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Cranford v. State

February 15, 2008

RICKEY ALAN CRANFORD, APPELLANT,
v.
STATE OF KANSAS, APPELLEE.



Appeal from Johnson District Court; STEVE LEBEN, judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Pursuant to Bellamy v. State, 285 Kan. 345, Syl. ¶ 4, 172 P.3d 10 (2007), where a district court denies a K.S.A. 60-1507 motion after conducting a preliminary hearing, an appellate court applies a findings of fact and conclusions of law standard of review to determine whether the findings are supported by substantial competent evidence and whether those findings are sufficient to support its conclusions of law.

2. Substantial competent evidence is evidence which possesses both relevance and substance and which furnishes a substantial basis of fact from which the issues can reasonably be resolved.

3. Where the movant pled no contest to attempted aggravated indecent liberties with a child in order to receive the benefits of a plea bargain and thereby admitted to the well-pled facts of the information for purposes of the case, and movant also admitted at sentencing that he molested the victim, the district court did not err in determining it would not be manifestly unjust to dismiss his K.S.A. 60-1507 motion as time barred pursuant to K.S.A. 60-1507(f), despite movant's claim that the victim had recanted her testimony.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Caplinger, J.

Affirmed.

Before CAPLINGER, P.J., MALONE, J. and LARSON, S.J.

Rickey A. Cranford appeals the dismissal of his K.S.A. 60-1507 motion. Because substantial competent evidence supports the district court's determination that the motion is barred as both successive and untimely, we affirm the dismissal.

Cranford was charged in Johnson County District Court with rape and two counts of sexual exploitation of a child. The alleged victims were his two daughters, A.C. and An.C. Pursuant to plea negotiations, the State amended the rape charge to attempted aggravated indecent liberties with a child and dismissed the remaining two counts of sexual exploitation of a child. In exchange, Cranford pled no contest to attempted aggravated indecent liberties with A.C.

Prior to sentencing, Cranford filed a motion for a dispositional/durational departure. At the sentencing hearing, Cranford testified in support of the motion, stating that he was currently employed and had been proactive in seeking rehabilitation through his participation in the Johnson County Mental Health Sex Offender Program. Cranford acknowledged that he was sexually abused as a child and that this may have contributed to his behavior. Cranford further testified that he knew what he had done was wrong and expressed sorrow for his actions. On cross-examination, Cranford admitted to molesting A.C.

The district court sentenced Cranford to 122 months' imprisonment with a postrelease supervision period of 24 months.

On March 12, 2003, Cranford filed a pro se motion under K.S.A. 60-1507, alleging a violation of his rights to a preliminary hearing and speedy trial. Cranford also claimed ineffective assistance of counsel based on trial counsel's alleged failure to advise Cranford of his right to a preliminary hearing and speedy trial. The district court denied the motion on March 25, 2003. Cranford did not pursue an appeal of this decision beyond filing a notice of appeal.

In January 2005, Cranford filed a second K.S.A. 60-1507 motion based upon newly discovered evidence. Specifically, Cranford asserted in the memorandum in support of the motion that in October 2004, A.C. contacted Cranford's new attorney and recanted her previous allegations that Cranford sexually abused her. Cranford also asserted his trial counsel was ineffective because he failed to interview A.C. prior to trial although Cranford's family had made arrangements for counsel to do so.

The State moved to dismiss Cranford's 60-1507 motion as successive and untimely pursuant to K.S.A. 60-1507(c) and K.S.A. 60-1507(f), respectively. The State also argued Cranford's allegations of newly discovered evidence and ineffective assistance of counsel failed on the merits because ...


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