The High Court ruled a defendant's admission to a crime to an informant in jail is admissible in court.
The ruling overturns a Kansas Supreme Court decision that said the defendant's right to an attorney was violated.
“(Wednesday’s) decision by the US Supreme Court will give law enforcement and prosecutors the direction and tools they need to fight crime in Kansas and across the country,” Attorney General Six said in a statement. “I’m proud our office was able to claim victory in front of our nation’s highest court.”
The ruling stems from a Montgomery County shooting and robbery. Donnie Ray Ventris and Rhonda Theel were charged with murder and other crimes. Prior to trial, an informant planted in Ventris’s cell heard him admit to shooting and robbing the victim, but Ventris testified at trial that Theel committed the crimes. When the State sought to call the informant to testify to his contradictory statement, Ventris objected.
The ruling means Ventris’s conviction and 20-year sentence for aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery are reinstated and the case will continue for further proceedings in the Kansas courts.