Supreme Court hears arguments for 2 cases at Parsons Highschool

PARSONS, Kan. – The Kansas Supreme Court today heard oral arguments for two cases at Parsons Highschool.

From 6:30 pm to about 8:00 pm, the following cases were heard.

  • Appeal No. 123,077: State of Kansas v. Richard I. Moler II
    • Moler argues the evidence was insufficient to support two convictions of violating the Kansas Offender Registration Act.
  • Appeal No. 120,566: State of Kansas v. Justin Burke Eckert
    • Eckert appealed several issues directly after a jury convicted him of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and several other charges.

ABOUT THE CASES

You can find brief summaries of the cases below. Detailed summaries, and briefs filed by attorneys involved in these cases, are available on the court’s traveling docket page.

Appeal No. 123,077: State of Kansas v. Richard I. Moler II

Hamilton County: (Petition for Review) A jury convicted Moler of two counts of violating the Kansas Offender Registration Act, K.S.A. 2020 Supp. 22-4901 et seq, by failing to include in his registration information two vehicles that local police observed him driving. In the Court of Appeals, Moler argued the evidence was insufficient to support the convictions for two reasons. First, he argued the State established only that he drove each vehicle once, which he contended was insufficient to trigger a duty to register them. Second, he argued the evidence did not establish each of the allegations contained in the charges. Moler also claimed his trial counsel was ineffective. The Court of Appeals affirmed his convictions.

Issues on review are whether the Court of Appeals erred in finding: 1) there was sufficient evidence for a conviction because Moler was not required by law to register vehicles he drove only one time; and 2) there was sufficient evidence when the State charged that Moler’s registration obligation arose from a prior conviction, but it in fact arose from a prior juvenile adjudication.

Appeal No. 120,566: State of Kansas v. Justin Burke Eckert

Miami County: (Cross-Petition for Review; Conditional Cross-Petition for Review to State’s Cross-Petition) A jury convicted Eckert of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threat, cultivation of marijuana, and 25 counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. Eckert appealed several issues directly to the Court of Appeals, and the Court of Appeals agreed with Eckert in part and affirmed the district court in part. Both parties petitioned the Supreme Court for review. The Supreme Court granted the State’s cross-petition and Eckert’s conditional cross-petition.

Issues on review are whether: 1) the Court of Appeals erred in finding Eckert’s drug paraphernalia convictions were multiplicitous; and 2) there was sufficient evidence to support Eckert’s conviction involving the use of propane and a blower attached to the propane tank as drug paraphernalia.

LOCAL MAN TO SERVE AS HONORARY BAILIFF

Joining the justices was a local longtime attorney and municipal judge. Rick Tucker has had his share of days in court, but today he took on a new role for the Supreme Court.

Chief Judge Lori Bolton-Fleming nominated Tucker to be the honorary bailiff, noting his near half-century of service to the southeast Kansas legal community.

Watch KOAM or Fox 14 News to learn

You can also visit this website to watch the full court hearing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnhno3ZY_FY