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State v. Glover

Court of Appeals of Kansas

June 7, 2019

State of Kansas, Appellant,
v.
Edward C. Glover, Appellee.

         SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

         A locked sacristy inside an unlocked church is not a building or structure as the terms are used in K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 21-5807(a)(2).

          Appeal from Sumner District Court; William R. Mott, judge.

          Kerwin L. Spencer, county attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, for appellant.

          Patrick H. Dunn, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, for appellee.

          Before Arnold-Burger, C.J., Hill, J., and Stutzman, S.J.

          Arnold-Burger, C.J.

         A defendant is guilty of a burglary of a nondwelling when he or she "without authority, enter[s] into or remain[s] within any: . . . building . . . or other structure which is not a dwelling, with intent to commit a felony, theft or sexually motivated crime therein." K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 21-5807(a)(2).

         Edward C. Glover entered the unlocked St. Anthony's Catholic Church and entered the locked sacristy where he stole items from a locked cabinet. The State charged Glover with burglary. The district court dismissed the charge at the preliminary hearing, reasoning that the State did not prove Glover entered the building without authorization because the church was open to the public. On appeal, the State argues the district court erred because the sacristy can be considered a building or structure under the meaning of the Kansas burglary statute. Because we find that the sacristy does not fit the definition of a building or structure under the clear language of K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 21-5807(a)(2), we affirm.

         Factual and Procedural History

         In March 2017, Marian Bryant, a sacristan for St. Anthony's Catholic Church, went to the sacristy to prepare for services and discovered two chalices, one ciborium, and one paten were missing. The items were normally in a locked cabinet inside the sacristy. The sacristy is a room that is normally locked and located within the church. The church itself was unlocked and open to the public.

         According to Timothy Nash, he and Glover went to the church to take some money. When they were unable to find any money, Glover took the items out of the cabinet. Glover was eventually charged with one count of burglary of a nondwelling and one count of felony theft.

         The court held a preliminary hearing on the charges and dismissed the burglary charge. The court reasoned that there was insufficient evidence to show Glover entered the building without authority. The court believed that Glover was authorized to enter the church and the sacristy was not a separate building or dwelling within the church because it was all owned by the same entity.

         The State filed a motion to reconsider or in the alternative to dismiss the remaining charge so the State could pursue an appeal. The court denied the State's motion to reconsider and granted the motion to ...


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