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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - March 5, 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 47 opinions. Today's filings include:

Appeal No. 80,308: State v. Nathan Snelling

Trial courts are not allowed to pick and choose when and if the public access provisions of the Kansas Offender Registration Act are applied, under a unanimous decision authored by Justice Edward Larson, reversing an Ellsworth County decision holding that the provision was unconstitutional as applied to Snelling in a case involving a consensual sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

Appeal No. 80,181: State v. Vickie Lumley

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Bob Abbott, affirms the defendant's Stevens County conviction of intentional second-degree murder, which arose from the stabbing death of her common-law husband, Robert Guerrero, with whom she shared a mobile home in rural Stevens County.

Appeal No. 79,008: State v. Amoneo D. Lee

The court unanimously affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of first-degree murder and criminal possession of a firearm, which arose from the November 1995 shooting of Carl G. Mason, Jr. However, Chief Justice Kay McFarland, Justice Tyler C. Lockett, and Justice Edward Larson dissent as to an evidentiary rule announced in today's decision concerning the admissability of evidence of prior crimes relating to the firearms charge. Majority opinion authored by Justice Fred N. Six.

Appeal No. 79,986: State v. Gary J. Bell, Sr.

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County conviction and life sentence for second-degree murder. The conviction arose from the February 1997 shooting of Paul Madden, who was sitting in his parked pickup truck in front of a convenience store.

Appeal No. 79,846: State v. Lance K. Stephens

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, which arose from a mobile home robbery-burglary that resulted in the death of William O. Brown, II.

Appeal No. 78,786: State v. Adam Valdez

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, affirms the defendant's Finney County convictions of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery, and aggravated battery, as well as the imposition of the 40-year mandatory prison sentence. The charges arose from the 1996 kidnapping and murder of Juan Ayon, 33, Garden City, by members of a local gang called Young Crowd (Y.C.)

Appeal No. 80,239: State v. John S. Taylor

The court, in a 5-2 decision orders further proceedings on the defendant's motion to withdraw his guilty plea to second-degree murder, aggravated burglary, and theft. The majority, led by Justice Fred N. Six, determined that Taylor did not have an adequate opportunity to present his contention that he was not fully cognizant of his rights when he entered the plea. Dissenting are Justice Bob Abbott and Chief Justice Kay McFarland. The plea arose from death of Cletus Schumacher, Wichita, who was strangled in his apartment.

Appeal No. 79,136: State v. Daniel Esquivel-Hernandez

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County conviction of second-degree murder, which arose from an October 1996 shoot-out between two rival gangs that resulted in the death of Juan Rivera. The defendant also suffered three gunshot wounds.

Docket No. 82,168: In Re: Michael L. Bennett

The court orders indefinite suspension of a Kansas City, KS, attorney's law license based on his entering into a diversion agreement to avoid prosecution for a fraudulent insurance claim, theft by deception, and falsely reporting a crime.

Being held over for decision later are:

Appeal No. 80,362: Huet-Vaughn v. Board of Healing Arts
Appeal No. 80,015: In Re: Order to Summon Grand Jury
Appeal No. 81,173 and 81,174: State v. Snodgrass et al.
Appeal No. 80,116: Miller v. Sloan, Listrom et al.
Appeal No. 77,999: Amoco v. Wilson
Appeal No. 78,905: Glassman v. Costello
Appeal No. 79,143: State v. Sampsel
Appeal No. 79,283: State v. Minor
Appeal Nos. 80,805 and 80,806: Regency Park v. City of Topeka

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