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Supreme Court releases for July 26, 2019

31 Jul 2019 10:44 AM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions July 26th:

Appeal No. 116,133: State of Kansas v. Daniel J. Christian

Archived oral argument video

Christian moved to suppress evidence Hutchinson police officers discovered on him and in his vehicle. Reno County District Court denied his motion, finding the arresting officer had a valid basis to detain and search him. The Court of Appeals held the officer did not have a valid basis to initially detain Christian but allowed the use of the evidence because it concluded the officer's observation of an expired license tag as he approached the vehicle provided a separate lawful basis for the detention. The Supreme Court reversed the district court and the Court of Appeals, holding the officer's discovery of the expired license tag and the evidence that followed was derivative evidence that flowed directly from the unjustified initial stop. The court held the evidence should have been suppressed.

Appeal No 117,059: State of Kansas v. Rogelio Soto Jr.

Archived oral argument video 

The Supreme Court reversed a Sedgwick County District Court decision denying Soto's motion for a new trial based on newly discovered, potentially exculpatory evidence. After Soto's conviction for first-degree premeditated murder was affirmed on appeal but before he could be resentenced on remand to district court, evidence contradicting a part of the testimony of one of the State's witnesses surfaced. Soto argued the district judge erred by failing to recognize he had the power to address the merits of his request for a new trial based on this evidence. The Supreme Court held the district judge abused his discretion in denying Soto's new trial motion without reaching the merits of whether the evidence merited a new trial. It remanded Soto's case to the district court so the judge could evaluate the evidence.

Appeal No. 118,640: State of Kansas v. Lee Sawzer Sanders 

Archived oral argument video

Sanders filed a motion to suppress evidence found after Topeka police officers stopped and searched him in a parking lot. Shawnee County District Court granted Sanders' motion, finding the officers did not have a lawful basis to stop him. The district court noted the officers discovered an outstanding arrest warrant for Sanders during the course of the stop but held the discovery of the warrant did not sufficiently break the connection between the unlawful stop and subsequent discovery of the evidence. The Court of Appeals disagreed. The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and affirmed the district court. The court agreed officers lacked a proper basis to stop Sanders and held the discovery of the warrant was not a sufficient intervening circumstance because the officers searched Sanders and seized the evidence before they learned about the warrant.

Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released.

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