People v. Enoch

Decision Date11 February 1988
Docket NumberNo. 59390,59390
Citation122 Ill.2d 176,119 Ill.Dec. 265,522 N.E.2d 1124
Parties, 119 Ill.Dec. 265 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. Willie E. ENOCH, Appellant.
CourtIllinois Supreme Court

Neil F. Hartigan, Atty. Gen., Roma J. Stewart, Sol. Gen., Mark L. Rotert, Ellen M. Flaum, Asst. Attys. Gen., Chicago, for plaintiff-appellee.

Charles M. Schiedel, Deputy Defender, Office of the State Appellate Defender, Springfield, Robert D. Seeder, Asst. Defender, for defendant-appellant.

Justice RYAN delivered the opinion of the court:

The defendant, Willie Enoch, was charged under an indictment with four counts of murder (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 9-1(a)), and one count each of aggravated kidnapping (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 10-2), attempted rape (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 8-4), and armed robbery (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 18-2). Following a jury trial in the circuit court of Peoria County, Enoch was acquitted on the charges of armed robbery and murder in the course of armed robbery, but was convicted of all other charges. He waived a jury at the death penalty hearing, and the circuit judge found the defendant eligible for the death penalty on the basis of the two felony-murder convictions: murder in the course of attempted rape and murder in the course of aggravated kidnapping (Ill.Rev.Stat.1983, ch. 38, par. 9-1(b)(6)). The judge found no mitigating factor sufficient to preclude imposition of the death penalty, and sentenced the defendant to death. The sentence was stayed pending direct appeal to this court. Ill.Const.1970, art. VI, § 4(b); 107 Ill.2d R. 603.

The victim, Armanda Kay Burns, was a 25-year-old housekeeping supervisor employed by the Methodist Medical Center in Peoria. She lived in a basement apartment near the medical center. On April 22, 1983, several members of the housekeeping staff, including the victim, were gathered in the victim's office at the hospital at about 11:30 p.m. All were working the 3 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. shift. Three staff members testified that the defendant entered the office and asked where his brother was. They also saw the defendant speaking with the victim. As two of these witnesses left the hospital at the end of the work shift, they saw the victim and the defendant walking together toward her apartment. One witness testified that he saw them within 100 feet of the victim's dwelling and that she waved at him when he blew his horn.

Derek Proctor testified that the victim had been his girlfriend for about eight months. On April 22, 1983, they had plans to go out with the victim's brother and sister-in-law after the victim finished work. Proctor arrived at the victim's apartment about midnight and rang the doorbell several times. Receiving no response, he waited 5 to 10 minutes and then walked to the hospital, where he asked a security guard to check whether the victim was still there. When told she was not, Proctor called her apartment from the hospital but got no answer. He then returned to the apartment, rang the doorbell again. Receiving no answer, he walked across the street to buy a pack of cigarettes. He returned to the apartment a few minutes later, rang the doorbell again several times. Getting no response, he sat down on the curb to wait.

A few minutes later, at about 12:45 a.m., he heard the door open. He turned and saw the defendant, wearing a blue pin-striped coat and carrying a white shirt in his hands, coming out. Proctor asked the defendant if the victim was in her apartment and the defendant replied that she was. Proctor rang the doorbell again and, receiving no response, ran after the defendant, whom he saw running across a field near the medical center. Proctor testified that he recognized the defendant as the person who had come to the victim's door the previous night asking to use the telephone while Proctor was watching television.

Proctor returned again to the apartment and knocked on all the windows. He saw that lights were on in the kitchen and bedroom. After looking unsuccessfully for the defendant at several clubs in the area, he went to the home of the victim's brother, and he was accompanied back to the apartment by her brother and sister-in-law, arriving at about 2:15 a.m. They knocked at the door, and receiving no answer, kicked in the basement window. They saw the apartment in disarray and the victim's body on the bedroom floor. A hospital security guard and the Peoria police who were summoned testified that they observed the victim with her hands bound behind her back with wire, a laceration across her throat, numerous stab wounds in her chest, and a cut from her sternum to her pubic bone. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was a stab wound in the victim's back.

