People v. Woolley

Decision Date25 September 1997
Docket NumberNo. 79483,79483
Parties, 227 Ill.Dec. 497 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellee, v. Martin M. WOOLLEY, Appellant.
CourtIllinois Supreme Court
[227 Ill.Dec. 500] Assistant Attorney General, Chicago, for the People

Justice BILANDIC delivered the opinion of the court:

The defendant, Martin M. Woolley, was charged by indictment in Henry County with six counts of murder (720 ILCS 5/9-1(a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3) (West 1994)), one count of armed violence (720 ILCS 5/33A-2 (West 1994)), one count of armed robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-2(a) (West 1994)), one count of robbery (720 ILCS 5/18-1(a) (West 1994)), and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon (720 ILCS 5/24-1.1(a) (West 1994)), arising out of the February 20, 1995, shooting deaths of Rane Baldwin and Dianna Turley in Kewanee, Illinois. After a jury trial, the defendant was found guilty on all counts. The circuit court entered judgment on two counts of intentional murder, one count of armed violence, one count of armed robbery, and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. A capital sentencing hearing was held before the same jury. The jury found the defendant eligible for the death penalty on the basis of three statutory aggravating factors. 720 ILCS 5/9-1(b)(3), (b)(6), (b)(11) (West 1995). The jury further found that there were no mitigating factors sufficient to preclude imposition of the death penalty. Accordingly, the circuit court sentenced the defendant to death. The circuit court also sentenced the defendant to concurrent terms of 30 years' imprisonment on the armed violence conviction, 30 years' imprisonment on the armed robbery conviction, and 5 years' imprisonment on the unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon conviction. The defendant's death sentence has been stayed pending his direct appeal to this court. Ill. Const.1970, art. VI, § 4(b); 134 Ill.2d Rs. 603, 609(a).

For the reasons that follow, we affirm the defendant's convictions for murder, armed robbery and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. We vacate the defendant's conviction and sentence for armed violence. We also vacate the defendant's death sentence and remand for a new capital sentencing hearing.


At approximately 10 p.m. on February 20, 1995, the bodies of Rane Baldwin and Dianna "Dee" Turley were found in Phylly's Cue and Brew tavern (Phylly's) in Kewanee, Illinois. Peter Dolieslager, Baldwin's boyfriend, testified that he called the tavern at approximately 9:45 p.m. and talked to Baldwin, who was tending bar. Dolieslager arrived at the tavern shortly thereafter and discovered the bodies of Baldwin and Turley lying on the floor.

Autopsies revealed that Turley had been shot once in the forehead from a distance of less than three to four feet. The bullet entered Turley's head at a slightly upward angle. Baldwin had been shot three times in the head. The pathologist who conducted the autopsies could not determine the order in which the three bullets struck Baldwin. One bullet struck her right cheek and would not have been fatal. A second bullet entered her head and lodged in her spine, and would have caused instant paralysis but not instant death. A third bullet entered the right side of her head and would have killed her instantly. None of the bullets which struck Baldwin were fired at close range.

The State presented testimony from several witnesses that both the defendant and his wife, Marcia Woolley, were frequent patrons of Phylly's and that they were present at the tavern throughout the day of February 20, 1995. According to these witnesses, the defendant and his wife arrived at the tavern at approximately 1 p.m. During the afternoon, they drank beer and talked with other patrons. The Woolleys left the tavern at approximately 5 or 5:30 p.m. to go home and prepare dinner for Marcia's children. They returned to the tavern around 6 p.m. and spent the evening drinking beer, talking, and playing pool with Jeff Ince and Debbie Brose. Ince was a bartender at Phylly's and had been working until 7 p.m., when he was relieved by Baldwin.

Brose testified that while the group was playing pool, sometime between 8 and 8:30 p.m., she saw the imprint of a gun under the defendant's shirt stuck in the back of his pants. Neither Ince nor Brose saw the defendant move a gun from his pants to his Ince testified that, on the evening of the murders, the defendant made a comment to him that he was the type of person who "could walk into McDonalds and just open up on everybody." Dolieslager testified that he had a conversation with the defendant in Phylly's on February 18, 1995, in which the defendant commented that it would be easy to commit a robbery if you killed the witnesses. Dolieslager admitted that he never mentioned this statement to the police when he was questioned after the murders. Dolieslager also testified that on February 18, 1995, while he and the defendant were in Phylly's, the defendant and Baldwin discovered that they had attended school together and they engaged in a lengthy conversation. The defendant's wife, who was also present, became jealous and was "visibly upset" that the defendant and Baldwin were talking.

[227 Ill.Dec. 501] jacket pocket while they were at the tavern. Dee Turley and Kathy Kouris arrived at Phylly's at approximately 8:30 p.m. Ince and Brose left the tavern at 9:15 p.m. Remaining in the tavern at that time were the defendant, his wife, Turley, Baldwin, Kouris and Rick Van Waes.

