State v. Sophophone

19 P.3d 70 (2001)

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State v. Sophophone

Kansas Supreme Court
19 P.3d 70 (2001)

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Facts

Sanexay Sophophone (defendant), Somphone Sysoumphone, and two others broke into a residence. The resident called the police. When officers arrived, the four offenders fled. One officer apprehended Sophophone and placed him in a police car. Another officer chased down Sysoumphone. Sysoumphone fired a gun at the approaching officer, and the officer returned fire, killing Sysoumphone. In addition to aggravated burglary and other offenses, Sophophone was charged with felony murder for Sysoumphone’s death. Sophophone moved to dismiss the felony-murder charge, arguing that felony murder did not apply because (1) Sophophone was in custody when Sysoumphone died and therefore was not still engaged in the commission of a felony and (2) the officer, not Sophophone or one of his co-felons, killed Sysoumphone. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss, and Sophophone was convicted of all charges. Sophophone appealed the felony-murder conviction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Larson, J.)

Dissent (Abbott, J.)

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