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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - October 25, 1996

Summaries and press releases are prepared by Ron Keefover, Office of Judicial Administration, Kansas Judicial Center, 301 West 10th, Topeka, KS 66612-1507 (785-296-2256), e-mail: keefoverr@kscourts.org.

The Supreme Court today filed 24 opinions. Today's filings include:

Appeal No. 74,852: State v. Maurice Pierce

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms the defendant's Wyandotte County first-degree murder conviction that arose from the June 1995 shooting of Devron Bowers, 14, who was shot while walking to his Children's Day activities at his church, the Freeman Avenue Church of God. The motive for the shooting was described as the defendant not wanting Bowers and two other youngsters "on his block."

Appeal No. 74,481: State v. David Brooks

The court affirms a Wyandotte County decision denying Brooks' motion to withdraw his guilty plea to one count of first-degree murder, for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Brooks pled guilty to participating in the murder of Carol Garrett, a clerk at a convenience store across the street from Washington High School in Kansas City, Kan. The clerk was shot during a robbery attempt.

Appeal No. 74,288: State v. Gregory D. Walker

The court affirms a Sedgwick County decision revoking Walker's probation and sentencing him to life for violating the probation terms by twice leaving the Youth Center at Topeka without permission of the court and by failing to abide by all rules and regulations of Y.C.A.T. Walker was placed on probation on condition that he remain an inmate of Y.C.A.T. until he reached the age of 21, based upon his conviction of a series of felonies that arose from several incidents in which a group of young men and boys bullied and brutalized their Wichita neighbors. (The court specifically rejected his contention that assistance in his violation of the Y.C.A.T. rules by staff members excused his actions.)

Appeal No. 73,698: State v. Hector J. Vargas

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, affirms the defendant's Wyandotte County second-degree murder conviction that arose from the September 1992 shooting of Ricardo Ramora, which occurred at a drive-in restaurant following an exchange of words between the occupants of two vehicles.

Appeal No. 74,579: State v. Johnnie C. Shears

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Fred N. Six, affirms a Shawnee County decision denying his motion to set aside his no contest pleas to first-degree murder, rape, and aggravated robbery in three separate incidents. The murder charge arose from Shears' killing of David Cook in December 1994.

Appeal No. 76,330: In Re: Philip D. Gordon

The court disbars a Valley Falls attorney for mishandling a bankruptcy proceeding and failing to cooperate in the investigation of the disciplinary complaint lodged against him. (He previously had been indefinitely suspended from the practice of law.)

Appeal No. 76,403: In Re: Daniel H. Phillips

The court imposes a three-year probationary period for a Wichita attorney based upon his mishandling of three client matters.

Being held over for decision later are:

Appeal No. 74,412: State v. Neufeld
Appeal No. 74,394: KPERS v. Gage and Tucker et al.
Appeal No. 75,006: State v. Banks
Appeal No. 74,757: State v. Rodriquez
Appeal No. 72,939: State v. Arculeo
Appeal No. 71,971: State v. Rice
Appeal No. 75,788: Brown v. USD 333
Appeal No. 74,710: Gleason v. Samaritan Home