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State v. Riis

March 21, 2008

STATE OF KANSAS, APPELLEE,
v.
JOHNNY R. RIIS, APPELLANT.



Appeal from Shawnee District Court; EVELYN Z. WILSON, judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. To correct manifest injustice the court after sentence may set aside the judgment of conviction and permit the defendant to withdraw a plea under K.S.A. 22-3210(d).

2. The denial of a motion to withdraw a plea after sentencing lies within the district court's discretion, and an appellate court will not disturb that decision absent an abuse of discretion.

3. Posttrial discovery in a criminal case may be necessary on certain occasions to ensure due process. An appellate court reviews the district court's ruling on a posttrial discovery request under the abuse of discretion standard.

4. Under the facts and circumstances of this case, the district court erred in denying the defendant's motion for the district court to conduct an in camera inspection of investigative records of a police officer.

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

Reversed and remanded with directions.

Before MARQUARDT, P.J., MALONE, J., and BRAZIL, S.J.

Johnny R. Riis appeals the district court's denial of his motion to withdraw plea. He also appeals the district court's denial of his discovery motions. We remand for the district court to conduct an in camera inspection of records as requested by Riis.

In January 2004, Officer Bruce Voigt of the Topeka Police Department submitted an affidavit in support of a search warrant in which Voigt claimed that a confidential informant had bought methamphetamine from Riis at Riis' house. Based on this affidavit, the district court issued a warrant to search Riis' house and vehicles. Voigt and other officers executed the search warrant on January 21, 2004.

On March 15, 2004, based on items seized during the search of Riis' house, the State charged Riis with one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell, one count of failure to pay drug tax, and one count of criminal possession of a firearm. Riis was also charged with one count of battery against a law enforcement officer based on an encounter between Riis and one of the police officers during the search. The State later filed an amended complaint that deleted the charge against Riis for failure to pay drug tax.

On December 4, 2004, Riis filed a motion to disclose the identity of the confidential informant mentioned in the search warrant. Riis maintained that the information in the search warrant affidavit about the confidential informant was fabricated. Riis also filed a motion to suppress evidence, arguing that the search warrant was not supported by probable cause.

On March 8, 2005, the date Riis' motions were scheduled for hearing, Riis entered a plea agreement with the State in which he pled no contest to possession of methamphetamine, criminal possession of a firearm, and battery of a law enforcement officer. In exchange, the State agreed to recommend concurrent sentences and drug treatment.

Unbeknownst to Riis, the State received reports on March 31, 2005, from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) that Voigt had committed wrongdoing as a police officer. The KBI investigation had been ongoing for a year. By April 11, 2005, the State was so concerned about Voigt's credibility that it informed the police department that it would no longer accept cases or search warrants from Voigt. The ...


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