State of Kansas v. Heath

901 P.2d 29 (1995)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

State of Kansas v. Heath

Kansas Court of Appeals
901 P.2d 29 (1995)

Facts

Danny Heath (defendant) and Kord Cole were friends and coworkers who commuted to and from work together. Heath got into an accident while driving Cole, and Cole was killed. Heath’s blood alcohol level was 0.151 percent. Heath pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter. The presumptive prison term was 50–55 months. Heath moved for a downward dispositional departure. The evidence established that Heath and Cole had stopped at a tavern after work. On the way home, after driving 25 to 35 miles, Heath swerved to avoid a piece of tire on the road, and the car slid into a utility pole. Cole’s parents visited Heath upon his release from the hospital, and Heath promised he would stop drinking. Cole’s sister visited Heath and sat beside Heath’s wife at the preliminary hearing. Cole’s father testified that there was no need for Heath to go to jail and that Heath had quit drinking and had a family to take care of. Cole’s mother testified and included in her victim statement that Heath did not intentionally kill Cole; she hugged Heath outside the courtroom before the departure hearing and told him he needed to take care of his family. Heath acknowledged his responsibility for Cole’s death. Heath testified that he had lost his parents and brother, knew the pain Cole’s family was experiencing and was sorry for causing it, and had stopped drinking. The court sentenced Heath to 50 months but granted a dispositional departure and placed Heath on probation for 60 months based, in part, on Cole’s father’s testimony that Heath should not be incarcerated and Cole’s mother’s testimony that Heath did not intentionally kill Cole. On appeal, the state (plaintiff) argued that statements made by Cole’s parents were neither a substantial and compelling reason for departure nor a mitigating factor in sentencing.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Bennington, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 735,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 735,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 735,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership