Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Wright

Supreme Court of Kansas

March 24, 2017

State of Kansas, Appellee,
v.
Kristofer J. Wright, Appellant.

         SYLLABUS

         1. A continuance hearing is a critical stage of a criminal trial, requiring the defendant's presence.

         2. When the record on appeal does not contain sufficient factual findings to permit an appellate court to determine whether a violation of a defendant's right to be present at a continuance hearing was harmless, the appropriate response is to remand temporarily to the district court to make the necessary findings.

         Appeal from Sedgwick District Court; Joseph Bribiesca, judge. Remanded with directions.

          Krystle Dalke, of Law Office of Michael P. Whalen, of Wichita, argued the cause, and Michael P. Whalen, of the same firm, was with her on the briefs for appellant.

          Matt J. Maloney, assistant district attorney, argued the cause, and Marc Bennett, district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, were with him on the brief for appellee.

          OPINION

          Beier, J.

         Defendant Kristofer J. Wright appeals his convictions for first-degree premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Wright raises five issues in his appeal, but today we address only his claim that his right to be present at all critical stages of his trial was violated.

         Because the record is insufficient for us to complete meaningful review of this issue, and it may be dispositive of the entire appeal, we remand to the district court for factual findings, as described below. We retain appellate jurisdiction and will revisit this case once the findings have been made and added to the record before us.

         Factual and Procedural Background

         Wright was charged with premeditated first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for the shooting death of Jordan A. Turner. Defense attorney Timothy A. Frieden was appointed to represent Wright.

         Wright wrote Frieden multiple letters from jail while awaiting trial. Wright also mailed the letters to the clerk of the district court to have them included in his case file. In a letter mailed and file stamped shortly before his first scheduled trial date, Wright wrote that he did not "want any more continuance[s] accredited to me" and that he wished to "invoke my right to be present at all critical stages."

         Frieden nevertheless appeared before the district court on the date first set for trial-August 19, 2013-without Wright. Frieden also requested a continuance. The district judge granted the continuance, which delayed the start of Wright's trial past the applicable statutory 90 days. See K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 22-3402(a).

         After the 90 days expired, Wright filed a pro se motion to dismiss the case against him, arguing that his right to be present at all critical stages and his ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.