and October 28, 1987, and requesting suppression of all evidence seized pursuant to the warrants. The trial court denied such motions.

In May 2004, defendant's retrial began. Briefly, the State offered evidence that gold fibers found on the victim's clothing were consistent with the carpeting and upholstery in defendant's vehicle, and that red fibers found in defendant's vehicle were consistent with the victim's clothing. The State also offered evidence that two pubic hairs found on the victim's buttocks were microscopically consistent with defendant's pubic hair and that the two hairs had the same mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) as defendant. 1 The State further offered evidence that animal hairs found on the victim's clothing could have originated from defendant's dog and that tire impressions found at the crime scene could have been made by defendant's vehicle. Defendant countered with evidence that he argued demonstrated that Amy Schulz was murdered by William Willis, her step-grandfather and a convicted pedophile. Defendant also challenged the State's hair and fiber evidence and introduced evidence that, at the time of Amy's abduction, he was watching a movie with his brother.

After five weeks of testimony, the jury returned a verdict of guilty on all charges. Defendant waived a sentencing hearing and, along with the State, presented the circuit court with an agreed recommended sentence of death. The circuit court, after finding defendant death eligible, accepted the recommendation and sentenced defendant to death. Defendant's appeal lies directly to this court. 134 Ill.2d R. 603.

ANALYSIS

Defendant argues that the trial court erred by declining to hold an evidentiary hearing on his motions to suppress evidence recovered pursuant to the two search warrants issued in October 1987; failing to hold an evidentiary hearing on his motions challenging the affidavits that supported the two search warrants; allowing the State to introduce evidence recovered from defendant's vehicle after the State failed to produce the vehicle pursuant to defendant's discovery request; allowing the prior testimony of crime-scene technician Richard Caudell, who died before defendant's retrial, to be read to the jury; allowing the State to call Sherry Witzel, a member of defendant's prior defense team, as a rebuttal witness; and allowing the State to introduce certain DNA evidence. Defendant also argues that the State's evidence failed to establish his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

I. Motions to Suppress Evidence

Defendant argues that the trial court committed reversible error by declining to hold an evidentiary hearing on his motions to suppress evidence seized pursuant to the search warrants issued on October 22 and October 28, 1987. The State argues that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendant's request for an evidentiary hearing on his motions to suppress. According to the State, the doctrine of collateral estoppel barred defendant from relitigating issues raised and decided in his first trial and not thereafter challenged on appeal. See People v. Enis, 163 Ill.2d 367, 206 Ill.Dec. 604, 645 N.E.2d 856 (1994).

When reviewing a motion to suppress evidence, "we will accord great deference[307 Ill.Dec. 538]

Page 192

to the trial court's factual findings, and we will reverse those findings only if they are against the manifest weight of the evidence; however, we will review de novo the ultimate question of the defendant's legal challenge to the denial of his motion to suppress." People v. Sorenson, 196 Ill.2d 425, 431, 256 Ill.Dec. 836, 752 N.E.2d 1078 (2001), citing In re G.O., 191 Ill.2d 37, 50, 245 Ill.Dec. 269, 727 N.E.2d 1003 (2000). The applicability of the collateral estoppel doctrine, a purely legal question, is also subject to de novo review. See People v. Daniels, 187 Ill.2d 301, 307, 320-21, 718 N.E.2d 149 (1999); People v. Powell, 349 Ill.App.3d 906, 909, 285 Ill.Dec. 816, 812 N.E.2d 636 (2004).

In People v. Enis, 163 Ill.2d 367, 206 Ill.Dec. 604, 645 N.E.2d 856 (1994), cited by the State, we considered whether the trial court erred when, on remand for a new trial, the court refused to reconsider its earlier denial of the defendant's motion to quash arrest and suppress evidence. We found no reversible error. We reasoned that the defendant could have challenged the denial of his suppression motion in his first appeal and that the defendant's failure to do so justified the trial court's refusal on remand to reconsider its earlier ruling. "Where a defendant's conviction has been reversed for trial error, and the cause is remanded for a new trial, the doctrine of collateral estoppel bars the relitigation of a pretrial ruling, such as a motion to suppress, unless the defendant offers additional evidence or there are other special circumstances." Enis, 163 Ill.2d at 386, 206 Ill.Dec. 604, 645 N.E.2d 856. In Enis, no special circumstances existed that would have warranted relitigation of the defendant's pretrial motion. Thus, we held that the trial court did not err in its refusal to revisit its earlier rulings. Enis, 163 Ill.2d at 387, 206 Ill.Dec. 604, 645 N.E.2d 856. Accord People v. Gilliam, 172 Ill.2d 484, 505-06, 218 Ill.Dec. 884, 670 N.E.2d 606 (1996); People v. Jones, 219 Ill.2d 1, 19-23, 300 Ill.Dec. 709, 845 N.E.2d 598 (2006).

Based on our review of the record in the present case,...

