The Kansas Supreme Court today ordered a new trial for Jazwane Jefferson in a felony murder case.
Jefferson was charged and convicted of murder and criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling.
The Supreme Court today determined that Jefferson’s statements to police should have been suppressed.
According to court documents, Deborah Jackson was shot and killed in her Kansas City, Kan., home in a drive-by shooting on Sept. 20, 2004. There had been a string of drive-by shootings that day in Kansas City, Kan.
During the investigation, more than a week later, police officers had Jefferson’s car towed, and left a note that said, "Jazwane, if you want your car back, please give me a call. We can talk,” according to court documents.
Jefferson’s attorneys claimed that it was an unlawful seizure of his car, without a search warrant, and claimed there was not probable cause. It was argued that the illegal seizure of the car was exploited to obtain Jefferson’s incriminating statements.
Attorney Michael Bartee of Olathe argued the case for Jefferson.
The unanimous decision was written by Justice Nancy L. Moritz, holding that the statements were obtained through exploitation of the illegal seizure of Jefferson’s car, which was seized nearly a month after the crime without a search warrant.
A separate concurring opinion was written by Justice Carol Beier.
The decision is online at http://www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/SupCt/2013/20130906/98742.pdf.