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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - December 9, 2005

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

Appeal No. 90,318: State v. Jearl W. Adams Jr.

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Carol A. Beier, affirms the defendant's Butler County conviction of first-degree murder and resulting life sentence for the death of 11-month-old Hailey O'Roke, rejecting his claims of seven trial errors.

Appeal No. 89,547: State v. Michael K. Mattox

The Court, in a 6-1 decision, affirms the defendant's Shawnee County convictions of aiding and abetting unintentional second-degree murder and one count of aiding and abetting criminal discharge of a firearm, which arose from the shooting death of John Lane, who was found slumped over in the driver's seat of a car on a Topeka street. Writing for the majority and reversing in part a Court of Appeals decision that statements made to three police officers should have been suppressed was Justice Lawton R. Nuss. Justice Donald L. Allegrucci dissented.

Appeal No. 92,438: State v. Marcus B. Washington

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms the defendant's Wyandotte County hard-50 sentence that was re-imposed as a result of his convictions of first-degree murder and criminal possession of a firearm arising from the January 2000 shooting death of Stacey Quinn. The sentence was re-imposed on remand following an earlier appeal in which his convictions were affirmed, but re-sentencing ordered.

Appeal No. 92,361: Levi Love Jr. v. State of Kansas

The Court, in a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms a Shawnee County District Court decision denying Love's motion to reduce his prison sentence for first-degree murder and attempted murder that was ordered to run consecutive to an earlier felony sentence.

Appeal No. 91,919: State v. Lana C. Jackson

The Court unanimously affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County felony murder conviction based on the underlying felony of selling cocaine, rejecting her claims that the murder didn't occur during the drug transaction, that an intervening event broke the connection between the drug transaction and the shooting, and that the trial court should have given a jury instruction requested by the defense.

Appeal No. 89,466: Latasha Griffin et al. v. Suzuki Motor Corporation

The Court, in a 6-1 decision, reverses a $2.7 million damage award in a products liability proceeding and remands the matter for a new trial based on errors involving the admission of evidence. Writing for the majority was Justice Lawton R. Nuss. Dissenting without a separate written opinion was Justice Donald L. Allegrucci.

Docket No. 94,804: In Re: Kiehl Rathbun

The Court imposes one year of supervised probation of a Wichita attorney's law license arising from violations in six separate disciplinary complaints.

Docket No. 94,801: In Re: Tarak A. Devkota

The Court orders published censure for a Kansas City, MO, attorney based on her representation in a federal court copyright proceeding.

Docket No. 94,803: In Re: Amy R. Mitchell

The Court imposes two years' supervised probation of an Olathe attorney's law license based on four unrelated disciplinary complaints.

Docket No. 94,333: In Re: Bret D. Landrith

The Court disbars a Topeka attorney based on his representation of two of his first four clients.

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