People v. MurdockAnnotate this Case
Murdock, then 16, was convicted in 2001 of first degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. The conviction was affirmed. Defendant filed a post-conviction petition alleging trial counsel was ineffective for failing to move to suppress statements made to police. Defendant, a juvenile, alleged his statements were the product of police coercion that rendered them involuntary. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied defendant’s petition. The appellate court reversed and remanded for a suppression hearing. The trial court denied the motion on remand. The appellate court affirmed. The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed, rejecting an argument based on the absence of a concerned adult during defendant's police detention. Defendant was able to clearly communicate and understand the questions posed to him. He was able to understand and give assent to a waiver of his Miranda rights. On tape defendant appeared mostly calm and collected. He did not appear frightened or under any intense coercion. Defendant was never threatened physically or mentally and there were no promises or assurances to defendant to contribute to a coercive atmosphere. Defendant was allowed access to food, drink, and restroom; his statements were the result of his own decisions.