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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - , 2007

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 23 opinions. Today's filings include:

Appeal No. 74,423: State v. Douglas Leon Ray Abel

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, affirms the defendant's Shawnee County convictions of felony murder, aggravated robbery, and aggravated burglary. The convictions arose from the discovery January 11, 1994, of the body of Sidney Robinson, which was found in his backyard. The court rejected his claims of error in the denial of a speedy trial, in failing to give an accomplice jury instruction, and an instruction on paid informant testimony.

Appeal No. 74,955: State v. Ramon A. Noriega Jr.

The court, in unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, affirms Noriega's Shawnee County convictions of felony murder, aggravated robbery, and aggravated burglary. Noriega, codefendant with Douglas Leon Ray Abel (discussed above), unsuccessfully raised the issues of accomplice and paid-informant jury instructions, but also contended that the statutory elements of burglary were not specified, that an erroneous Allen instruction was given, that the burden of proof and presumption of innocence instruction was improper, and that he was denied his right to a speedy trial.

Appeal No. 76,519: State v. Lamonte McIntyre

The court affirms a Wyandotte County decision denying McIntyre's motion for a new trial of his convictions of two counts of first-degree murder. The motion was based upon newly discovered evidence and recantation of testimony. The convictions have been previously affirmed, 259 Kan . 488 (1996). They arose from the April 1994 shotgun deaths of two occupants of a parked car on a Kansas City, Kan., street corner.

Appeal No. 74,062: State v. Sheldon E. Judd

The court affirms the defendant's Saline County convictions of felony murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, but reverses an additional count of misdemeanor theft because that count was multiplicitous with the robbery count. The charges arose from the residential burglary of William Trembley, Salina, whose body was discovered bound with duct tape. Death was due to a heart attack that was brought about by the ordeal.

Appeal No. 75,297: State v. Glen D. Tibbit

The court affirms a Bourbon County decision dismissing two counts of involuntary manslaughter due to the state's failure to bring him to trial within the statutory speedy trial statute requiring trial within 180 days of his arraignment.

Appeal No. 74,007: State v. Charles T. Roberts

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County first-degree murder conviction, which arose from the shooting of Myron Hutton, which occurred at a Wichita car wash.

Appeal No. 75,022: State v. Kaleafa Straughter

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Fred N. Six, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of felony murder, aggravated robbery, and aggravated burglary, all of which arose from the November 1994 stabbing of William O. Brown III, who was killed in his Wichita mobile home. The court rejected his claims challenging the admission of a confession, and the trial court's refusal to give instructions on abandonment or withdrawal from the underlying felony as a defense to felony murder and an instruction on foreseeability.

Appeal No. 74,991: State v. Steven A. Clark

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. The convictions arose from the shooting death of Lynette Odanga and attempted murder of Kenneth Shine, which occurred early the morning of October 23, 1994, outside a Wichita apartment complex following an evening of celebrating the victim's birthday at a Wichita bar. The court rejected his claims that lesser-included degrees of murder should have been given, that evidence of the victim's statements concerning her relationship with the defendant should not have been admitted, that instructions on the burden of proof were improper and that gruesome photographs were improperly admitted into evidence.

Appeal No. 74,877: State v. Gregory Baacke

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Edward Larson, affirms the defendant's Republic County convictions of first-degree murder and felony theft, which arose from the September 23, 1994, murder of 79-year-old Gladys Knedlik, who was stabbed and shot at her Republic County farmhouse. The court rejected Baacke's claims that their were errors in the admission of certain testimony, that the prosecutor made an impermissible argument during closing remarks, that the trial court erred in refusing to give lesser-included instructions, that his confessions should not have been admitted and that a jury instruction (PIK Crim. 3d 52.02) was erroneous.

Appeal No. 74,582: State v. Aikins

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Bob Abbott, affirms the defendant's Johnson County convictions of aggravated robbery and felony murder, which arose from the murder-robbery of a clerk at Martin's Liquor Store in Olathe. He was tried together with Sheldon Nash, whose convictions also were affirmed today.

Appeal No. 74,486: State v. Sheldon K. Nash

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Bob Abbott, affirms the defendant's Johnson County convictions of aggravated robbery and felony murder. The charges arose from the robbery of an Olathe Liquor Store. (See State v. Aikins above.)

Being held over for decision later are:

Appeal No. 75,290: State v. Plunkett
Appeal No. 75,185: State v. Bornholdt
Appeal No. 74,774: State v. Moncla
Appeal No. 71,971: State v. Rice
Appeal No. 74,724: State v. Holbrook
Appeal No. 76,097: Leavenworth County Comm. v. McGraw et al.
Appeal No. 74,528: In Re: Kaul
Appeal No. 72,538: Shirley v. Smith
Appeal No. 73,410: In Re: Betts
Appeal No. 75,227: ATSF RAilway v. Stonewall Ins. et al.
Appeal No. 75,279: Assoc. Wholesale Grocers v. Americold
Appeal No. 75,497: KPERs v. Reimer & Koger et al.
Appeal No. 76,623: Achey et al. v. Linn County Bank
Appeal No. 74,690: Williams Natural Gas v. Supra Energy
Appeal No. 72,709: Jones v. Sigg et al.

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