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State v. Johnson

Supreme Court of Kansas

June 13, 2014

STATE OF KANSAS, Appellee,
v.
CHERON T. JOHNSON, Appellant

Appeal from Sedgwick District Court; GREGORY L. WALLER, judge.

Judgment of the district court is affirmed.

SYLLABUS

BY THE COURT

1. Review of a summary denial of a motion for DNA testing presents a question of law over which appellate courts exercise unlimited review.

2. Where a person petitioning for DNA testing has met the requirements of K.S.A. 21-2512(a), the district court shall order DNA testing upon a determination that testing may produce noncumulative, exculpatory evidence relevant to the petitioner's claim that he or she was wrongfully convicted or sentenced. Under the facts of this case, the petitioner failed to show a possibility that DNA testing could assist in exculpating him.

Carol Longenecker Schmidt, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, was on the brief for appellant.

Matt J. Maloney, assistant district attorney, Nola Tedesco Foulston, district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, were on the brief for appellee.

OPINION

Page 422

NUSS, C.J.

Cheron T. Johnson appeals the district court's summary denial of his motion for postconviction DNA testing under K.S.A. 21-2512. But Johnson does not deny his involvement in the crimes for which he was convicted. So test results could not produce exculpatory evidence required as a precondition for testing authorization under the statute. We therefore affirm the denial.

Facts and Procedural History

In 2000, Johnson and his codefendant Anthony Payne had armed themselves with steak knives and gone to Taurus Hampton's home, purportedly to play video games. Johnson and Payne eventually stabbed Hampton more than 30 times in his chest and throat. Hampton died at the scene.

[299 Kan. 891] Johnson and Payne stole several PlayStation CDs, approximately $4,000 worth of crack cocaine, and an unspecified amount of cash from Hampton's home. Payne confessed, telling detectives both he and Johnson stabbed Hampton and took the items.

On a recovered PlayStation CD, police found a fingerprint matching Johnson's and a blood spot matching Hampton's blood type. Bloody clothing and boots were identified by witnesses as belonging to Johnson. DNA analysis revealed the blood on Johnson's boots matched Hampton's DNA. And the pattern on the ...


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