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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - December 17, 2004

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 15 opinions. The full text of these decisions may be found at www.kscourts.org.

Appeal No. 90,420: State v. Melvin W. Holmes

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of first-degree murder and criminal possession of a firearm, but orders re-sentencing, ruling that the evidence did not support the aggravating factors required by the hard-40 sentencing statute.

Appeal Nos. 90,663, 90,6764, 90,665, 90,666 and 90.667: In the matter of the Appeal of Sprint Communications Co. L.P., from an Order of the Division of Taxation for a Refund of Sales and Use Tax

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Marla J. Luckert, affirms a Board of Tax Appeals decision denying claims for refunds in five consolidated telecommunications cases. The companies sought a refund of the sales tax paid on purchases of telecommunications equipment in Kansas during the period between March 1994 through March 2000 on the basis that the companies were providing a product instead of a service.

Appeal No. 90,454: State v. Dale M.L. Denney

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Lawton R. Nuss, holds that statutory provisions for post-conviction DNA testing must be extended to a defendant convicted of aggravated criminal sodomy in addition to persons convicted of murder and rape.

Appeal No. 90,954: State v. Thomas J. Drennan Jr.

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Marla J. Luckert, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County first-degree murder conviction and hard-50 prison sentence, which arose from the 2002 strangulation death of Shelbree Wilson, who was killed in her Wichita residence.

Appeal No. 89,462: Robert Booth Roe by and Through His Adoptive Parents and Conservator v. Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services et al.

The Crawford County District Court was correct in granting SRS and its employees summary judgment in a lawsuit brought over severe child abuse injuries received by Robert Booth Roe when he was an infant in 1992.

Appeal No. 90,571: State v. Nathenial T. Hurt

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Marla J. Luckert, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of first-degree murder and aggravated assault and his hard-50 life sentence, which arose from the shooting death of Nicole Palma, who was shot in front of her home.

Docket No. 92,839: In Re: Scott C. Stockwell

The court orders published censure for a Lawrence attorney based on his representation in a trust matter.

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