Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Reversal for failure to give lessers

Rick Kittel and KU Defender Project student Julie Larson won in State v. Hawkins, No. 98,459 (Kan. App. May 22, 2009)(unpublished), getting a new trial in a Montgomery County felony theft and fleeing and eluding prosecution. The COA reversed and remanded on each count based on failure to give lesser-included offense instructions. With regard to the felony theft, although the victim testified that the value of the stolen car was between $1000 and $25000, he also admitted on cross-examination that that conclusion was based on the insurance company's estimate and that an average persom might have said it was worth "about a hundred dollars." Based on this evidence, the COA held the district court should have given a misdemeanor theft instruction. Similarly, the COA held that the district court should have given reckless driving as a lesser of felony fleeing and eluding.

[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued on June 25, 2009.]

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