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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - June 9, 2006

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

Appeal No. 93,931: State v. Chatha Tatum

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms the defendant's Wyandotte County convictions of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, rejecting his contention that the admission of gang evidence constituted reversible error.

Appeal No. 93,972: State v. Charles R. Winston

In a companion case to State v. Tatum immediately preceding, the Court in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms the defendant's convictions of murder and attempted murder, rejecting his contentions that he should have received a separate trial from codefendant Tatum, that admission of gang evidence and the denial of his motion for a mistrial constituted reversible error.

Appeal No. 92,731: State v. Kenneth M. Cook

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, affirms the defendant's Shawnee County conviction of second-degree murder and his sentence of 15 years to life, which arose from the shooting death of Charles Duty in Topeka.

Appeal No. 92,870: State v. Lynwood M. Baker

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Eric S. Rosen, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County first-degree murder conviction, but orders resentencing without the so-called hard-50 prison sentence because the shooting death did not meet the statutory criteria for imposing it.

Appeal No. 93,654: Roger Drach v. Louis Bruce and State of Kansas

The Court, in unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms a Finney County decision denying Drach's motion to vacate his first-degree murder conviction, which he contended was invalid due to alleged ineffective assistance of counsel (for not putting the defendant on the witness stand to testify in his own behalf) and the admission of alleged inadmissible hearsay evidence.

Appeal No. 94,568: Dana Linn Flynn v. State of Kansas

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Eric S. Rosen, affirms a Geary County decision denying Flynn's motion to vacate his conviction of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and conspiracy to commit perjury in the 1992 death of Randy Sheridan. The Court rejected her claim of ineffective assistance of counsel.

Appeal No. 93,766: State v. Kelly Jay Lawrence

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Marla J. Luckert, affirms the defendant's Wyandotte County convictions of first-degree murder, aggravated battery, two counts of aggravated assault, and one count of possession of a firearm, rejecting his claims that he should have been permitted to present evidence of a prior shooting in which he was the victim and in failing to give jury instructions he requested relating to premeditation and self-defense.

Appeal No. 92,662: State v. Gilbert Goodson

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Marla J. Luckert, affirms the defendant's Ford County convictions of first-degree murder, aggravated robbery, robbery, and conspiracy to commit robbery, rejecting his claims that his confession should have been suppressed, that evidence of gang affiliation was improperly admitted, and that his sentence should not have been enhanced based on his prior criminal history.

Appeal No. 94,128: State v. Bryon J. Kirtdoll

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored for the Court by Justice Lawton R. Nuss, affirms the defendant's Shawnee County hard-50 prison sentence and his convictions of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated battery for his involvement in a Topeka nightclub shooting.

Appeal No. 93,168: State v. Jack Leslie Harned

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms the defendant's Butler County conviction of first-degree murder, which was based on a no-contest plea that Harned attempted to withdraw.

Docket No. 95,240: In Re: Mark J. Sachse

The Court suspends the law license of a Kansas City attorney for one year based on his representation in two unrelated proceedings.

Docket No. 95,962: In Re: James M. Holmberg

The court imposes a two-year probationary period of a Kansas City attorney's law license based on two violations of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct.

Docket No. 95,413: In Re: Christopher P. Christian

The Court disbars a Wichita attorney for violations arising from his conversion of funds belonging to his law firm to his own use.

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