On February 21, 1995, the defendant and his wife voluntarily went to the Kewanee police station for questioning. The defendant told investigators that he and Marcia had been at Phylly's the day before but had left at 9:25 p.m. He denied any knowledge of the murders. Beginning at approximately 7 p.m., the defendant was interrogated by Kewanee Police Detective Joseph Cervantez and Illinois State Police Lieutenant Richard Shannahan. During this interrogation, the officers left the room briefly and, upon returning, informed the defendant that they "had him." According to the officers, the defendant stated that he wanted an attorney and then said, "I killed them, yeah, I killed them." The defendant subsequently withdrew his request for an attorney and gave a statement regarding the murders. More detailed testimony concerning this sequence of events was presented during the hearing on the defendant's motion to suppress his confession. That testimony is discussed in conjunction with our analysis of the suppression issue.

The defendant filed a motion to suppress his confession, which was denied, and the confession was admitted into evidence. The defendant stated therein that he and Marcia were at Phylly's during both the afternoon and the evening of February 20, 1995. They arrived for the evening at around 6:30 or 7 p.m. At that time, Rane Baldwin was tending bar and Jeff Ince and Debbie Brose were present in the bar. The defendant and Marcia were both drinking beer and playing pool with Ince and Brose. Dee Turley and Kathy Kouris arrived at Phylly's at around 8:30 or 9 p.m. Ince, Brose and Kouris left at approximately 9:30 p.m. At this time, Turley, Marcia, and the defendant were sitting, in that order, on bar stools along the bar. The defendant stated that he decided to rob the tavern. He had been carrying a 9 millimeter gun in the back of his pants. He pulled out the gun and shot Baldwin two or three times in the head, causing her to fall to the ground. He then shot Turley once in the head, causing her to fall. Turley was standing when the defendant shot her and Marcia was sitting on a bar stool between the defendant and Turley. The defendant related that he looked out the front window of the tavern and then walked around behind the bar and took the money out of the cash register and two money bags from underneath the register. At that time, Baldwin moved or made a noise and the defendant shot her again in the head. The defendant then grabbed Marcia and dragged her out of the bar. They got into a pickup truck they had borrowed from a friend and drove home. The defendant took the cash out of the money bags and burned the bags and their remaining contents in a wood stove. He hid the cash in a hole in the wall of a bedroom closet and put the gun in a freezer located in his friend Carl Girkin's garage. The next day, the defendant asked Girkin to throw the gun into a river. The defendant stated that Marcia did not handle the gun that evening and that she had no prior knowledge of what he was going to do.

Lieutenant Shannahan testified that the physical evidence at the crime scene was consistent with the version of events given in the defendant's statement. On cross-examination Carl Girkin was called by the State and testified that on February 21, 1995, the defendant told him he had put a gun in the freezer in Girkin's garage. The defendant asked Girkin to dispose of the gun by throwing it into the river. Girkin, however, kept the gun because there was nothing wrong with it and he enjoys firearms. Girkin took the gun out of the freezer and put it in a dresser drawer at his girlfriend's house. Kewanee police later recovered the gun from that location. Forensic testing revealed that bullets and spent shell casings recovered from the murder scene were fired from this gun.

[227 Ill.Dec. 502] Lieutenant Shannahan testified that he did not perform any tests on the defendant's hands to determine if he had recently fired a gun. Lieutenant Shannahan stated that the gunshot residue test is antiquated...

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  • People v. Brown
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • July 23, 2019
    ...74 It is invariably the case that arguments based on facts outside the record on appeal are improper. People v. Woolley , 178 Ill. 2d 175, 204, 227 Ill.Dec. 497, 687 N.E.2d 979 (1997) (noting that it is well-settled that arguments that rely on matters outside the record may not be considere......
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    ...counsel present, the accused's statements are presumed involuntary and are inadmissible as substantive evidence. People v. Woolley , 178 Ill. 2d 175, 198, 227 Ill.Dec. 497, 687 N.E.2d 979 (1997). ¶ 81 When reviewing a trial court's ruling on a motion to suppress, we apply a two-part standar......
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    ...refers is not in the record. Defendant's arguments in this regard are improper on direct appeal. See People v. Woolley, 178 Ill.2d 175, 204, 227 Ill.Dec. 497, 687 N.E.2d 979 (1997). In any event, defendant fails to establish a reasonable probability that, but for these alleged instances of ......
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  • Misconduct
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Trial Objections
    • May 5, 2022
    ...court instructed jury that comments made in closing argument that were not based on evidence were to be disregarded. People v. Woolley , 178 Ill. 2d 175, 209-10 (Ill. 1997). Parties in closing arguments may not go beyond the evidence presented and inferences therefrom, misstate the law, or ......

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