Kansas High Court to hear conviction appeal of man found with meth in Riley Co.
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Supreme Court will hear a conviction appeal of a man found with methamphetamine in his bedroom in Riley Co.
The Kansas Supreme Court says that it will hear an appeal in the case State of Kansas v. Shameke Caesar Strong, a case that stems from Riley Co., in its Dec. 12 - 14 docket.
Court records indicate that while the Riley Co. Police Dept. executed a search warrant at a home within 1,000 feet of a school, they encountered Strong coming out of a bedroom in the home. A search of the room found more than 11 grams of methamphetamine.
The Court noted that Strong was then charged with and convicted of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a school and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Court records then show that Strong appealed the possession with intent to distribute conviction and argued that a statute that allows the jury to infer that he intended to distribute the meth because he possessed 3.5 grams or more is unconstitutional. He also argued that the jury’s instruction about this presumption was a mistake.
The Court of Appeals found the statute to be constitutional and that the district court’s jury instruction was legally appropriate. It declined to consider Strong’s constitutional challenges to the sentence raised for the first time on appeal. It affirmed his conviction and sentences.
The Court said the issue to be on review is whether the statute is unconstitutional because it relieves the State of the burden to prove that Strong intended to distribute the meth. If the state is constitutional, did the jury instruction based on the statute vary significantly and make the instruction inappropriate?
Also on review, the Court said it will determine if the judicial prior conviction findings that elevated Strong’s prison sentence violate his rights and if the court did violate his rights when it sentenced him to an increased sentence without proof to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.
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