Kansas Supreme Court upholds murder conviction from October 2020

A Topeka man’s first-degree murder conviction in a 2020 shooting homicide and robbery has been unanimously affirmed by the Kansas Supreme Court.

Todge Anderson’s convictions for first-degree felony murder, aggravated robbery, distributing or possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and criminal possession of a weapon were affirmed by the state’s Supreme Court.

The Shawnee Co. District Court’s decision to admit a recording of a jail call, in which Anderson admitted being shorted in a drug deal, was upheld by the Supreme Court. Anderson contended that the call should have been excluded due to the state’s late disclosure of its existence. However, the court deemed the admission of the call reasonable given the circumstances.

The court determined that the trial evidence presented in the case provided support for Anderson’s conviction of distributing or possessing with the intent to distribute a controlled substance. Additionally, it was argued that certain statements made during the prosecutor’s closing argument wrongly implied that Anderson had the responsibility to prove his innocence. However, the Supreme Court ultimately concluded that this error did not have any impact on the final verdict.

The Supreme Court discovered a mistake in the district court’s ruling that required Anderson to pay $5,000 in attorney fees to the State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services. According to the Supreme Court, the district court failed to explicitly discuss the potential financial hardship that this payment would impose on Anderson.

The court has upheld the convictions, but it has overturned the order for attorney fees. The district court has been asked to review the fees again in light of the ruling.

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