Friday, December 05, 2008

State has to prove obstruction as charged

Matthew J. Edge won in State v. Ochoa, No. 98,922 (Kan. App. Dec. 5, 2008)(unpublished), reversing a Wyandotte County obstruction conviction. The state charged Mr. Ochoa with obstructing Officer Bussell with relation to arrest on a automobile burglary. But the alleged obstruction was Mr. Ochoa giving a fake name to Officer Landis on the scene. The COA held that the complaint only charged obstruction of Bussell and he was not even present at the time of the alleged obstruction:
the false identification given to Officer Landis cannot be considered to be an act obstructing or opposing Officer Bussell's duties. . . . It is not enough for the State to prove that Officer Bussell was affected by Ochoa's false statement; the State must show Ochoa's false statement hindered Officer Bussell in carrying out some official duty, and there is no evidence to support that assertion.
As a result, the conviction is reversed.

[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued on January 8, 2009.]

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