State v. Rollins

Decision Date01 July 2011
Docket NumberNo. 103,124.,103,124.
Citation46 Kan.App.2d 17,257 P.3d 839
PartiesSTATE of Kansas, Appellee,v.Shannon J. ROLLINS, Appellant.
CourtKansas Court of Appeals
OPINION TEXT STARTS HERE

[257 P.3d 841 , 46 Kan.App.2d 17]

Syllabus by the Court

1. Jury unanimity is a question of law over which this court has unlimited review.

2. In an alternative means case, the court must determine whether a rational trier of fact could have found each means of committing the crime proved beyond a reasonable doubt. In an alternative means case the jury must be unanimous as to guilt for the single crime charged, but need not be unanimous as to the particular means by which the crime was committed, so long as substantial evidence supports each alternative means.

3. When the sufficiency of the evidence is challenged in a criminal case, this court reviews all the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution to determine whether the court is convinced that a rational factfinder could have found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

4. Theft is an act done with intent to deprive the owner permanently of the possession, use, or benefit of the owner's property by obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over property.

5. Under K.S.A. 2010 Supp. 21–3110(13), the words “obtains or exerts control over property” includes but is not limited to, the taking, carrying away, or the sale, conveyance, or transfer of title to, interest in, or possession of property. There is no quantifiable difference between the actions that constitute obtaining or exerting; these word create a distinction without a difference.

6. The terms “obtaining” and “exerting” are not different as they relate to the substantive elements of the offense of theft. They merely describe the same conduct.

7. A claim that a defendant was deprived of his or her statutory and constitutional right to be present during a portion of the trial raises legal questions that are subject to unlimited review on appeal.

8. A felony defendant must be present at any stage of the trial when the jury is in the courtroom or when the defendant's presence is essential to a fair and just determination of a substantial issue.

9. It is an appellant's duty to designate the record to demonstrate his or her claims of error. Assertions made in an appellate brief are not sufficient to satisfy inadequacies in the record on appeal. Thus, without an adequate record, a claim of error fails.

10. The district court has discretion whether to admit evidence not previously disclosed in discovery. Judicial discretion exercised within the appropriate legal parameters is protected if a reasonable person in the position of the district court could have made a similar decision.

11. Whether an adequate evidentiary foundation was laid is a question of fact for the trial court and largely rests in its discretion. So long as there is substantial competent evidence to support the finding, it will not be disturbed on appeal.

12. Cumulative error will not be found when the record fails to support the errors alleged on appeal by the defendant.

Randall L. Hodgkinson, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, for appellant.Steven J. Obermeier, assistant district attorney, Stephen M. Howe, district attorney, and Steve Six, attorney general, for appellee.Before LEBEN, P.J., GREEN and MARQUARDT, JJ.MARQUARDT, J.

Shannon Rollins appeals his jury conviction of theft, a severity level 9 nonperson felony. The district court sentenced Rollins to 11 months' imprisonment with no post-release supervision. We affirm.

On August 4, 2008, Richard Orrison, Vice President of Wall Ties and Forms (Wall Ties), a manufacturer of aluminum forming systems that are used in the concrete industry, notified the police that two pallets or “skids” of aluminum forms had been stolen from Wall Ties.

During his internal investigation, Orrison watched one daytime and two nighttime surveillance videos that showed Rollins, a Wall Ties employee, using two forklifts to load the missing skids into a van the evening of July 31, 2008. The nighttime videos, along with eyewitness testimony, evidenced Rollins leaving the loading dock about 8:29 p.m. with the loaded van. He returned at 9:35 p.m. The missing skids were never located. Rollins was charged with theft under K.S.A. 21–3701(a)(1) and (b)(3).

During Rollins' trial, the district court overruled his contemporaneous and continuing objection to the State's attempt to introduce testimony concerning the daytime surveillance video. Orrison testified about what he saw on the daytime surveillance video. Tom Sharkey, the quality control grounds supervisor at Wall Ties, also testified that he viewed the daytime surveillance video. Sharkey testified that the daytime video showed Rollins moving the missing skids to a section of the loading dock reserved for square tubing and inactive orders. Sharkey noted this was odd because aluminum forms do not belong in that section of the loading dock.

