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State v. Ordway

Kansas Supreme Court
934 P.2d 94 (1997)


Facts

Kim Ordway (defendant) was convicted of murdering her parents, Clarence and Betty Ordway, both of whom had been shot to death. Police found Clarence’s body at home in Kansas and recovered Betty’s body from the trunk of Kim’s car in New York. Kim was charged with two counts of first-degree murder. At trial, Kim, who had a history of psychological disorders, claimed that he killed Clarence and Betty, because Kim believed that the parents would harm Kim’s children. No evidence was presented to support Kim’s belief as reasonable. Kim requested that the trial court instruct the jury on voluntary manslaughter as a lesser-included offense of murder. Specifically, Kim requested that the jury be charged on self-defense manslaughter under Kansas Statute § 21-3403, because Kim unreasonably but honestly believed that force was needed to protect Kim’s children from Clarence and Betty, which Kim alleged was self-defense manslaughter. The court refused to give the instruction, but charged the jury on first-degree and second-degree murder. The jury convicted Kim of second-degree murder on both counts. Kim appealed, arguing that the trial court erred when it refused to instruct the jury on voluntary manslaughter.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Allegrucci, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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