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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - October 27, 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 52 opinions. The full text of these decisions may be found at www.kscourts.org.

Appeal No. 91,406: State v. Kevin W. Gunby

The Court, in an opinion authored by Justice Carol A. Beier, affirms the defendant's Johnson County conviction of first-degree murder in the strangulation death of his high school classmate, Amanda Rae Sharp. Chief Justice Kay McFarland, in a separate decision, however, disagreed with part of the majority decision relating to the admissibility of evidence of prior crimes or civil offenses. She was joined by Justice Tyler C. Lockett, retired, who was sitting on assignment with the Court.

Appeal No. 91,469: State v. Jorge Sanchez Gonzalez

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Robert E. Davis, affirms the defendant's Seward County convictions of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle, and his sentence of life plus 64 years sentence.

Appeal No. 92,087: State v. John F. Francis

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, affirms the defendant's Johnson County first-degree murder conviction arising from the 1998 death of Clem Holingsworth, rejecting his claims of error relating to jury instructions, closing argument, jury questions, and post-trial motions.

Appeal No. 92,233: Brian D. Phillips v. State of Kansas

The Court, in a 5-2 opinion, affirms once again the defendant's Sedgwick County first-degree murder conviction and resulting life sentence, rejecting the defendant's contentions that he received ineffective assistance of counsel. Justices Robert E. Davis dissented in a separate opinion that was joined by Justice Marla J. Luckert. Writing for the majority was Justice Donald L. Allegrucci.

Appeal No. 92,362: State v. George E. Anthony

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Carol A. Beier, affirms the defendant's Shawnee County first-degree murder conviction, arising from the murder of David Carrington, the defendant's off-and-on landlord and employer, rejecting his six claims of error that related to his post-arrest silence, prosecutorial misconduct, admission of portions of a video-taped statement, a jury instruction regarding evidence of other wrongs, the failure to give a jury instruction during deliberations and cumulative error.

Appeal No. 92,814: State v. Benjamin L. Rogers

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Lawton R. Nuss, affirms the defendant's Johnson County convictions following remand on charges of burglary, theft, and two counts of felony theft, rejecting his contentions that the second trial constituted double jeopardy and was barred by the law of this case, that his testimony from the first trial should not have been admitted and that the court should have given jury instructions on lesser-included offenses.

Appeal No. 93,412: State v. Arturo J. Garcia

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Donald L. Allegrucci, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of intentional second-degree murder, as well as his hard 50 sentences for each first-degree murder and 165 months imprisonment for second-degree murder. The Court rejected his claims of denial of speedy trial, the admission of statements by certain witnesses, and the imposition of the sentence without having a jury determination that the aggravated circumstances existed beyond a reasonable doubt.

Appeal No. 93,430: State v. Richard R. Reed

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Marla J. Luckert, affirms the defendant's Chautauqua County convictions of the first-degree murder of his wife, attempted second-degree murder of his daughter, and aggravated burglary. The Court rejected his claims of error in denying his motion for a change of judge and in admitting the audiotape of a 911 call that Reed unsuccessfully contended was cumulative evidence and unduly prejudicial. The Court also affirmed his hard 50 sentence, rejecting his claim that the statute is unconstitutional.

Appeal No. 93,587: State v. Aaron R. Alger

The court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Carol A. Beier, affirms the defendant's Montgomery County felony murder conviction in the child abuse homicide of his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter and rejected his claims that the trial court erred in the admission of an unredacted videotape of his statements, in the admission of his statements to authorities, in the prosecutor's opening statement, and cumulative error.

Appeal No. 93,694: State v. Rosa E. Sanchez

The Court, in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Marla J. Luckert, affirms the defendant's Sedgwick County convictions of first-degree felony murder and aggravated battery of her 3-year-old stepson. The Court rejected Sanchez' claims that she was denied a fair trial because she was prevented from presenting evidence, that the state erroneously charged her with felony murder based on aggravated battery as the underlying felony, that she was improperly sentenced for both murder and aggravated battery, and that cumulative error denied her right to a fair trial.

Docket No. 95,963: In Re: Bradley P. Sylvester

The Court orders published censure for a Wichita attorney based on his representation in a patent application.

Docket No. 96,580: In Re: Linda L. Eckelman

The Court orders published censure for a Dodge City attorney based on her representation in a Ford County criminal proceeding.

Docket No. 96,581: In Re: Michael F. Brunton

The Court delays imposition of discipline for two years provided he complies with orders of the Board for the Discipline of Attorneys relating to his representation in a bankruptcy proceeding and failure to file his personal income tax returns for a three-year period.

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