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Kansas Supreme Court hears case on Riley Co. capital murder case, among others

(WBAY)
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 2:08 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Supreme Court will hear a Riley County capital murder case, among others on its Sept. 16 docket.

The Kansas Supreme Court said it will hear a case surrounding a Riley County capital murder, among others on its Sept. 16 docket which can be found here. It said all cases will be heard via videoconferencing and will be livestreamed via its YouTube channel.

The Court said it will hear Appeal No. 119,529: State of Kansas v. Luis Antonio Aguirre, a Riley County criminal appearance. It said in October 2009, the bodies of T.M. and J.M. were found buried together near Ogden. It said J.M. was the son of T.M. and Aguirre.

According to the Court, after the bodies were identified, the investigation looked at Aguirre, who had lived in Ogden from February until October of 2009. it said in June of 2012, a Riley County jury found Aguirre guilty of capital murder but declined to impose the death sentence.

The Court said on appeal, it found Aguirre’s confessions had been obtained in violation of his Miranda rights and reversed his conviction. it said the appeal stems from Aguirre’s retrial, which led to Aguirre’s murder convictions of voluntary manslaughter of T.M. and premeditated first-degree murder of J.M.

According to the Court, issues on appeal are whether Aguirre’s statements to police were made in violation of his Miranda rights and also involuntary; if the district court erred in allowing the State’s expert witness on botany to testify to his “expert” opinion on the length of time the grave was left open; if the district court erred in finding the stipulation to the authenticity of emails was binding for the second trial; if there was sufficient evidence for a jury to reasonably find Aguirre killed J.M. intentionally and with premeditation; if the district court erred in denying Aguirre’s requested cautionary instruction against inference stacking; if the prosecutor’s closing argument lowered the burden of proof and led jurors to believe the need not be unanimous; and if the district court had jurisdiction to convict Aguirre of voluntary manslaughter.

The Court said it will hear Case No. 122,036: In the Matter of Mark David Murphy, Respondent, in which original proceedings were related to a one-year suspension for attorney discipline. It said it admitted Murphy to the practice of law in April of 1987. It said Murphy’s ethical issues involve his representation of parties to the sale of limousine service, conflicts of interest and whose interest Murphy was representing. It said the hearing panel unanimously recommended that Murphy be suspended from practicing law for one year. It said the disciplinary administrator recommends Murphy be disbarred and Murphy seeks a reprimand.

The Court also said it will hear Appeal No. 117,439: Alysia R. Tillman and Storm Fleetwood v. Katherine A. Goodpasture, D.O., et al., a Riley County petition for review. It said Tillman and Fleetwood challenge the denial of their cause of action, first recognized in Arche v. United States of Amerca.

According to the Court, in 2013, the Kansas Legislature passed K.S.A. 60-1906 which states no cause of action exists in Kansas for the wrongful birth of a child. It said the district court granted Goodpasture’s motion for judgment on the pleadings. It said the district court found the act was constitutional, stating Sections 5 and 19 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights did not protect this cause of action since wrongful birth was not a cause of action recognized in 1859 when the Constitution was adopted.

The Court said the Court of Appeals agreed the act was constitutional because the cause of action for wrongful birth was unavailable when the constitution was adopted and thus does not implicate Sections 5 or 18 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights. It said issues on review are whether the act violates Sections 5 and 18 of the Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights and the right to remedy by due course of law because the state bars common-law medical negligence wrongful birth causes of action without providing a substitute remedy.

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