Defense: Cops forced teen accused of after-school shooting to talk
By Janet Lundquist firstname.lastname@example.org August 19, 2013 6:30PM
Joliet Township High School Central Campus | Janet Lundquist~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 21, 2013 6:23AM
Police took advantage of a teenage suspect’s youth, his attorneys say, keeping him up late and isolating him while questioning him about a shooting outside Joliet Township High School’s Central Campus last August.
Frank D. Baggett was 15 when Joliet police arrested him at 11:11 p.m. at his home in August 2012, waking him from a sound sleep, according to the motion, for shooting a gun in the school parking lot.
They brought him to the police station alone, handcuffed him to a bench and left him to fall asleep, tired and cold, between interrogations, his attorneys say.
Joliet police read Baggett his Miranda rights after they began interrogating him, the motion states, but Baggett’s attorneys question whether he understood that he could keep silent.
Prosecutors say Baggett was only questioned from 1:05 to 2:30 a.m. that night, that police read his Miranda rights before he was questioned, and that he was not physically abused by police.
A hearing on the motion to suppress Baggett’s statements to police is scheduled for Sept. 24.
Defense attorneys say Baggett’s mother was not told she could go to the station with her son. But prosecutors say Baggett’s mother was the person who called police at 11 p.m. the day of his arrest to turn her son in, and has said that she let the officers arrest her son to, “teach him a lesson,” according to court records.
Defense attorneys say police falsely promised Baggett they would help him get home soon. Prosecutors say no promises were made during the interrogation, after which Baggett wrote and signed a statement.
Initially charged as a juvenile, Baggett, now 16, was charged as an adult in December with attempted murder, aggravated discharge of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon and unlawful use of a weapon on school grounds.
Police say Baggett, who was a sophomore at the school last August, argued with two fellow students on Aug. 27, left the campus and picked up a gun. He then came back and shot at the two boys in the school parking lot.
Police were called at 4:05 p.m. that day after shots were fired on the east side of the campus, 201 E. Jefferson St.
No one was hit by the bullets, though a window of the school was shattered, police said.
According to reports, witnesses saw one boy being chased through the parking lot by another, who was firing a revolver at him. Police placed the school on lockdown for about 40 minutes following the incident.
Baggett was identified on a surveillance video, prosecutors said.
The charges were automatically upgraded to adult charges because Baggett allegedly had a weapon on school grounds and because he is age 15 or older, authorities said.