The following case summaries are provided by Stacey L. Schlimmer. For complete case opinions visit kscourts.org. All cases are individual and in no way do these cases reflect every case.
Defendant’s conviction for felony criminal damage to property was reversed because the evidence established multiple acts, and the trial court did not instruct the jury it had to unanimously agree on the act that supported the conviction, and the Court was not firmly convinced that the error did not affect the verdict. The Court looked to the two-prong test in State v. Voyles, 284 Kan. 239, 160 P.3d 794 (2007):
First Prong: Whether the defendant's conduct was part of one act or represents multiple acts that are separate and distinct from one another. Four factors assist in analyzing this prong: "(1) whether the acts occur at or near the same time; (2) whether the acts occur at the same location; (3) whether there is a causal relationship between the acts, in particular whether there was an intervening event; and (4) whether there is a fresh impulse motivating some of the conduct.
Second Prong: Whether the State informed the jury which act to rely upon during its deliberations and, if not, whether the trial court instructed the jury that it must be unanimous about the particular criminal act that supported the conviction.
In this case, the defendant was charged with criminal damage to property for ramming a flatbed truck into two of his father’s vehicles on two separate incidences. The Court found that, although the two times that the truck hit the vehicles were at the same location and only 5-10 minutes apart in time, the acts were distinct and separate. According to the Court, intervening events existed between the ramming of the vehicles the first and second time. Thus, the Court held I was “unclear whether both the van and the El Camino were damaged during each incident so that either act could support the crime charges—damaging both vehicles.”