The opinion of the court was delivered by
Darrell Stallings appeals from jury convictions of two counts
of second-degree murder, K.S.A. 21-3402, and two counts of
aggravated battery, K.S.A. 21-3414. Stallings was sentenced to
concurrent terms of 15 years to life on each count of
second-degree murder and concurrent terms of 5 to 20 years on
each count of aggravated battery. The murder sentences run
consecutive to the aggravated battery sentences.
Darrell Stallings sold drugs for his nephew Damon Huff. On the
morning of January 14, 1988, Stallings received a phone call from
Michael Mills, who wanted to talk with Huff about a prior drug
deal. Previously, Huff had loaned drugs to Mills and held Mills'
automobile as security for the loan. Stallings, Huff, and Jessie
Jones drove to the residence of Donna Barrett, Mills' girlfriend,
to force Mills to hand over title to the automobile.
Stallings and Huff entered the house without Jones and found
Frank Morris and Julia Dawn there with Mills and Barrett. Morris
testified that Stallings opened the door for a third man carrying
a shotgun. Morris stated he also saw guns in both Stallings' and
Huffs pants. Morris, Barrett, and Mills were seated on the couch
with Jones in front of Morris, Stallings standing over Mills, and
Huff standing over Barrett. Morris heard a shotgun blast and
several other gunshots before passing out. Morris received
extensive injuries to his forearm, forehead, wrist, and eye.
Julia Dawn testified she was in a sitting room behind a curtain
when Huff sent her into the living room with the others. Dawn
stated she saw Huff holding a gun before Jones came in with a
shotgun. Dawn received gunshot wounds to the head.
Pursuant to a plea bargain, Damon Huff testified against
Stallings. Huff stated he did not have a gun when he entered the
house with Stallings and that Stallings opened the door for
Jones, who carried a shotgun. Huff further testified that
Stallings and Mills were arguing and that Huff pushed Mills down
onto the couch and turned around. Huff heard a gunshot and turned
around to see Stallings with a gun in his hand. Finally, Huff
stated Stallings also shot Barrett and Morris, and Jones shot
Morris with a shotgun.
Stallings testified in his own defense. He stated Huff hit both
Mills and Barrett in the head with a hammer and ordered Jones to
shoot Morris. Stallings stated Huff pulled a gun out of his pants
and shot both Mills and Barrett in the head with a .38 revolver.
Huff then pulled Dawn out of the sitting room, threw her on the
floor, and shot her in the head.
Barrett and Mills each died from gunshot wounds to the head.
Huff was arrested soon after the incident and pled guilty to
second-degree murder and aggravated battery. Jones was convicted
of first-degree murder and aggravated battery. State v. Jones,
246 Kan. 214, 787 P.2d 726 (1990). Stallings fled the state. On
August 20, 1988, Stallings was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada,
where he gave a voluntary statement. He was charged with two
counts of first-degree murder and two counts of aggravated
battery. A jury convicted Stallings of second-degree murder and
aggravated battery. This appeal followed.
Stallings first contends the trial court abused its discretion
when it dismissed a juror and replaced him with an alternate.
After the trial and during jury deliberations, the court received
a note from an individual juror which stated, "Can a person be
excused from the jury if they feel they cannot pass judgment?" In
a different ink the note also stated, "Is because of religious
The following private discussion ensued between the trial judge
and the juror:
"The Court: Mr. Prince?
"Mr. Prince: Yes, sir.
"The Court: Why don't you tell me where we are at or
what's taking place.
"Mr. Prince: Well, everybody's deciding on
"The Court: Don't tell me about everybody else. I'm
talking about you personally.
"Mr. Prince: I'm it's been revealed to me that
he's not guilty.
"The Court: Now, you say, revealed to you. The
question I got is you don't feel like you can make a
judgment because of religious belief. Is that
"Mr. Prince: Yes, to an extent; yes.
"The Court: What religion are you?
"Mr. Prince: Baptist.
"The Court: And does your personal religion make you
think you shouldn't judge other people?
"Mr. Prince: Yes.
"The Court: Do you remember the attorneys asking you
on Monday morning if there is anyone who because of
religious or conscience or other reasons couldn't
pass judgment on somebody else?
"Mr. Prince: Yes, I remember them saying that.
"The Court: Any reason you didn't answer or say
anything at that time?
"Mr. Prince: Because I hadn't heard all the facts or
the evidence, witnesses.
"The Court: But now because of the facts and
witnesses, you don't think your religion will let you
"Mr. Prince: No, sir; I don't.
"The Court: You don't believe you can discuss this
with the other jurors and make a verdict just on the
evidence in the case, setting aside your religious
"Mr. Prince: No, sir, I don't believe I could go
along. I think they are wrong.
"The Court: I'm talking about take aside religion.
"Mr. Prince: You mean forgetting my religion and my
belief and going through
"The Court: Let me restate that. I don't want you to
forget your religion or your belief in God, but what
I am if I hear you correctly, you are telling me
because of your religious beliefs you don't think you
can work as a juror on this case.
"Mr. Prince: No, sir.
"The Court: Okay.
"Mr. Prince: I don't think I can. As far as what I
have already learned about it, I don't think I can.
"The Court: You don't think you can?
"Mr. Prince: No. I'm sorry that I didn't find out
"The Court: Well, I can understand that. You've got
two buttons. One says
`Jesus Christ Lives'; and one says "Jesus
"Mr. Prince: `. . . is the reason for the season.'
"The Court: ...