Louise Pate, the defendant's girlfriend, testified that in the early morning of April 23, 1983, the defendant returned to their apartment, went into the bathroom and turned on the water. He then left the apartment to get some cigarettes. When he returned he told her that he had killed Kay Burns that night. He said that he had "cut her throat and heart out," and that on the way out of her apartment he had bumped into the victim's boyfriend. The defendant told Pate that he had just burned the pants he had been wearing in an incinerator outside.

After the trial had started, defendant moved to suppress statements he had made following his arrest. Detective Charles Cannon testified at a suppression hearing that, after he arrested the defendant at Pate's apartment, the defendant was taken to the Peoria police department, where he was interviewed by Detective Sammie Hoskins and himself. While he was being read his Miranda rights, the defendant requested an attorney. Detective Cannon continued reading the Miranda warnings and, when he finished, asked whether the defendant understood his rights. The defendant said he did and he still wanted an attorney. Detective Cannon told defendant that no more questions would be asked and that he would explain the procedure for obtaining an attorney. He then told the defendant that he would be taken to the county jail and booked for murder. The defendant asked whose murder he was being charged with and the officer told him the murder of Kay Burns. The defendant replied, "Oh no, not Kay Burns," and told the officers he had seen her at the hospital the night before, had walked with her to within a block of her apartment, and had then gone home. The officer then told defendant that a witness had seen him leaving her apartment, and again stated that no questions would be asked of defendant. The circuit court found that the defendant's statements were voluntary utterances, and not the result of questioning or its functional equivalent. The court therefore denied the defendant's motion to suppress the statements, and Officer Hoskins testified to the statements at trial.

Following the suppression hearing, the State made an offer of proof, asking that evidence of other crimes unrelated to the murder of Kay Burns be admitted to show that the defendant had the "intent and design" to commit rape against the victim. Over defense objections, the court admitted evidence concerning two prior incidents. As to the first, Louella Burnside testified that on March 6, 1983, the defendant raped her. She said that having locked herself out of her apartment at about 4 a.m., she was walking in her neighborhood looking for her husband, who had her keys, when she met the defendant. He pulled a knife, stabbed her in the back, pulled her into a garage, threatened to cut her throat, told her to remove her clothes, and then raped her. After raping her, he told her he would tie her hands behind her back loosely so that she could escape after a few minutes. He then ripped her jacket and used it to tie her hands and gag her. After the defendant left, she escaped and called the police. She identified an army fatigue jacket recovered in Pate's apartment as the one defendant was wearing on the night of the incident.

Marilyn McClain testified to a second incident in which the defendant knocked at her door and asked where his brother lived. When she said she did not know, he asked for a glass of water. As she returned the glass to the kitchen, the defendant entered the apartment and locked the door. He approached her with a pocket knife and cut her stomach, placed her on the couch and tied her hands behind her back and gagged her with a towel he had ripped up. He asked if there was any money in the apartment and whether she "had her period." While he was searching the apartment, she got her hands free and ran to the door, calling for help from her neighbor. The neighbor testified that, hearing McClain's screams, she looked out of her apartment and saw the defendant running down the stairs.

The defendant did not take the stand. The defense presented testimony that the defendant was wearing a different shirt from the one he was alleged to have worn on the night of the incident; that Proctor, the victim's boyfriend, had told a hospital security guard at about 12:10 a.m. on the night of the incident that there was a window broken at the victim's apartment and that he had seen a man leaving her apartment; and that Pate, the defendant's girlfriend, had told the defendant's mother that she wanted to change her grand jury testimony implicating the defendant and had contacted a person for legal advice regarding the penalty for perjury. The jury found the defendant guilty of murder, aggravated kidnapping, and attempted rape, and of two counts of felony murder based on the aggravated kidnapping and attempted rape charges.

Defendant raises numerous issues before this court, including that his kidnapping conviction was improper because the same act which comprised the aggravated kidnapping was also one of the two acts which comprised the attempted rape; that the prosecutor's opening argument was improper; that defendant...

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