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Wahl v. State

Supreme Court of Kansas

March 13, 2015

DUANE WAHL, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF KANSAS, Appellee

Review of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in an unpublished opinion filed August 23, 2013.

Appeal from Crawford District Court; DONALD R. NOLAND, judge.

Judgment of the Court of Appeals affirming the district court is reversed. Judgment of the district court is reversed, and the case is remanded with directions.

SYLLABUS

BY THE COURT

1. When the district court summarily denies a K.S.A. 60-1507 motion based only on the motion, files, and records, appellate courts exercise de novo review.

2. A prisoner's delivery of a K.S.A. 60-1507 motion to prison authorities for mailing constitutes a timely filing if delivered within the 1-year time limitation in K.S.A. 60-1507(f)(1).

Janine Cox, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, was on the brief for appellant.

Michael Gayoso, Jr., county attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, were on the brief for appellee.

OPINION

Page 386

NUSS, C.J.

Duane Wahl appeals from a Court of Appeals decision affirming the district court's summary denial of his motion for postconviction relief under K.S.A. 60-1507. The lower courts relied on different rationales, but both concluded that procedural bars required summary denial.

We hold the lower courts both relied on erroneous rationales in summarily denying Wahl's 60-1507 motion. Accordingly, we reverse and remand this matter to the district court for further consideration of his claim.

Facts and Procedural History

In 2009, the State charged Wahl with first-degree murder. The district court initially appointed Steve Stockard as Wahl's defense counsel. But in early 2010, Stockard withdrew, and the district court appointed Jennifer Brunetti to represent Wahl.

[301 Kan. 611] After extensive pretrial proceedings unrelated to this appeal, Wahl pled guilty to one count of first-degree murder. As part of his plea, he admitted the factual basis for the first-degree murder charge. Wahl also joined the State in recommending a hard 25 life sentence, and he expressly waived his right to a direct appeal. As for collateral proceedings, Wahl agreed to the following provision in the plea agreement:

" Collateral Attack (K.S.A. 60-1507): I understand and have been advised of the remedies that may be available under the provisions of K.S.A. 60-1507, commonly known as post-conviction, post-appeal collateral attack on the validity of a conviction. I understand and agree I am waiving my right to file any proceeding under the provisions of K.S.A. 60-1507 (as well as K.S.A. 60-1501--known as habeas corpus) and such waiver is and has been a part of the consideration for the favorable terms of this plea agreement. I do further understand that in some limited circumstances, such as a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel, a 60-1507 proceeding may be commenced, but must be commenced within one year of final judgment." (Emphasis added.)

In exchange for Wahl's guilty plea, the State agreed not to seek a hard 50 life sentence. It also agreed not to file additional charges arising out of the murder and to dismiss pending ...


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