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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - October 31, 1997

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 fifty-six opinions. Today's filings include:

Appeal No. 76,616: State v. Duane Henry

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Edward Larson, affirms the defendant's Johnson County conviction of first-degree murder of Sheila Winter, 17, who was found May 16, 1991, beaten, stomped, and strangled to death in her Lenexa apartment.

Appeal No. 74,874: State v. Rick E. Follin

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Donald Allegrucci, affirms the defendant's Butler County convictions of two counts of first-degree murder, as well as his two consecutive hard 40 sentences that resulted from the February 1994 fatal stabbing of his 3- and 4-year old daughters.

Appeal No. 77,184: Louis Jackson Jr. v. City of Kansas City, KS

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Bob Abbott, affirms a Wyandotte County jury verdict awarding the plaintiff $158,500 for injuries sustained when his throat was cut from ear to ear while being held in police custody with his hands handcuffed behind his back and seated on a street curb.

Appeal No. 74,976: State v. Lance C. Cellier

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Bob Abbott, affirms the defendant's Lyon County convictions of first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping, which arose from the shooting death of Scott Payton, 19, in February 1994.

Appeal No. 77,168: State v. Kelly L. Williams

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County conviction of first-degree felony murder, which was based upon the underlying felony of child abuse. The conviction arose from the November 1995 death of 3-year-old Katie Horrie, who was found to have a five-inch skull fracture and other injuries when she was admitted to a hospital after being left in the defendant's care.

Appeal No. 76,483: State v. Undra D. Lee

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Bob Abbott, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, and kidnapping, which arose from the May 1994 discovery of human bones in a field in rural Sedgwick County. The remains were identified as those of Marqueta Smallwood, who had disappeared in 1993. The coroner concluded she died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Appeal No. 77,677: State v. Shane A. Duke and Brent A. Alford

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Chief Justice Kay McFarland, upholds the denial of the defendants' identical motions to reduce their hard 40 prison sentences. (This is a consolidated appeal of motions in two unrelated murder cases, both of which were previously affirmed during a direct appeal.)

Appeal No. 78,043: In Re: Dorothy Gershater

The court orders published censure for a Lawrence attorney based on her failure to inform her client that she was unable to continue representing her and to advise the client that she needed to get another lawyer to conclude a legal matter.

Appeal No. 78,963: In Re: Robert L. Mitchell

The court orders indefinite suspension of a Wichita attorney's law license based upon numerous violations of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, as well as a prior disciplinary case in which his license was suspended for a year.

Appeal No. 78,964: In Re: David W. Stephens

The court orders a two-year probationary period for neglecting legal matters entrusted to him.

Appeal No. 78,760: In Re: Frederick G. Apt Jr.

The court orders published censure for an Iola attorney based upon his handling of a real estate transaction.

Appeal No. 78,758: In Re: Lynn L. Perkins

The court orders a two-year probationary period for a Howard attorney based upon his stipulation to violations of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct in the handling of an estate.

Being held over for decision later are:

Appeal No. 77,073: State v. Barnes
Appeal No. 77,097: State v. Smallwood
Appeal No. 77,549: State v. Jenkins
Appeal No. 77,490: Woodruff v. City of Ottawa
Appeal No. 74,415: State v. Hardyway
Appeal No. 77,560: Earle v. Progressive Northern Insurance
Appeal No. 75,258: State v. Thompkins
Appeal No. 78,075: Barragree v. Tri-County Electric Cooperative
Appeal No. 77,804: State v. Reason
Appeal No. 76,948: Moore v. Associated Material and Supply Co.
Appeal No. 74,601: State v. Wonders

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