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State v. Moore

Supreme Court of Kansas

May 10, 2019

State of Kansas, Appellee,
v.
Dominic J. Moore, Appellant.

         SYLLABUS

         1. Interpretation of a sentencing statute is a question of law over which an appellate court exercises unlimited review.

         2. Whether a district court has complied with the mandate of an appellate court is a question of law over which an appellate court has unlimited review.

         3. Under the facts of this case, the district court on remand erred by changing the life sentence from running concurrent with, to consecutive to, the defendant's sentences for his two nonvacated on-grid crimes. The court also erred by modifying the defendant's two nonvacated, on-grid sentences in length and sequence.

          Appeal from Wyandotte District Court; Bill Klapper, judge.

          Gerald E. Wells, of Jerry Wells Attorney-at-Law, of Lawrence, was on the brief for appellant.

          Daniel G. Obermeier, assistant district attorney, Mark A. Dupree Sr., district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, were on the brief for appellee.

          OPINION

          Nuss, C.J

         Dominic Moore challenges his resentencing by the district court after we vacated the original hard 50 life sentence for his premeditated first-degree murder conviction because the sentence was unconstitutional. State v. Moore, 302 Kan. 685, 357 P.3d 275 (2015). On remand, the district court imposed a hard 25 life sentence (lifetime sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years) for that conviction. And, it changed the life sentence from concurrent with, to consecutive to, the sentences for the convictions for Moore's two on-grid crimes. For those crimes, the court also changed his two nonvacated sentences in length and sequence.

         We conclude the district court could not resentence Moore's two nonvacated, on-grid sentences, i.e., in length of months. Nor could that court change them from running concurrent to consecutive-to each other and to the hard 25. So we vacate them and remand for resentencing. There, Moore's original 195-month and 155-month concurrent sentences for his second-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder convictions shall be reinstated. And they shall run concurrent with each other and his new hard 25 sentence for premeditated first-degree murder.

         Facts and Procedural History

         Dominic Moore and his codefendant, Cedric Warren, were tried together for the shooting deaths of Charles Ford and Larry LeDoux and attempted shooting of Brandon Ford during an attempted drug-house robbery. The jury convicted both Moore and Warren of (1) premeditated first-degree murder; (2) intentional second-degree murder; and (3) attempted premeditated first-degree murder. The district court imposed the hard

          50 life sentence for the off-grid first-degree premeditated murder convictions for both Moore and Warren. For the other two crimes, the court imposed gridbox sentences. Moore had one prior felony conviction so his two gridbox sentences were 195 months for second-degree murder and 155 months for attempted premeditated first-degree murder. The court also ordered all three of Moore's sentences to run concurrent.

         Because Warren did not have any prior convictions, his gridbox sentences were 155 months for second-degree murder and 155 months for attempted premeditated first-degree murder. The court also ordered all three of Warren's sentences to run concurrent. Both Moore and Warren appealed. This court affirmed their convictions but vacated the hard 50 sentences because of Alleyne v. United States, 570 U.S. 99, ...


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