Kansas Supreme Court to review appeals from Riley, Geary counties

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Kansas Supreme Court
Seated left to right: Hon. Marla J. Luckert, Hon. Lawton R. Nuss, Chief Justice; Hon. Carol A. Beier.
Standing left to right: Hon. Dan Biles, Hon. Eric S. Rosen, Hon. Lee A. Johnson, and Hon. Caleb Stegall. (Courtesy photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Supreme Court will hear two cases next week involving appeals from Riley and Geary counties.
The case from Riley County is a petition for review of Ziad Khalil-Alsalaami (zee’ odd call leel’ awl suh law’ mee) vs. the state of Kansas. Alsalaami was convicted in 2011 of two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in 2012 and was denied by the Supreme Court for a review initially. In 2014, Alsalaami filed a motion alleging ineffective assistance of counsel at trial and on direct appeal. After a full hearing, the district court denied the motion. The Court of Appeals found the counsel was ineffective at both trial and on appeal and reversed his convictions, remanding the case for further proceedings.
Four issues are in question including:
*Whether the Court of Appeals erred in finding the trial counsel’s decision not to request an interpreter amounted to ineffective assistance of counsel.
*Whether the Court of Appeals adhered to the Strickland standard in finding trial counsel ineffective for failing to file a motion to suppress.
*Whether the Court of Appeals erred by failing to raise the interpreter issue and prosecutorial misconduct on appeal.
*Whether the Appelate Court’s cumulative error analysis was flawed.
The case from Geary County involves the case of Christopher Lyman vs. the State of Kansas.

Lyman was convicted of first-degree murder on the theory of felony murder, child abuse, and aggravated battery of his nephew, but found not guilty of premeditated murder, child abuse by torture, child abuse by cruel beating and aggravated sodomy. The case was remanded to the district court based on the possibility of exculpatory evidence on a motion for a new trial. It was determined the prosecutor had witnessed an incident involving the child at a Walmart store around the time of his death in September 2013.

Six issues are in question including:

*Whether the district court erred in denying Lyman’s motion for new trial without considering the merits of the motion.
*Whether the district court erred in excluding Lyman’s medical expert.
*Whether the district court erred in allowing the State to introduce evidence of Lyman’s prior bad acts.
*Whether judicial misconduct of sleeping during the trial required a reversal.
*Whether the district court erred in excluding medical records that were the subject of a written stipulation.
*Whether cumulative error denied Lyman a fair trial.
Both cases are scheduled to be heard Tuesday, September 10 beginning at 9 a.m.
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Brandon Peoples

KMAN News Director and host of In Focus. Contact Brandon at Brandon@1350KMAN.com

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