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The Kansas Supreme Court issued the following published decisions August, 21, 2020

21 Aug 2020 10:14 AM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

The Kansas Supreme Court issued the following published decisions August 21, 2020

Appeal No.118,336: State of Kansas vs. Thad Christopher Green

Archived oral argument 

The Supreme Court affirmed Green's convictions after jury trial in Montgomery County District Court. Green was convicted in the death of Cameron Wawrzynaik, who was Green's ex-wife's boyfriend. In December 2015, Green drove to Wawrzynaik's house, entered, and shot and killed Wawrzynaik. Green then set the house on fire and left. After Green was found guilty by a jury, the district court judge sentenced Green to a hard-50 life sentence for first-degree premeditated murder, 34 months for aggravated burglary, and 19 months for arson. On appeal, Green raised multiple issues. The Supreme Court concluded none of the issues warranted reversal of Green's convictions or sentences. Of note, the Supreme Court held the evidence in the case did not support Green's desired defense of voluntary intoxication because there was no evidence Green was impaired to the point it would have made it impossible for him to form the criminal intent necessary for premeditated murder.

Appeal No.118,941: State of Kansas vs. Christopher Shawn Pattillo

Archived oral argument

Pattillo drove a van from which a passenger fired shots, killing Brian Miller and hitting a residence occupied by Miller's seven-year-old nephew. A Shawnee County jury convicted Pattillo of felony murder, aggravated assault of Miller, felony discharge of a firearm, and aggravated endangering of a child. Pattillo appealed to the Supreme Court, raising 10 issues about whether the underlying felonies, as a matter of law, support Pattillo's felony-murder conviction and his sentences, whether the State met its burden of proving the underlying felonies and felony murder, and whether the trial judge erred in instructing the jury. The Supreme Court found no reversible errors and affirmed Pattillo's convictions and sentences. It also held sufficient evidence supported Pattillo's underlying felonies. The Supreme Court affirmed the felony murder conviction based on the underlying inherently dangerous felonies of criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling and aggravated endangering of a child.

Appeal No.121,040: State of Kansas vs. Quinton Moore

Summary calendar; no oral argument

The Supreme Court affirmed Moore's Reno County conviction of first-degree murder for the shooting death of Clarence Allen. On appeal, Moore argued his jury should not have been shown his police interrogation tape, it should have been instructed about voluntary intoxication, and the prosecutor committed error in closing argument by suggesting a motive for the crime not supported by the evidence. The Supreme Court held it was not error for the jury to watch the interrogation tape and Moore was not entitled to a voluntary intoxication instruction. The Supreme Court did rule the prosecutor erred by speculating about a motive unsupported by evidence but concluded this error was harmless in light of the overwhelming case against Moore, including his confession to the crime. 

Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today

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