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  • 46 N.E.3d 889 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. 2015), 1-13-1111, People v. White
    • United States
    • Illinois Court of Appeals of Illinois
    • 16 décembre 2015
    ...testimony, to draw reasonable inferences from the evidence and to resolve conflicts in the evidence. People v. Sutherland, 223 Ill.2d 187, 242, 860 N.E.2d 178, 307 Ill.Dec. 524 (2006). In Page 895 addition, the trial court may accept or reject as much of a witness's test......
  • 148 N.E.3d 664 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. 2018), 1-14-0369, People v. Boston
    • United States
    • Illinois Court of Appeals of Illinois First District
    • 31 décembre 2018
    ..."Whether ample opportunity to cross-examine existed must be decided on a case-by-case basis." People v. Sutherland, 223 Ill.2d 187, 273, 307 Ill.Dec. 524, 860 N.E.2d 178 (2006). ¶ 55 Citing People v. Barner, 2015 IL 116949, ¶ 39, 391 Ill.Dec. 1, 30 N.E.3d ......
  • 25 N.E.3d 1244 (Ill.App. 4 Dist. 2015), 4-14-0006, People v. Burns
    • United States
    • Illinois Court of Appeals of Illinois
    • 30 janvier 2015
    ...the exclusionary rule, courts will generally not admit evidence obtained in violation of the fourth amendment. People v. Sutherland, 223 Ill.2d 187, 227, 860 N.E.2d 178, 208, 307 Ill.Dec. 524 (2006). Under the fruit-of-the-poisonous-tree doctrine, which is an outgrowth of the exclusionary r......
  • 912 N.E.2d 1236 (Ill.App. 2 Dist. 2009), 2-06-0654, People v. Frias
    • United States
    • Illinois Court of Appeals of Illinois
    • 23 juillet 2009
    ...Court precedent, has dispensed with the rubric of " standing" when analyzing fourth amendment claims. People v. Sutherland, 223 Ill.2d 187, 229-30, 307 Ill.Dec. 524, 860 N.E.2d 178 (2006); People v. Pitman, 211 Ill.2d 502, 521, 286 Ill.Dec. 36, 813 N.E.2d 93 (2004), citing Minneso......
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624 cases
  • 46 N.E.3d 889 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. 2015), 1-13-1111, People v. White
    • United States
    • Illinois Court of Appeals of Illinois
    • 16 décembre 2015
    ...testimony, to draw reasonable inferences from the evidence and to resolve conflicts in the evidence. People v. Sutherland, 223 Ill.2d 187, 242, 860 N.E.2d 178, 307 Ill.Dec. 524 (2006). In Page 895 addition, the trial court may accept or reject as much of a witness's test......
  • 148 N.E.3d 664 (Ill.App. 1 Dist. 2018), 1-14-0369, People v. Boston
    • United States
    • Illinois Court of Appeals of Illinois First District
    • 31 décembre 2018
    ..."Whether ample opportunity to cross-examine existed must be decided on a case-by-case basis." People v. Sutherland, 223 Ill.2d 187, 273, 307 Ill.Dec. 524, 860 N.E.2d 178 (2006). ¶ 55 Citing People v. Barner, 2015 IL 116949, ¶ 39, 391 Ill.Dec. 1, 30 N.E.3d ......
  • 25 N.E.3d 1244 (Ill.App. 4 Dist. 2015), 4-14-0006, People v. Burns
    • United States
    • Illinois Court of Appeals of Illinois
    • 30 janvier 2015
    ...the exclusionary rule, courts will generally not admit evidence obtained in violation of the fourth amendment. People v. Sutherland, 223 Ill.2d 187, 227, 860 N.E.2d 178, 208, 307 Ill.Dec. 524 (2006). Under the fruit-of-the-poisonous-tree doctrine, which is an outgrowth of the exclusionary r......
  • 912 N.E.2d 1236 (Ill.App. 2 Dist. 2009), 2-06-0654, People v. Frias
    • United States
    • Illinois Court of Appeals of Illinois
    • 23 juillet 2009
    ...Court precedent, has dispensed with the rubric of " standing" when analyzing fourth amendment claims. People v. Sutherland, 223 Ill.2d 187, 229-30, 307 Ill.Dec. 524, 860 N.E.2d 178 (2006); People v. Pitman, 211 Ill.2d 502, 521, 286 Ill.Dec. 36, 813 N.E.2d 93 (2004), citing Minneso......
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1 books & journal articles
  • The discovery deposition and disfavored evidence: Rule 212(a).
    • United States
    • Illinois Bar Journal Vol. 97 Nbr. 11, November 2009
    • 1 novembre 2009
    ...R 212(a)(5), Committee Comments. (16.) Longstreet at 551, 871 NE2d at 74. (17.) Id at 552, 871 NE2d at 74. (18.) See People v Sutherland, 223 Ill 2d 187, 273, 860 NE2d 178, 233-34 (2006), cert denied, 128 S Ct 70 (2007); McInturff v Ins Co of North America, 248 Ill 92, 96-98, 93 NE 369, 371......