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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - March 10, 2000

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 44 opinions. Today's filings include:

Appeal No. 78,380: State v. Stephen M. Shively

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Edward Larson, lets a Topeka man's convictions of aggravated assault and multiple drug charges stand despite an unconstitutional "no knock" search that resulted in the death of a Topeka police officer. The "no knock" entry to serve search warrants in drug cases has been used in all but 5 to 10 percent of searches by the department's Street Crime Action Team, according to testimony at Shively's trial, something the court today ruled should be used only when "sufficient exigent circumstances" exist as set forth in previous U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The court let the convictions stand based on a second search that was conducted after the predawn search in which officer Tony Patterson was killed.

Appeal No. 77,100: State v. Stephen M. Shively

The court, In a unanimous decision authored by Justice Edward Larson, declines to review a finding of indirect contempt of court against the Shawnee County District Attorney and reaffirms its stance that evidence of a polygraph examination is inadmissable in Kansas as too unreliable.

Appeal No. 82,962: Families Against Corporate Takeover v. Gary Mitchell and the Kansas Department of Revenue

Saying the law changed after a Shawnee County judge issued the trial court's ruling, the court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Fred N. Six reverses and holds that a Hodgeman County group has standing to challenge a permit authorizing Murphy Farms to construct a 14,300-head hog farm.

Appeal No. 81,220: State v. Wilford Molester Galloway

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, affirms the defendant's Douglas County felony murder conviction, which arose from the May 1997 discovery of the body of Floyd White, which was found in a ditch just west of the Lawrence City limits. He had been shot in the head twice.

Appeal No. 81,519: State v. Byron Rayton

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, affirms the defendant's Shawnee County convictions of felony murder and criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling. The charges arose from a May 1997 shooting barrage that resulted in the death of Larry Bryant at a Topeka apartment complex.

Appeal No. 80,936: State v. Shakeer Davis

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms the defendant's Riley County convictions of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated robbery, and aggravated burglary, which arose from the February 1997 shooting death of Wanda Norman and wounding of John Garner.

Appeal No. 81,604: State v. Reginald Pennington

The court unanimously affirms the defendant's Wyandotte County conviction of second-degree murder, which arose from the January 1997 discovery of the body of Caresa Akins near the entrance to the police firing range in Kansas City. She died as a result of strangulation and blunt trauma to the head.

Appeal No. 81,586: State v. Michael L. Coyote

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County second-degree murder conviction, which arose from the death in November 1996 of Ronald Hurlbut, whose body was found on the floor of his apartment.

Appeal No. 80,460: State v. Patricia A. Alexander

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Bob Abbott, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County conviction of first-degree murder, which arose from the May 1997 death of Walter Young, who was stabbed three times during an altercation on a Wichita street.

Appeal No. 79,463: State v. Code Laster

The court affirms the defendant's Wyandotte County conviction of first-degree murder, which arose from the death of Paul Moore, who Laster believed had stolen his car the night before.

Appeal No. 82,586: State v. Jeremy J. Bell

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Chief Justice Kay McFarland, reinstates a second-degree murder charge in a Reno County case in which the trial judge reduced the defendant's charge from second-degree murder to voluntary manslaughter, reversing and remanding with directions.

Appeal No. 80,862: State v. Rafael Flores

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Edward Larson, dismisses the defendant's Ford County appeal of the trial court's imposition of consecutive sentences for his convictions of first-degree murder and attempted voluntary manslaughter based on a lack of jurisdiction.

Appeal No. 80,691: State v. Roger Drach

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Bob Abbott, affirms the defendant's Finney County convictions of first-degree murder, aggravated battery, and criminal use of weapons, which arose from the death of his wife, Deanne, who was shot.

Docket No. 83,937: In Re: James C. Trickey

The court imposes published censure for an Overland Park attorney based on several violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct arising from a bankruptcy matter.

Docket No. 83,936: In Re: Thomas J. Richardson

The court disbars a Walingford, Connecticut, attorney who is licensed in Kansas based on his guilty pleas in federal court to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud, and misappropriation of funds by a fiduciary.

Docket No. 83,896: In Re: John W. Cole

The court indefinitely suspends the law license of an Ottawa attorney based on his representation of a client and his failure to cooperate with the disciplinary administrator in the investigation of the complaint against him.

Being held over for decision later are:

Appeal No. 79,807: State v. Moore
Appeal No. 82,591: In re B.M.W.
Appeal No. 83,004: In re Arabia
Appeal No. 83,619: McKernan v. General Motors
Appeal Nos .81,970, .81,971 and 82,268: In re Kansas Christian Home
Appeal No. 79,003: State v. Chaney
Appeal No. 81,251: Excel Corp. v. Jimenez
Appeal Nos. 81,491, 81,497, 81,509, and 81,632: In re 18th Judicial District
Appeal No. 77,396: Reynolds-Rexwinkle v. Petex

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