The Kansas Supreme Court today upheld the first-degree felony murder conviction of Anderson Cheffen in Wyandotte County District Court.
The conviction was based on an underlying felony of child abuse, following the death of his girlfriend's 10-month-old son.
The unanimous decision rejected the defendant's claim that post-verdict polling of the jury on whether the verdict represented its decision was conducted improperly; that a phrase in the felony murder statute creates alternative means of committing the crime and that he was entitled to lesser included offense instruction on intentional second-degree murder.
Justice Eric S. Rosen, while agreeing with the result of the decision, wrote a separate concurring opinion. His opinion stated he would have relied on a different legal rationale in denying the motion for the jury instruction on a lesser-included offense. Justice Nancy L. Moritz joined the concurring opinion.
The case is online at http://www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/SupCt/2013/20130621/105384.pdf.