The Kansas Supreme Court has unanimously affirmed the Riley County District Court’s summary denial of Matthew Wilson’s post-sentence plea withdrawal motion, according to a news release from the court Friday.
On the night of April 7, 2013, Wilson broke into an apartment and began shooting the occupants. During the ensuing panic, one occupant fired a defensive shot—meant for Wilson—that killed Michael Lowery, a Fort Riley soldier. Wilson later pled no contest to premeditated murder.
On appeal, Wilson argued a factual basis did not support the plea because he did not shoot the victim. He also claimed his trial counsel was ineffective for failing to recognize this fact and advise him accordingly.
The court held a factual basis supported the plea because Wilson proximately caused the victim’s death. The court ruled this week that as an active shooter, Wilson created a deadly situation for the apartment’s occupants.
Wilson, now 48, was sentenced to life in prison in December 2013.