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State v. Ramirez

Supreme Court of Kansas

April 25, 2014

State of Kansas, Appellee,
v.
Michael Ramirez, Appellant

Review of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in an unpublished opinion filed July 15, 2011.

Appeal from Seward District Court; Tom R. Smith, judge.

Judgment of the Court of Appeals affirming the district court is affirmed. Judgment of the district court is affirmed.

SYLLABUS

BY THE COURT

1. The complaint, or other charging document, is the jurisdictional instrument that delineates the district court's authority to convict a defendant of criminal offenses. Generally, a district court lacks jurisdiction to convict a defendant of a crime that was not contained in the charging document.

2. The jurisdictional rule prohibiting the conviction of a criminal defendant of an uncharged crime does not apply where a crime charged in the complaint, or other charging document, contains lesser included crimes as defined by K.S.A. 21-3107(2). Where a charged crime includes lesser included crimes, the defendant can be convicted of the charged crime or an uncharged lesser included crime, but not both.

3. The crime of criminal restraint constitutes a lesser degree of the crime of kidnapping, and, therefore, criminal restraint is a lesser included crime of kidnapping.

Randall L. Hodgkinson, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, argued the cause and was on the brief for appellant.

Don L. Scott, county attorney, argued the cause, and Steve Six, attorney general, was with him on the brief for appellee.

OPINION

Page 1076

Johnson, J.

Michael Ramirez was charged with kidnapping, aggravated burglary, and endangering a child after breaking into a home and placing a 1-year-old child in a duffel bag, allegedly to kidnap the child. The jury convicted Ramirez on the aggravated burglary and endangering a child counts but opted to convict him of criminal restraint in lieu of the kidnapping count. In a split decision, the Court of Appeals affirmed Ramirez' conviction for the uncharged crime of criminal restraint based upon that crime being a lesser included offense of the charged crime of kidnapping. [299 Kan. 225] State v. Ramirez, 255 P.3d 51, 2011 WL 2793219 (Kan. App. 2011) (unpublished opinion). We granted review on the question of whether the district court had jurisdiction to convict Ramirez of criminal restraint as a lesser included offense. We agree with the concurring opinion of the Court of Appeals and hold that criminal restraint is a lesser degree of kidnapping and, therefore, constitutes a lesser included crime under K.S.A. 21-3107(2)(a). Accordingly, we affirm Ramirez' conviction for criminal restraint.

Factual and Procedural Overview

A detailed recitation of the circumstances giving rise to the kidnapping charge is unnecessary to resolve the purely legal question presented in this appeal. It is enough to know that early on the morning of February 20, 2007, the ...


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