Today in court at 26th and California one of our clients was found not guilty of possessing a single bullet in a junk drawer in her home. Because she was a convicted felon, she was facing a mandatory 2 -10 years in jail. Police arrived at her home with a search warrant and saw 2 people standing on the porch. Those people ran inside and barricaded the front door. After police broke down the door, they searched the residence and arrested our client when they found a single bullet in a 1st floor dresser drawer. Possession of a bullet by a felon is otherwise known as Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a felon, a class 3 felony.
At trial, one of the police officers testified that our client told the officers that the bedroom where the bullet was found was her bedroom. Moreover, an officer testified that she found several pieces of mail addressed to our client in the bedroom. On cross examination, Villalobos & Associates attorney, Klaudia Stolarczuk, asked the officer to show her where in the police report it says that our client identified the bedroom as her own- an admission by a suspect is a big deal and would no doubt be one of the most important things to write in a police report. However, the officer could not show her because it was not in the report.
For the defense, our client testified that she never told police officers that the bedroom was hers because her bedroom was actually on the second floor of the house. The first floor bedroom was her mother’s and the drawer where the bullet was found was a junk drawer where her mother would keep everyone’s important pieces of mail.
The judge held that he normally doesn’t think it is very significant when police officers omit something from their police reports. The big exception is when an officer does not include any mention of an admission by a suspect. Admissions by suspects are gold for police officers and prosecutors so the fact that the supposed admission wasn’t included in the police reports cast a doubt as to whether it actually happened. Ultimately, that fact was fatal to the State’s case.