The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today:
Appeal No. 116,172: State of Kansas v. Phillip Parks
The Supreme Court affirmed the Reno County District Court's decision to deny Parks' pro se motion to set aside a "void judgment." Parks argued before the district court that the pro se motion should be construed as a motion to withdraw his plea. Accordingly, the district court properly denied the motion for failure to show excusable neglect as required by statute when the motion is filed past the deadline. On appeal, Parks now argues that his pro se motion should have been construed as one under K.S.A. 60-1507 attacking his conviction. The Supreme Court holds that under the facts of this case, the invited error doctrine applies where Parks repeatedly invited the district court to construe his pro se motion as a motion to withdraw plea.
Appeal No. 116,550: State of Kansas v. Kasey L. Nesbitt
The Supreme Court affirmed Nesbitt's convictions in Sedgwick County District Court for felony murder, rape, and aggravated burglary. Nesbitt broke into the 100-year-old victim's home and sexually assaulted her. The victim survived for 21 days after the attack. At Nesbitt's trial, expert witnesses described the injuries the victim had sustained and the consequences to her health and mobility, ultimately leading to the blood clots that killed her. On appeal Nesbitt argued that the length of time and the chain of negative health consequences between the rape and the victim's death meant that the rape could not supply the legal basis for his conviction for felony murder. A unanimous court rejected Nesbitt's arguments and affirmed the judgment of the district court. There was sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to conclude that Nesbitt's attack on the victim caused her death, making him guilty of felony murder
Appeal No. 116,146: State of Kansas v. Dyron M. KingKansas Court of Appeals decisions released today.
In a decision written by Justice Caleb Stegall, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld King's various convictions for attempted capital murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated battery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, and criminal possession of a firearm in Wyandotte County. A jury found King took part in a string of violent robberies in Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, which concluded with the attempted execution of a police officer. King was jointly tried with Cecil Meggerson. The Supreme Court held there was sufficient evidence for jurors to find King was one of the robbers and to convict him of conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery The court also held the prosecutor committed nonprejudicial error by prefacing certain comments in closing arguments with the phrase "we know" to describe facts that were controverted. Lastly, the court determined that King waived his ability to seek severance of his trial from Meggerson's.