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Kansas Supreme Court affirms murder conviction, among other cases

(Gray Media)
Published: Jan. 9, 2021 at 1:00 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Supreme Court has affirmed a murder conviction and has made decisions in other cases.

The Kansas Supreme Court says in Appeal No. 120,390: State of Kansas v. David Patrick McNabb, it affirmed McNabb’s four criminal convictions, including two counts of first-degree premeditated murder. It said in an opinion written by Justice Caleb Stegall, it held Linn County District Court did not abuse its discretion when it denied McNabb’s motion for a downward durational sentencing departure. It also said it held the district court did not abuse its discretion when it ordered McNabb’s two hard-50 life sentences to run concurrently.

According to the Court, in Appeal No. 119,881: State of Kansas v. Rodney J. Hooks, it remanded Hooks’ appeal of the denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence to Sedgwick Co. District Court. It said Hooks filed the motions in 2017 and the district court denied the motions. It said Hooks filed an untimely notice of appeal and in response to a show-cause order, argued the Supreme court should maintain jurisdiction under the “unique circumstances doctrine.” It said it reaffirmed the “unique circumstances doctrine” is not an acceptable source of jurisdiction for state appellate courts. It said instead, it held that while due process concerns may entitle Hooks to an untimely appeal, a district court must first make factual findings that establish Hooks’ eligibility for consideration of an untimely notice of appeal.

The Court said in Appeal No. 117,725: Howard Johnson III v. U.S. Food Service, it reversed the Court of Appeals and affirmed the decision of the Workers Compensation Board. It said in an opinion written by Justice Caleb Stegall, it applied the rule of constitutional avoidance and held a 2013 amendment to the Kansas Workers Compensation Act did not change the essential legal standard for deciding functional impairment under the statute, which is required to be established by competent medical evidence.

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