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January 16, 2015, Digests

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Updated: Monday, February 10, 2020

Kansas Supreme Court

Criminal

STATE V. HOBBS
LYON DISTRICT COURT – AFFIRMED
COURT OF APPEALS – AFFIRMED
NO. 107,667 – JANUARY 16, 2015

FACTS: In fight outside a bar, Hobbs punched victim who sustained serious injury when he hit his head on car bumper as he fell. Hobbs convicted of aggravated battery. On appeal he argued insufficient evidence supported the conviction. Court of Appeals affirmed in unpublished opinion. Supreme Court accepted Hobbs’ petition to review appellate panel’s conclusion that aggravated battery under K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 21-5413(b)(1)(A) requires State to prove only that the defendant’s act that caused great bodily harm or disfigurement was intentional, not that the result of the act was intentional.

ISSUES: (1) Aggravated battery statute

HELD: History and construction of aggravated battery statute examined. K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 21-4513(b)(1)(A) requires state to prove that aggravated battery defendant acted while knowing that some type of great bodily harm or disfigurement of another person was reasonably certain to result. State not required to prove the defendant intended the precise harm the victim suffered. On record in this case, state presented sufficient evidence for jury to reasonably infer that Hobbs acted while knowing some type of great bodily harm or disfigurement was reasonably certain to result from the punch, even if Hobbs did not anticipate the victim’s precise injury.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 21-3201, -3414; K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 21-5202, -5202(f), -5202(g), -5202(i), -5413, -5413(b), -5413(b)(1)(A); and K.S.A. 1993 Supp. 21-3414a(c)

STATE V. KILLINGS
SHAWNEE DISTRICT COURT – CONVICTION AFFIRMED, SENTENCE VACATED, AND CASE REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS
NO. 108,021 – JANUARY 16, 2015

FACTS: A jury found Killings guilty of premeditated first-degree murder for what was a retaliatory murder for a prior robbery committed against Killings. He received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for 50 years (hard 50 life sentence). On direct appeal, Killings argues: (1) The district court erred by failing to instruct the jury on second-degree intentional murder and second-degree reckless murder as lesser included offenses of premeditated first-degree murder; (2) the prosecutor committed misconduct during his closing arguments; (3) the district court erred by answering a juror's question when Killings was not present; (4) the cumulative effect of these alleged trial errors denied him a fair trial; (5) the district court, for multiple reasons, erred when it imposed a hard 50 life sentence; and (6) the district court erred by imposing lifetime post-release supervision instead of lifetime parole.

ISSUES: (1) Lesser included jury instructions; (2) prosecutorial misconduct; (3) jury questions; (4) cumulative error; (5) sentencing; and (6) lifetime post-release supervision

HELD: Court concluded the district court applied the wrong legal standard when it denied Killings' request for a jury instruction on second-degree intentional murder. But, the error was harmless considering the overwhelming amount of evidence establishing that the victim's death resulted from a premeditated killing. Court also concluded the prosecutor's comment during closing argument stating that Killings failed to take responsibility for the murder was improper, but found the comment did not constitute reversible error. Court found the other alleged trial errors raised had no merit. Court vacated Killings' hard 50 life sentence as required by Alleyne v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2151 (2013), and State v. Soto, 299 Kan. 102, 124, 322 P.3d 334 (2014), and remanded to the trial court for resentencing.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 21-3107, -3401, -3402, -4635, -4636, -6620; K.S.A. 22-3405, -3414, -3420; and K.S.A. 60-261

Kansas Court of Appeals

Criminal

STATE V. REED
BUTLER DISTRICT COURT – AFFIRMED
NO. 110,766 – JANUARY 16, 2015

FACTS: Reed entered no contest plea to one count of attempted aggrieved indecent liberties with a child, a sexually violent crime under K.S.A. 2009 Supp. 22-3717(d)(2)(C) and subject to mandatory lifetime post-release supervision. Overruling Reed’s claim of cruel and unusual punishment to lifetime post-release supervision for first time offender who only attempted but did not touch a child, sentencing court imposed prison term with lifetime post-release supervision. Reed appealed.

ISSUE: (1) Eighth Amendment challenge to lifetime supervision

HELD: Reed’s sentence is not categorically disproportionate in violation of Eighth Amendment. The "attempt” nature of a conviction does not remove it from general category of sexually violent crimes subject to lifetime post-release supervision. Lifetime post-release supervision as applied to first time offenders serves legitimate penological goals because supervised release meets same rehabilitative and deterrent objectives as it does for repeat offenders. Offenders guilty of attempting to commit a crime still have the intent required to commit it, so penological objectives for lifetime post-release supervision are the same for those offenders who completed the crime. Goals of rehabilitation and incapacitation, in particular, are served by imposition of lifetime post release supervision, given propensity of sex offenders to reoffend.

CONCURRING (Atcheson, J.): Concurs in the result affirming the sentence imposed.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 22-3717(d)(1)(G), -3717(d)(1)(5); K.S.A. 22-3717(d)(2)(K); K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 22-3717(d)(2); and K.S.A. 2009 Supp. 22-3717(d)(1)(g), -3717(d)(2)(C). -3717(d)(2)(K)

Tags:  aggravated battery  Atcheson J.  Butler District Court  Concurrence  Eighth Amendment Challenge  Lyon District Court  Shawnee District Court 

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