Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Register
Appellate Court Digests
Blog Home All Blogs
@@WEBSITE_ID@@

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: Attorney Discipline  Sedgwick District  Wyandotte District  Sedgwick  statutes  constitutional law  Johnson  Johnson District  Saline District  Shawnee District  Douglas District  Leavenworth District  Reno  Reno District  Riley  Shawnee  Wyandotte  Finney District  Lyon  sentencing  8802  administrative law  Barton District  Bourbon District  Clay District  criminal procedure  disbarment  Dissent  habeas corpus  juries 

March 8, 2019 Digests

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 11, 2019

Kansas Supreme Court

Criminal  

criminal law—criminal procedure—jury instructions—statutes
state v. blansett
sumner district court—affirmed
no. 115,634—march 8, 2019

FACTS: Blansett convicted of first-degree premeditated murder and aggravated assault in stabbing son to death while she was in a psychotic episode. She appealed, claiming error in the jury instructions and arguing premeditation is a culpable mental state that can be negated by mental disease or defect defense. She also alleged prosecutorial error, and claimed cumulative error denied her a fair trial. Supplemental briefing ordered to address impact of State v. McLinn, 307 Kan. 307 (2018), which rejected the crux of Blansett’s claim of instructional error. Blansett then argued the jury instructions prevented jury from considering how evidence of her mental disease or defect affected her ability to premeditate. 

ISSUES: (1) Jury Instructions—Mental Disease and Defect; (2) Prosecutorial Error; (3) Cumulative Error 

HELD: The inclusion of premeditation in the challenged jury instruction was technically a misstatement of the law set forth in McLinn, but not reversible error And contrary to Blansett’s new arguments, the jury instructions as a whole did not prevent the jury from considering how her mental disease or defect affected her ability to premeditate. 

Three claims of prosecutorial error are examined. First, applying principles in State v. Williams, 299 Kan. 911 (2014), prosecutor did not suggest Blansett bore the burden of disproving the crimes charged when prosecutor told jury that defense had power to introduce evidence that defense counsel had inferred the State was hiding. Second, viewing State’s argument as a whole, prosecutor did not misstate evidence of Blansett’s intent with the knife. And distinguishing State v. Marks, 297 Kan. 1131 (2013), no error for prosecutor to argue that the nature of the weapons used and the multiple stab wounds were circumstantial evidence of premeditation.  Third, prosecutor misstated evidence by mistakenly commenting that Blansett had testified, but this error was harmless under facts in this case. 

Cumulative error doctrine does not apply to a single instance of prosecutorial error.

CONCURRENCE (Johnson, J.): Concurs in the result.

DISSENT (Beier, J.): Reiterates her dissent in McLinn. Would hold the inclusion of “premeditation” in the challenged instruction as an element of first-degree murder whose existence could be defeated by proof of Blansett’s psychosis was a correct statement of law.

The narrow definition of culpable mental state supplied by the instructions as a whole prevented jury from considering Blansett’s undisputed contemporaneous psychosis as competition for State’s evidence of her actions from which the jury might infer the existence of premeditation. Would hold this error was significant enough to reverse the first-degree premeditated murder conviction, vacate the sentence, and remand for further proceedings.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 22-3601(b)(3); K.S.A. 2014 Supp. 5202(a), -5209

criminal law—criminal procedure—jury instructions—statutes
state v. murrin
clay district court—affirmed
court of appeals—affirmed
No. 115,110—march 8, 2019

FACTS: Murrin charged with drug offenses, criminal trespass, and interference with law enforcement. He requested a voluntary intoxication instruction for the drug-related charges, which the district court granted. Jury found Murrin guilty on all charges. Murrin appealed, claiming in part that although he had not requested it, district court should have instructed jury on voluntary intoxication as a defense to charges of criminal trespass and interference with law enforcement. Court of Appeals affirmed in unpublished opinion, finding criminal trespass and interference with law enforcement were both general intent crimes for which a voluntary intoxication instruction was not legally appropriate.  Review granted on this one issue.

ISSUE: (1) Jury Instruction—Voluntary Intoxication

HELD: Statutory and caselaw history concerning “intent” and “knowledge” is reviewed. Aggravated battery conviction in State v. Hobbs, 301 Kan. 203 (2015), is cited as illustrating both the shift in meaning of “intentionally” and the change in what it means to be a general intent crime. A voluntary intoxication defense is available under K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 21-5205(b) when a defining mental state is a stand-alone element separate and distinct from the actus reus of the crime.  In this case, the district court erred by not instructing on voluntary intoxication as a potential defense for both crimes. Criminal trespass is a classic specific intent crime because the statute requires a stand-alone particular intent or other state of mind as a necessary element—Murrin must know he was not authorized or privilege to enter or remain. The statute defining interference with law enforcement prescribes no such stand-alone particular intent or other state of mind as a necessary element, but the instruction given for this crime arguably set one up as necessary to convict—Murrin knew or should have know the officer was a law enforcement officer. Nonetheless, under facts in this case, the district judge’s failure to give a voluntary intoxication instruction did not rise to clear error. The convictions are affirmed.

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 21-5202, -5202(a), -5202(b), -5202(h), -5202(i), -5205(b), -5414(a)(2), -5807(a)(1), -5808(a)(1)(A), -5812, -5812(1), -5904(a)(3), 22-3414(3); K.S.A. 21-3201(a), -3208(2)

criminal procedure—motions—statutes
state v. roberts
anderson district court—affirmed
No. 117,450—march 8, 2019

FACTS: Roberts pled no contest to rape of child under age of 14. Hard 25 year prison sentence imposed. Prior to his plea, a court ordered evaluation established that Roberts was competent. Years later Roberts filed motion to correct an illegal sentence, claiming he had never admitted he was older than 18 or that the victim was under 14 at time of the crime. District court denied the motion, finding both ages were established in the record. Roberts appealed. He conceded summary denial was appropriate on the age issue, but argued he was still entitled to relief because noncompliance with the statutory procedures for determining pre-plea competency deprived the district court of jurisdiction to sentence him.  

ISSUE: (1) Motion to Correct Illegal Sentence

HELD: District court’s summary dismissal of the motion to correct an illegal sentence is affirmed. Roberts does not advance a substantive competency claim.  A merely procedural failure to comply with competency statute, K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 22-3202, is not jurisdictional, thus a motion to correct an illegal sentence is foreclosed. And on facts in this case, even the existence of a procedural flaw is far from clear. Although the judge did not make an explicit competency finding in open court, the competency issue appears to have been resolved by the district judge after the evaluation was ordered.  

STATUTES: K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 22-3302, -3504(2); K.S.A. 21-3502(a)(2), 22-3302(1), -3302(3), -3504

Tags:  Anderson District  Clay District  Mental Disease and Defect  motions  statutes  Sumner District  voluntary intoxication  Weekly20190312 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

October 19, 2018 Digests

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Kansas Court of Appeals

CIVIL

PARENTAGE—STANDING—STATUTORY INTERPRETATION
OSBORN V. ANDERSON
BOURBON DISTRICT COURT—REVERSED AND REMANDED
NO. 118,982—OCTOBER 19, 2018 

FACTS: Although he was not the biological father, Osborn signed a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity for A.O. Osborn and is also listed as A.O.'s father on the birth certificate. Osborn married A.O.'s mother, but the relationship quickly soured and the marriage was annulled. Sadly, A.O. was later killed by Mother's new boyfriend. Osborn filed a wrongful death petition against the boyfriend and DCF officials. Mother and DCF sought dismissal, claiming that Osborn lacked standing because he was not A.O.'s biological father. The district court agreed and summarily dismissed Osborn's suit for lack of standing. Osborn appealed.

ISSUES: (1) Standing; (2) authority to challenge paternity

HELD: Osborn has standing to pursue a wrongful death action only if he is A.O.'s legal father. The annulment between Osborn and Mother did not revoke Osborn's prior acknowledgement of parentage. In the absence of a timely, separate action to revoke the VAP, Osborn's acknowledgement of parentage remains valid even after the annulment. There is no statutory authority that would allow DCF to challenge Osborn's paternity.

STATUTE: K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 23-2204, -2204(b)(1), -2208(a), -2209(a), -2209(b), -2209(e), -2210(a); K.S.A. 60-1902

CHILD IN NEED OF CARE—JURISDICTION
IN RE K.L.B.
SEDGWICK DISTRICT COURT—AFFIRMED
NO. 118,563—OCTOBER 19, 2018

FACTS: Mother brought K.L.B. and another child to Kansas from Kentucky. After being in Kansas for a week, the children were taken into State custody. Mother did not contest the allegations in the child in need of care petition. After Kentucky declined jurisdiction over the children, Mother requested a hearing under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act to find out why. Mother was eventually extradited back to Kentucky on criminal charges. Her parental rights were terminated, and Mother appealed.

ISSUES: (1) Jurisdiction under the UCCJEA; (2) sufficiency of the evidence

HELD: There is no evidence that Kentucky ever attempted to initiate child in need of care proceedings for these children. But even in the absence of prior proceedings, Kansas could not acquire initial child-custody jurisdiction under the UCCJEA because Kansas was not the children's home state. However, the facts show that Kansas acquired jurisdiction on an emergency basis. Once Kentucky declined jurisdiction, Kansas was free to continue with this action. The district court's decision to terminate Mother's parental rights was supported by clear and convincing evidence and termination was in the children's best interests.

STATUTE: K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 23-37,102(b), -37,102(l), -37,201, -37,204, -37,204(a), -37,204(b), -37,204(c), 38-2203(b), -2250, -2269(a), -2269(b), -2269(c), -2271

ABUSE OF DISCRETION—CHILD IN NEED OF CARE
IN RE P.J.
SUMNER DISTRICT COURT—AFFIRMED
NO. 119,264—OCTOBER 19, 2018

FACTS: P.J. and siblings came in to State custody after they showed signs of neglect and Mother had unexplained injuries that were consistent with aggravated battery. Mother's children were temporarily removed from her and placed in the care of their respective fathers. The children were adjudicated to be in need of care and left in the care of their fathers. Mother appealed this dispositional order.

ISSUES: (1) Standard of review; (2) sufficiency of the evidence

HELD: There is little precedent to suggest the appropriate standard of review to use when reviewing a dispositional hearing. Because the issues considered at a dispositional hearing are components of a best interests of the child finding, an abuse of discretion standard of review is appropriate. The evidence from the hearing showed that the children were doing fine in placements with their fathers and that the continued placement was appropriate. Because the children are placed with a parent, the district court is not required to decide about reintegration with Mother.

STATUTE: K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 38-2201(b), -2250, -2252, -2253, -2255, -2255(a), -2255(b), -2255(c), -2255(e), -2256, -2257, -2264, -2264(j), -2269

Tags:  abuse of discretion  Bourbon District  Child in Need of Care  parentage  Sedgwick District  statutory interpretation  Sumner District 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)