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Supreme Court releases for May 1, 2020

01 May 2020 12:35 PM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decisions today:

Appeal No. 119,439: State of Kansas v. Diantre Marquelle Lemmie

Summary calendar; no oral argument

A Saline County jury convicted Lemmie of first-degree felony murder, aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, criminal possession of a firearm, fleeing and eluding, and interference with law enforcement. His convictions arose from the murder of Adonis Loudermilk during a robbery. On appeal, Lemmie argued the district court judge erred by admitting the hearsay statements of a co-conspirator, evidence that Lemmie was upset the night of the murder because of a missing methamphetamine pipe, and evidence that Lemmie provided police with the passcodes to two cell phones. The Kansas Supreme Court today held the district judge properly admitted the hearsay statements under the statutory hearsay exceptions, and the methamphetamine pipe evidence was properly admitted under K.S.A. 60-455. Further, even if the Supreme Court assumed admission of the passcode evidence was error, it was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt because no evidence from the cell phones came in at trial. Lemmie also challenged the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction for first-degree murder. The Supreme Court held there was more than ample evidence to support Lemmie's conviction, including surveillance footage, eyewitness testimony, and incriminating Facebook messages.


Appeal No. 119,660: State of Kansas v. Joseph J. Craig

Summary calendar; no oral argument

The Kansas Supreme Court today affirmed Craig's Geary County convictions for first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, and criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His crimes occurred under the guise of a drug transaction during which his coconspirator took the victim's backpack and Craig killed the victim. In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Dan Biles, the court rejected Craig's claims the district court erred in its handling of the jury's guilty verdicts for first-degree murder and second-degree intentional murder and by failing to give a voluntary intoxication instruction. As to the guilty verdicts, the court held the district court properly sentenced Craig on the first-degree murder conviction only. Concerning the jury instruction, the court determined the evidence could not show intoxication to the extent of impairing Craig's ability to form the criminal mind required for the crimes.

 

Appeal No. 119,720: State of Kansas v. Ritchie D. Randle

Archived oral argument video

The Kansas Supreme Court today affirmed Randle's Sedgwick County convictions for first-degree murder and criminal discharge of a firearm. In 2017, Randle and two other men fired multiple shots into a Wichita apartment, killing the occupant. In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Dan Biles, the court rejected Randle's claims the district court erred by refusing to instruct the jury on unintentional but reckless second-degree murder, allowing hearsay statements into evidence, and admitting graphic photographs and videos into evidence.

 

Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today


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