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State v. Martin

Supreme Court of Kansas

November 16, 2018

State of Kansas, Appellee,
v.
Kayla Leeann Martin, Appellant.

         SYLLABUS

         A convicted criminal defendant has a statutory right to have a hearing on the question of restitution, if desired. When the defense raises a legitimate issue as to whether the restitution damages claimed by the victims were caused by the defendant's crime of conviction, the district court errs in denying the defendant's request for a restitution hearing.

         Review of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in an unpublished opinion filed June 23, 2017.

          Appeal from Leavenworth District Court; Gunnar A. Sundby, judge.

          Christina M. Kerls, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, was on the brief for appellant.

          Todd Thompson, county attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, were on the brief for appellee.

          OPINION

          Johnson, J.

         Kayla Leeann Martin was originally charged as Kayla Leeann Connery in two separate, but related criminal cases. The district court consolidated the cases, and Martin pled nolo contendere to two counts of interfering with law enforcement by falsely reporting a crime. As part of her sentence, Martin was ordered to pay $10, 800 in restitution to a couple with whom Martin and her daughter had been living at the time of the crimes. On appeal, Martin challenged the manner in which the district court imposed the restitution sentence and claimed the restitution plan was unworkable. The Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's restitution order. Determining that Martin should have been given a hearing on the restitution issue, we reverse the Court of Appeals and remand to the district court to conduct a restitution hearing.

         Factual and Procedural Overview

         Kayla Martin and Amy Nutsch met through a mutual friend, with whom Martin and her two-year-old daughter had been living for an unspecified period of time. Shortly thereafter, Martin confided to Amy that she had recently been raped; Martin later identified her rapist to police by name, hereafter referred to as B.T. At first, Amy and her husband, Mark Nutsch, allowed Martin to stay at the Nutsches' home during the day. Eventually Martin and her daughter moved in with them. At the time, Mark, a military officer, was away on deployment, while Amy, a middle school special education teacher, remained in Leavenworth with their four children. Amy later testified at Martin's sentencing that she had wanted to "help get [Martin] on her feet" and "make sure her daughter was well cared for . . . in a safe environment"; Amy also discussed Martin's mental health struggles, sharing that Martin had cut herself and was at times suicidal.

         During her stay in the Nutsch residence, Martin sent herself threatening emails, text messages, and Facebook messages using fake accounts. Martin convinced her hosts that the violent threats were real and that Martin, Martin's daughter, and the Nutsch family were all in danger. In response to these threats, Mark returned home from his military deployment a month early; the family installed a $4, 000 security system with cameras inside and outside the home; and Amy testified her family "lived in fear for almost six months."

         On September 10, 2013, a deputy with the Leavenworth County Sheriff's department responded to an alarm at the Nutsch house. At that time Martin, Martin's daughter, and the Nutsches' youngest child were the only people home. Martin told the deputy that she had seen the man who had previously raped her (B.T.) pull into the driveway in a truck. About two weeks later, in a follow-up interview, Martin told the same deputy that B.T. actually entered the house, grabbed Martin by the hair, and threatened to rape her again. Law enforcement found no signs of forced entry; the Nutsches' security cameras did not corroborate Martin's statement that anyone entered the home; and the alleged rapist, B.T., was in the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) at the time of the alleged incident.

         On October 29, 2013, Detective Brian Eckstein of the Leavenworth County Sheriff's department interviewed Martin about the threatening messages sent to her email account. Martin showed the detective an email message she received threatening sexual violence against her. Martin told the detective that she believed the emails were sent by B.T. A subpoena of the email carrier's records revealed that the email account was associated with a phone number assigned to Martin.

         Martin also gave Detective Eckstein additional email addresses from which she claimed to have received threatening messages, but Martin did not produce any of the emails coming from these accounts. A subpoena of the email companies' records showed these addresses were either nonexistent or inactive during the relevant time period. Martin also allowed the detective to inspect her cell phone. Detective Eckstein stated, in his affidavit: "The phone had text messages from 10/8/2013 to approximately 10/11/13. The data on the phone showed [Martin] forwarded the [threatening] messages to Amy but showed no incoming texts before the message was sent to Amy Nutsch."

         On November 1, 2013, Martin, while alone with her daughter at the Nutsches' home, discharged a shotgun through a bathroom window. Martin told law enforcement that her brother was trying to break in through the window. Days later, Martin told Amy that on the day of the shotgun incident someone entered the house and raped her. Amy took Martin to a hospital in Atchison, Kansas, where she received a sexual assault evaluation. While at the hospital, Detective Eckstein interviewed Martin again. Martin told the detective that on the day of the shotgun incident, B.T. entered the house and raped her. The Nutsches' security cameras did not corroborate Martin's statement that her brother tried to enter the bathroom window or that B.T. entered the house. B.T., in fact, was still in KDOC custody at that time.

         On December 15, 2013, Martin reported to law enforcement that she had received threatening Facebook messages from her biological mother. Detective Eckstein obtained Martin's cell phone and was able ...


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