PEOPLE v. BLAIR
748 N.E.2d 318 (2001)
321 Ill. App.3d 373
254 Ill.Dec. 872
The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Plaintiff-Appellee,
Gary L. BLAIR, Defendant-Appellant.
Appellate Court of Illinois, Third District.
April 24, 2001.
Kerry J. Sluis (argued), Office of the State Appellate Defender, Ottawa, for Gary L. Blair.
John X. Breslin, Deputy Director, State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor, Ottawa, Gary L. Spencer, State's Attorney, Morrison, Nancy Rink Carter (argued), State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor, Ottawa, for the People.
Justice SLATER delivered the opinion of the court:
After a stipulated bench trial, defendant, Gary L. Blair, was convicted of 16 counts of possessing child pornography (720 ILCS 5/11-20.1(a)(6) (West 1992)). On appeal, defendant contends the trial court erred by denying his motion to suppress. For the reasons that follow, we reverse defendant's convictions outright.
At the outset, we acknowledge that defendant raises other claims of error. However, in light of our disposition of defendant's claim concerning the denial of his motion to suppress, it is unnecessary for us to address the other issues he raises and we decline to do so.
On the afternoon of July 14, 1998, deputy sheriffs from the Rock Island County Sheriff's Department placed defendant under arrest for disorderly conduct in connection with his videotaping children at Niabi Zoo. Later that day, while defendant remained in custody, deputy sheriffs Steven Dean and Jeffrey Chrisholm traveled to defendant's residence in Whiteside County.
At the residence, they were greeted by Howard Blair, defendant's father. Dean and Chrisholm identified themselves as police officers, informed Blair about his son's arrest, and asked to come in to speak to Blair about his son. Once inside, Dean and Chrisholm asked if they might look at defendant's belongings. Blair gave permission but informed the officers that defendant's bedroom was locked and that he did not have a key to the room. Blair also noted that he lacked a key to certain lockers owned by defendant that were located in the basement.
The search eventually led to a small room in the basement where the officers came upon a computer. Blair informed the officers that the computer belonged to his son. At the hearing on defendant's motion to suppress, Blair testified that he had no ownership interest of any kind in his son's computer. Deputy Sheriff Chrisholm turned on the computer. Dean testified that it was his belief that Chrisholm asked Blair's permission to activate the computer. However, in their testimony, both Blair and Chrisholm denied that any such permission was requested or obtained.
At the suppression hearing, Chrisholm described his subsequent actions in the following manner: