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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - July 12, 2002

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 39 opinions. The full text of these decisions may be found at www.kscourts.org. Today's filings include:

Appeal No. 86,953: State v. Tanner L. Green

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Chief Justice Kay McFarland, affirms Tanner's Sedgwick County first-degree murder conviction, rejecting his sole claim of the admission of gruesome and prejudicial photographs of the decedent victim.

Appeal No. 87,468: State v. Oscar A. Bustamante

Saying the Legislature took specific steps to reduce prison overcrowding, the court reverses a Sedgwick County decision declaring unconstitutional a state statute specifying the placement of certain offenders in community corrections programs as a violation of the separation of powers doctrine.

Appeal No. 87,205: State v. Lana J. Beard

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, reverses a Sumner County decision declaring unconstitutional a statute requiring judges to state on the record why the defendant should not be placed in a conservation camp or community intermediate sanction center instead of prison. (Rejecting the trial court's finding that the statute constitutes a violation of the separation of powers.)

Appeal No. 86,740: State v. Romane R. Douglas

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Fred N. Six, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated robbery, which arose from the October 1998 shooting deaths of Jesse Mjia and Alex Martinez, which occurred on a Wichita street.

Appeal No. 87,000: State v. Steven L. Papen

The court, in a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County first-degree murder conviction and his resulting hard 50 prison sentence.

Appeal No. 83,716: State v. Gentry E. Bolton

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, affirms the defendant's Wyandotte County convictions of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery, which arose from the December 1997 shooting death of Shane Brees, who was killed during the holdup of a convenience store where he worked.

Docket No. 88,205: In Re: Courtland E. Berry

The court suspends the law license of a Newton attorney for 18 months based on violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct arising from four complaints of misconduct.

Docket No. 87,896: In Re: Kimberly K. Kellogg

The court indefinitely suspends the law license of a Leawood attorney based on her representation of two defendants in criminal cases and in failing to appear before the Supreme Court on the disciplinary complaint.

Docket No. 88,458: In Re: Jack M.N. Shelton

The court indefinitely suspends the law license of a Topeka attorney arising from complaints from 11 clients and a later stipulation to complaints from a total 37 additional clients each involving allegations of lack of communication, lack of diligence, and unearned retainers.

Docket No. 88,401: In Re: Debra J. Arnett

The court imposes a one-year suspension of the law license of a Paola attorney based upon seven violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct arising from her representation in a change of custody proceeding and failure to cooperate with the disciplinary administrator's office.

Docket No. 88,459: In Re: Weston A. Sechtem

The court disbars a Kansas City, MO, attorney based on numerous violations arising from his representation in connection with two civil suits and his failure to participate in his disciplinary proceedings.

Being held over for decision later are:

#85,238: State v. Carr
#86,880: Bolz v. State Farm
#87,820: Winston v. SRS
#82,983: State v. Flynn
#84,969: State v. Dreiling

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