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  • The Kansas Supreme Court issued the following published decisions October 16,2020

The Kansas Supreme Court issued the following published decisions October 16,2020

16 Oct 2020 9:56 AM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

Appeal No. 117,162: State of Kansas v. Christopher M. Dale

Archived oral argument

This is Dale's second appeal from his Johnson County convictions. Dale took three individuals' property in one incident. The State charged Dale with two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of theft. Each count related to a different victim. In Dale's initial appeal, the Court of Appeals held jury instruction error required a new trial on the aggravated robbery counts but affirmed the theft count. The State retried Dale on the aggravated robbery counts. In Dale's second appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed Dale's theft conviction as a lesser included offense of his aggravated robbery convictions but affirmed his aggravated robbery convictions. On petition for review to the Supreme Court, Dale argued only his lesser included offense of theft could stand because all three counts amounted to one criminal offense in violation of double jeopardy. The Supreme Court affirmed Dale's aggravated robbery convictions. The Supreme Court held if continued prosecution follows a defendant's appeal and a defendant is found guilty of a greater offense after a lesser included offense has been affirmed, a court may generally vacate the sentence for the lesser included offense and impose a sentence for the greater offense. The Supreme Court also held Dale's two aggravated robbery convictions did not violate double jeopardy even though they arose from one transaction because Dale and his companion, while armed with a BB gun, took property in the possession or control of two individuals by force directed at both.

Appeal No. 118,648: State of Kansas v. Christopher Lee Herring

Summary calendar; no oral argument

The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals' decision, which affirmed the Sedgwick County District Court's denial of Herring's withdrawal of his plea. In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Dan Biles, the Supreme Court agreed with Herring that when the district court erred by employing an incorrect legal standard in determining whether to allow Herring to withdraw his plea, the proper disposition is not affirming the district court's denial under a harmless analysis, but reversing the denial and remanding the case to the district court with directions to ensure the correct legal standard is applied.

Case No. 122,036: In the Matter of Mark D. Murphy, Respondent

Archived oral argument

The Supreme Court ordered a two-year suspension of Murphy, an Overland Park attorney, allowing him to apply for probation after the first year. The court found Murphy engaged in serious misconduct when representing both parties in a business transaction. Murphy denied most of the allegations. In its 47-page unanimous decision, the court set out the hearing panel's detailed factual findings and conclusions of law, as well as Murphy's challenges to them. The court concluded clear and convincing evidence supported multiple instances of attorney misconduct and adopted the panel's findings and conclusions. Murphy was admitted to practice law in Kansas in September 1987.

Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today

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