Appeal No. 119,911: State of Kansas v. Willie E. Morris
Summary calendar; no oral argument
A Sedgwick County jury convicted Morris of premeditated first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery, and conspiracy to commit distribution of a controlled substance. The district court sentenced him to a hard-50 year life sentence plus 280 months to run consecutively. Justice Eric Rosen, writing for a unanimous Kansas Supreme Court, affirmed the convictions. The court held the district court did not err in declining Morris' request for a jury instruction on voluntary intoxication because the evidence showed only that Morris had consumed drugs and alcohol before the crimes, not that he was so intoxicated he lacked the ability to form an intent. The court also held the district court did not err in admitting gruesome photographs of the victim's body. The court found the photographs were relevant and admissible to show the manner and violent nature of the victim's death and corroborate witness testimony. Finally, the court rejected Morris' claim of cumulative error as Morris had failed to demonstrate the existence of any trial errors.