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Supreme Court releases for March 9, 2018

09 Mar 2018 10:22 AM | Tiffany Fisher (Administrator)

The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today: 

Appeal No. 112,361: State of Kansas v. Roy D. Wetrich
 
The Supreme Court affirmed a Court of Appeals' decision that Johnson County District Court incorrectly sentenced Wetrich because it incorrectly classified a 1988 Missouri burglary conviction as a person felony and thereby miscalculated his criminal history score. For an out-of-state conviction to be comparable to a person offense under the Kansas criminal code, the elements of the out-of-state crime must be identical to or narrower than the elements of the Kansas crime to which it is being compared. Under this test, Wetrich's Missouri burglary conviction should have been classified as a nonperson felony.

Appeal No. 112,544: State of Kansas v. Randy D. Sturgis
 
The Supreme Court affirmed Sturgis' convictions in Sedgwick County for criminal possession of firearm and theft but reversed the sentence and remanded to district court for resentencing. The court ruled the district court incorrectly classified a previous Michigan home invasion conviction as a person felony and thereby miscalculated Sturgis' criminal history score. For an out-of-state conviction to be comparable to a person offense under the Kansas criminal code, the elements of the out-of-state crime must be identical to or narrower than the elements of the Kansas crime to which it is being compared. Under this test, Sturgis' Michigan home invasion conviction should have been classified as a nonperson felony.

Appeal No. 113,545: State of Kansas v. Charles H. Moore
 
The Supreme Court reversed Court of Appeals and Sedgwick County District Court decisions regarding Moore's sentence and remanded for resentencing. The court ruled the district court incorrectly sentenced Moore because it incorrectly classified a previous Oregon first-degree burglary conviction as a person felony and thereby miscalculated his criminal history score. For an out-of-state conviction to be comparable to a person offense under the Kansas criminal code, the elements of the out-of-state crime must be identical to or narrower than the elements of the Kansas crime to which it is being compared. Under this test, Moore's Oregon first-degree burglary conviction should have been classified as a nonperson felony

Appeal No. 113,881: State of Kansas v. Derrick Buell
 
The Supreme Court reversed Court of Appeals and Shawnee County District Court decisions regarding Buell's sentence and remanded for resentencing. The court ruled the district court incorrectly sentenced Buell because it incorrectly classified two previous Florida burglary juvenile adjudications as person felonies and thereby miscalculated his criminal history score. For an out-of-state adjudication to be comparable to a person offense under the Kansas criminal code, the elements of the out-of-state crime must be identical to or narrower than the elements of the Kansas crime to which it is being compared. Under this test, Buell's Florida burglary adjudications should have been classified as nonperson felonies.

Appeal No. 112,841: State of Kansas v. Pablo Alberto Gonzalez
 
The Supreme Court affirmed Gonzalez' conviction in Pottawatomie County for unintentional second-degree murder in the death of Levi Bishop after a gun discharged while they were celebrating New Year's Eve. Gonzalez, whose blood alcohol level was .25 when interviewed by law enforcement, claimed he shot Bishop when a gun was fired accidentally while the two were engaged in horseplay. On appeal, Gonzalez argued the unintentional second-degree murder statute was unconstitutionally vague, the evidence against him was insufficient, and the trial court made mistakes in responding to a jury question and in failing to give a limiting instruction about certain evidence. In its unanimous decision, the court rejected each argument. As to the statute's constitutionality, the court noted a previous version of the law had been upheld and that more recent revisions did not change that analysis.

Appeal No. 115,972: State of Kansas v. Cedric M. Warren
 
The Supreme Court remanded the case for resentencing after it found Wyandotte County District Court made an improper de facto modification to the sentence. Warren's original hard-50 sentence for premeditated first-degree murder was held unconstitutional and vacated following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Upon resentencing, the district court corrected the length of time for Warren's premeditated first-degree murder sentence but also modified it to run consecutive — rather than concurrent — to his other convictions. The court ruled this was inconsistent with the intent of the Legislature in enacting the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act.

Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today 

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