The Kansas Supreme Court today upheld a first-degree premeditated murder conviction against Donnell Dobbs.
Dobbs allegedly opened fire with an assault rifle in 2008 inside TJ’s Barbershop at 13th and Washington Boulevard. Three ran out the back door of the shop, and Dobbs followed, killing Muryel Josenberger and severely injuring Mario Mitchell, according to court documents. Mitchell had 12 gunshot wounds.
The jury found Dobbs guilty of first-degree premeditated murder, attempted first-degree premeditated murder and criminal possession of a firearm. He received a life sentence for first-degree murder, plus consecutive sentences of 155 months.
The Supreme Court in its unanimous opinion today upheld his conviction and rejected Donnell’s claim that the Wyandotte County District Court violated his statutory right to a speedy trial, and found that the jury instruction on eyewitness identification was erroneous, but did not require a new trial.
There had been a delay in the trial while waiting for the KBI to process physical evidence, according to court documents. However, the Supreme Court upheld the district court’s decision to grant the continuance, and said it did not violate his right to a speedy trial.
Also, the Supreme Court stated that while the trial court erred in giving an eyewitness identification instruction, other procedural safeguards counteracted that instruction. Also, other witnesses corroborated the eyewitness’s testimony, according to the court. There was no reasonable probability that the jury would have rendered a different verdict without this error, according to the court.