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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - January 22, 1999

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 38 opinions. Today's filings include:

Appeal No. 80,523: LINK Inc., Lou Ann Kibbee and Brian Atwell v. City of Hays

The city of Hays has no responsibilities to enforce provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act for existing public accommodations built solely with private funds, under a unanimous decision authored for the court by Justice Fred N. Six. (Vacating a Writ of Mandamus entered in Ellis County District Court.)

Appeal No. 79,625: State v. Shawn A. Alderson

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Bob Abbott, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County sentence of life plus 86 months imprisonment based upon his convictions of felony murder and aggravated battery, which arose from the 1994 shooting death of Larry Goodwin and the wounding of Tyrone Elam. His convictions were affirmed in an earlier decision, but the matter was remanded for resentencing before a different judge. (He has received the same sentence under today's decision.)

Appeal No. 78,409: State v. Jose Avalos

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, affirms a Finney County decision to prosecute Avalos as an adult in connection with the gang-related murder of Juan Ayon, who died in February 1996 from injuries he sustained after being run over by an automobile. (Avalos subsequently was convicted of felony murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment.)

Appeal No. 77,041: State v. Donald R. Barksdale

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of the murders of Hosea Davis III and Jennifer Forgie. (Although occurring at different times and locations, the charges were tried together.)

Appeal No. 79,172: State v. Charles Brown

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Edward Larson, affirms the defendant's Wyandotte County convictions of first-degree murder, which arose from the 1985 presumed death of Michael Gerhard, whose body was never found, but who the state successfully contended had been burned in a trash pile on property owned by the defendant.

Appeal No. 78,692: State v. Larry A. Bryan

The court affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County conviction of first-degree murder on remand from an earlier appeal in which the Supreme Court ordered a new trial because his attorney at his first trial raised an insanity defense over the defendent's objections. Bryan represented himself at the second trial and was convicted again of killing his supervisor, Ron Eldrige, at their place of employment.

Appeal No. 79,375: State v. Antawin B. Lyons

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Bob Abbott, affirms the defendant's Shawnee County first-degree murder conviction, which arose from the August 1996 shooting death of Bonnie Dexter Adams.

Appeal No. 78,644: State v. George R. Spry

Saying there was no evidence that the victim (former girlfriend Barbara Chaffee) was subjected to repeated blows while living or knew the nature of the weapon (an ax) that was used, the court rules 5-2 to remand Spry's Sedgwick County first-degree murder case for resentencing without provisions of the hard 40 sentence. Majority opinion authored by Justice Fred N. Six. Separate dissenting opinions by Chief Justice McFarland and Justice Tyler C. Lockett would affirm the sentence. (The murder conviction is unanimously affirmed.)

Bar Docket No. 07269: In Re: Edwin P. Carpenter

The court disbars a Topeka attorney after he surrendered his law license following his December 17, 1998, guilty plea to the charge of accessory after the fact to bankruptcy fraud.

Docket No. 81,761: In Re: Richard P. Senecal

The court orders public censure for an Atchison attorney for misleading the county attorney in a criminal proceeding.

Docket No. 81,383: In Re: Bryan A. Rickman

The court imposes indefinite suspension against a Girard attorney based upon his conversion of money from an estate to his personal use and his failure to cooperate with the disciplinary administrator.

Docket No. 81,972: In Re: Ronald J. Fey Jr.

The court imposes indefinite suspension of an attorney licensed to practice in Kansas but whose last registration address is Raymore, MO, based upon his handling of bankruptcy proceedings.

Docket No. 81,524: In Re: Donald C. Long

The court imposes a one-year suspension of the law license of an Edwardsville, KS, attorney based on three complaints by clients.

Docket No. 82,037: In Re: Steven L. Islas

The court places a Wichita attorney's law practice under two years supervision based on four separate complaints by clients in connection with their cases.

Being held over for decision later are:

Appeal No. 73,410: In re Wendell Betts
Appeal No. 80,566: Hickman v. Clay Center
Appeal No. 79,008: State v. Lee
Appeal No. 79,840: Wichita v. McDonald's
Appeal No. 80,239: State v. Taylor
Appeal No. 79,453: Bergstrom v. Noah
Appeal No. 79,531: Bergstrom v. Noah
Appeal No. 79,672: In re Appeal of KU Sch. of Med.
Appeal No. 79,143: State v. Sampsel
Appeal No. 79,283: State v. Minor
Appeal No. 79,287: State v. Crow
Appeal No. 79,994: Eberth v. Carlson
Appeal Nos. 80,805 and 80,806: Regency Park v. Topeka
Appeal No. 78,786: State v. Valdez