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Kansas Supreme Court Selected Opinion Summaries - June 19, 2009

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: keefover@kscourts.org.

The Supreme Court today filed decisions in the following cases today. The full text of these decisions may be found at www.kscourts.org.

Appeal No. 98,389: State v. Kimberly D. Sharp, affirming the defendant's Topeka kidnaping and murder convictions in the brutal homicide of a Topeka homeless advocate.  (Attached is a summary of the Court's decision in that case.)

Appeal No. 98,763: State v. James Boyer, ordering resentencing without factoring in two prior juvenile adjudications in determining his status as a “persistent sex offender,” affirming the Court of Appeals and remanding to Sedgwick County District Court.  (Court's opinion authored by Justice Eric S. Rosen.)

Appeal No. 100,445State v. Robert W. Richardson II, in which the Court in a decision authored by Justice Lee A. Johnson, upholds the constitutionality of a statute making it a crime to knowingly infect someone with a life-threatening communicable disease if intent to do so is proven.  The Court determined that intent to infect two women with the virus was not proven at trial, and reverses the defendant’s Lyon County convictions.

Appeal No. 96,754State v. Robert G. Phillips and No. 97,548: State v. Alan Wenzel, holding that judges are required to make specific findings that payments are due when imposing post-conviction court costs in criminal cases for docket and booking fees, indigent defense attorney fees and applications for indigent defense services.  (Opinion by Justice Marla Luckert, affirming assessment of the fees in Phillips case in Sedgwick County are affirmed, but reversing those assessed in Wenzel’s Reno County case due to insufficient findings by the trial court.)

Appeal No. 97,020: State v. Wallace L. Dixon, affirming his Lyon County convictions following his second trial for two counts of felony murder and other charges arising out of an apartment explosion in Emporia.  The Court, in an opinion authored by Justice Carol A. Beier, rejects Dixon’s challenges: (1) refusal to grant a mistrial because a witness altered his opinion on the stand; (2) refusal to grant a mistrial because a juror saw Dixon in shackles; (3) refusal to give instructions on certain lesser included offenses; (4) refusal to give a unanimity instruction regarding the underlying crime for the burglary charges; (5) adequacy of the felony-murder, burglary, and criminal damage to property elements instructions; (6) admission of evidence that Dixon's mother attempted to obstruct investigation of the explosion; and (7) cumulative error.