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. Sturgis

Supreme Court of Kansas

March 9, 2018

State of Kansas, Appellee,
v.
Randy D. Sturgis, Appellant.

         Review of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in an unpublished opinion filed December 18, 2015.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

         1. In reviewing a claim of prosecutorial error, an appellate court must first determine whether the prosecutor's actions fall outside the wide latitude afforded prosecutors to conduct the State's case and attempt to obtain a conviction in a manner that does not offend the defendant's constitutional right to a fair trial. If error is found, the court moves to the prejudice step and applies the traditional constitutional harmlessness inquiry demanded by Chapman v. California, 386 U.S. 18, 87 S.Ct. 824, 17 L.Ed.2d 705 (1967), i.e., determines whether the State can show there is no reasonable possibility that the error affected the verdict.

         2. The classification of prior offenses for criminal history purposes involves the interpretation of the revised Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act; statutory interpretation is a question of law subject to unlimited review.

         3. Prior out-of-state convictions are used in the calculation of a person's criminal history score under the revised Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act. The State of Kansas shall classify the out-of-state conviction as a person or nonperson offense by referring to comparable offenses under the Kansas criminal code in effect on the date the current crime of conviction was committed. If the State of Kansas does not have a comparable offense in effect on the date the current crime of conviction was committed, the out-of-state conviction shall be classified as a nonperson crime.

         4. For an out-of-state conviction to be comparable to an offense under the Kansas criminal code, within the meaning of K.S.A. 2017 Supp. 21-6811(e) (the amended version of K.S.A. 2012 Supp. 21-6811[e]), the elements of the out-of-state crime cannot be broader than the elements of the Kansas crime. In other words, the elements of the out-of-state crime must be identical to, or narrower than, the elements of the Kansas crime to which it is being referenced.

         Appeal from Sedgwick District Court; Stephen J. Ternes, judge.

          Samuel Schirer, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, argued the cause and was on the brief for appellant.

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

          Johnson, J.

         Randy D. Sturgis seeks review of the Court of Appeals' determination that the prosecutorial error in closing argument was harmless and that the district court correctly classified a 2007 Michigan home invasion conviction as a person felony when calculating Sturgis' criminal history score under the revised Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act (KSGA). State v. Sturgis, No. 112, 544, 2015 WL 9286956 (Kan. App. 2015) (unpublished opinion). We affirm Sturgis' conviction, but we vacate his sentence and remand for resentencing with a criminal history score that classifies the Michigan home invasion conviction as a nonperson crime.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL OVERVIEW

         Sturgis' jury convictions for criminal possession of a firearm and theft were the result of an incident in Derby on January 10, 2013, that appeared to be an armed robbery of a Casey's General Store. At the time, Sturgis was living with his then-girlfriend, Carland "Carly" Ballinger, who worked as a cashier at the convenience store. Sturgis asked Ballinger that morning what she would do if he robbed the Casey's store while she was working, but she thought he was joking.

         Later that day, however, Sturgis robbed the store while Ballinger was on duty. Although Sturgis had his face covered with a black bandana, he briefly lowered it to reveal his identity to Ballinger. After Sturgis left with the money Ballinger gave him from the cash register and the safe, Ballinger called 911 to report an armed robbery.

         Initially, Ballinger did not tell law enforcement about Sturgis' involvement. About six months later, however, the relationship ended and Ballinger told the police that Sturgis had been the robber. Sturgis countered Ballinger's testimony with an alibi defense, putting on several witnesses to testify that Sturgis had been at a family gathering at his uncle's house in Wichita at the time of the robbery. The jury convicted Sturgis of both offenses.

          The sentencing court calculated Sturgis' criminal history score as B, based in part on a prior Michigan conviction for third-degree home invasion that the court classified as a person crime. ...


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.