BY THE COURT
Under the Kansas aggravated-robbery statute, the defendant
commits an aggravated robbery when the taking of property by
force or by threat of bodily harm comes when the defendant is
armed with a dangerous weapon or the defendant inflicts
bodily injury on someone while carrying out the robbery.
determine whether a defendant was armed with a dangerous
weapon for purposes of the aggravated-robbery statute, Kansas
courts apply a subjective test that looks at whether the
victim perceived the weapon as dangerous.
this case, in which the victim raised her hands when the
defendant pulled out a Taser, the victim told a 911 operator
that she had been threatened with a weapon, and the jury
reviewed a videotape of the events, sufficient evidence
supports the defendant's conviction for aggravated
Under the Kansas Offender Registration Act, a deadly weapon
is a firearm or other device, instrument, material, or
substance that, from how it is used or intended to be used,
is calculated or likely to produce death or serious bodily
5. In a
case in which no evidence showed that a Taser is a deadly
weapon, the defendant's use of a Taser when committing an
aggravated robbery does not trigger the registration
requirement applicable to a violent offender under the Kansas
Offender Registration Act.
from Sedgwick District Court; Benjamin L. Burgess, judge.
Jennifer C. Roth, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, for
J. Maloney, assistant district attorney, Marc Bennett,
district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, for
Arnold-Burger, C.J., Leben and Powell, JJ.
Carter brought a Taser with her when she robbed a Wichita
Dollar General store. That led to her conviction for
aggravated robbery under a statute that applies when the
robber is "armed with a dangerous weapon." And it
led to a requirement that she periodically register her
residence with authorities under a statute that applies when
a person "use[s]" a "deadly weapon" when
committing a felony against a person. On appeal, Carter
contests both her conviction and the registration
argues that she wasn't armed with a dangerous weapon
because a Taser isn't truly dangerous and she didn't
show the weapon until she had already gotten the money from
the store safe. But the Kansas Supreme Court has held that-to
support a charge for aggravated robbery-the weapon used need
only appear dangerous if the robber deploys it in a
manner intended to convince the victim it's dangerous and
the victim reasonably believes that it is. See State v.
Colbert, 244 Kan. 422, Syl. ¶ 3, 769 P.2d 1168
(1989). That was true here, and the weapon was shown as
Carter was still gathering the money. So we affirm her
conviction for aggravated robbery.
Carter's argument against the registration requirement is
a good one. What's important for that purpose is whether
Carter used a deadly weapon, not whether the weapon
might have appeared to be one. And although deaths can result
from Taser use, that's usually not an intended or likely
result. So we conclude that a weapon is a deadly one only
when, as used, the weapon is likely to cause death. We
therefore vacate the registration requirement.
and Procedural Background
wore a clown mask when she robbed the Dollar General store,
so for a time the police didn't know who had committed
the crime. But in this appeal Carter's not contesting
that she was the robber, so we start with the knowledge that
she was the person behind the mask.
women, Kaylan Sanders and Celia Reyes, were working the
closing shift that night. Reyes testified at trial that she
saw something in Carter's hands and wondered whether it
might be a gun. Reyes said she did not want to be shot and
was also concerned ...