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  • The Kansas Supreme Court issued the following published decisions October 23, 2020

The Kansas Supreme Court issued the following published decisions October 23, 2020

23 Oct 2020 9:46 AM | Amanda Kohlman (Administrator)

Appeal No. 117,131: State of Kansas v. Cecil Meggerson

Archived oral argument video

On direct appeal, the Kansas Supreme Court affirmed Meggerson's several criminal convictions in Wyandotte County District Court, including the attempted capital murder of Deputy Scott Wood. In an opinion written by Justice Caleb Stegall, the court held the State presented sufficient evidence to convict Meggerson of attempted capital murder and Meggerson waived his other sufficiency claims because he failed to argue them. Additionally, the Supreme Court waived Meggerson's claim a search warrant was defective because Meggerson failed to provide necessary documents. Moreover, the Supreme Court held the district court properly admitted Meggerson's jail phone calls because the State laid sufficient foundation for the calls. Next, the Supreme Court held the district court properly admitted K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 60-455 prior crimes evidence about other robberies because the evidence went to identity, raising a reasonable inference Meggerson committed those robberies and the prior crimes evidence was not unduly prejudicial and admissible. Further, the Supreme Court held the district court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted two timelines as evidence because the timelines focused on different evidence and were not cumulative. Finding no trial errors, the cumulative error doctrine did not apply.

Appeal No. 119,871: State of Kansas v. Alex Dee Davis

Summary calendar; no oral argument

The Kansas Supreme Court upheld Davis' Sedgwick County convictions and sentence for multiple crimes, including first-degree felony murder. Davis killed another motorist in 2016 while fleeing from a pursing police officer after committing multiple residential break-ins and stealing a car. In his appeal, Davis principally argued he was not attempting to evade capture for a felony, as would have been required to prove one of the inherently dangerous felonies necessary to support the murder conviction, since the officer was not aware of the break-ins or theft. In a unanimous decision written by Justice Dan Biles, the Supreme Court ruled the crime turns on the defendant's reason for not wanting to be captured, not the officer's reason for the pursuit. The court also rejected several additional claims that error affected Davis' trial or sentence.

Appeal No. 120,350: State of Kansas v. Charles D. Bowser

Archived oral argument video

On direct appeal, the Kansas Supreme Court affirmed Bowser's several criminal convictions in Wyandotte County District Court, including the attempted capital murder of Deputy Scott Wood. In an opinion written by Justice Caleb Stegall, the court held the district court did not abandon its neutrality by merely emphasizing the potential benefits of a plea offer and no error occurred. Further, the Supreme Court held the State erred when it said Bowser's vehicle "was seen at the robberies" but the error was harmless in light of the State's presented evidence. The Supreme Court held other prosecutorial claims were supported by evidence and not error. Additionally, the Supreme Court held the district court did not abuse its discretion when answering an ambiguous jury question because the district court's answer followed one of two reasonable interpretations and did not invade the province of the jury. Finding only a single harmless error, the cumulative error doctrine did not apply.


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