The State introduced Rollins' timesheet over his objection claiming that the State failed to produce it during discovery. The district court overruled Rollins' objection. The timesheet showed that Rollins arrived at work on July 31, 2008, at 4:20 p.m. and left work at 10:47 p.m. Although Rollins was scheduled to work the next day, Friday, August 1, 2008, the timesheet indicated he was absent that day and also on August 5 and 6.

Rollins testified that when he arrived for work on July 31, 2008, he was informed that the “first shift” failed to make a delivery. Rollins made the delivery of 16 7–foot square tubing units to BRB Contractors' construction site at 1701 Baltimore, Kansas City, Missouri. Rollins stated that “Mike” signed for the delivery, and Rollins filed the paperwork when he returned to Wall Ties. Rollins testified that after making this delivery he took an extended vacation due to his mother's recent death and his father's health issues.

In rebuttal, Carl Englican, vice president and partner of Wall Ties, testified: (1) Wall Ties only sells the 7–foot square tubing units internationally, not domestically; (2) there was no construction site at 1701 Baltimore in Kansas City, Missouri, on that date; and (3) Wall Ties had no client named BRB Contractors. Additionally, Wall Ties' human resources employee Melissa Martin testified that Rollins did not file a formal request for an extended vacation and could not take the time because he had only 1 vacation day available.

The jury convicted Rollins of theft, and he was sentenced to 11 months' imprisonment with no post-release supervision. Rollins timely appeals claiming substantial competent evidence does not support the alternative means of “obtaining” and “exerting” the unauthorized control required for a theft conviction. Additionally, he claims the district court: (1) violated his constitutional rights when it dismissed the jury for the evening outside of his presence; (2) abused its discretion in admitting the timesheet in violation of K.S.A. 22–3212; and (3) erred in admitting testimony concerning the daytime surveillance video without a proper foundation. Finally, Rollins argues cumulative errors deprived him of a fair trial.

Substantial Competent Evidence for the Theft Charge

Rollins claims the State charged him with committing theft by alternative means but failed to prove both means. Therefore, his conviction for theft must be reversed because the jury verdict was not unanimous. The State argues that this is not an alternative means case because the terms “obtaining” and “exerting” are indistinguishable in proving unauthorized control. The issue of jury unanimity is a question of law over which an appellate court has unlimited review. State v. Kesselring, 279 Kan. 671, 678, 112 P.3d 175 (2005).

In an alternative means case, the court must determine whether a rational trier of fact could have found each means of committing the crime proved beyond a reasonable doubt. State v. Wright, 290 Kan. 194, 202, 224 P.3d 1159 (2010). “In an alternative means case the jury must be unanimous as to guilt for the single crime charged, but need not be unanimous as to the particular means by which the crime was committed, so long as substantial evidence supports each alternative means.” State v. Becker, 290 Kan. 842, 855, 235 P.3d 424 (2010).

“When the sufficiency of the evidence is challenged in a criminal case, this court reviews all the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution to determine whether the court is convinced that a rational factfinder could have found the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” State v. Trautloff, 289 Kan. 793, 800, 217 P.3d 15 (2009).

To support his argument, Rollins claims K.S.A. 21–3701(a)(1) provides two possible means by which the crime of theft could occur. K.S.A. 21–3701(a) states: “Theft is any of the following acts done with intent to deprive the owner permanently of the possession, use or benefit of the owner's property ... (1) Obtaining or exerting unauthorized control over property....” (Emphasis added.)

Rollins claims that Kansas treated the terms obtaining or exerting differently in State v. Kunellis, 276 Kan. 461, 78 P.3d 776 (2003). In Kunellis, 15–year–old Kenneth Kunellis and several others stole motorcycles from an Olathe Suzuki dealership, drove against traffic on a multilane highway while being pursued by police, and killed two people in a collision. After a 4–day trial, the jury found Kunellis guilty of burglary, theft, and two counts of felony murder.

On direct appeal, Kunellis argued, inter alia, that the jury instructions and verdict forms for felony murder and theft provided the jury with an inaccurate statement of the law. Kunellis claimed that the theft was not a continuing offense and that “a conviction for felony murder based upon a death occurring after the ‘commission’ of the theft, without more, cannot stand.” 276 Kan. at 468, 78 P.3d 776.

The Kunellis court, after examining State v. Gainer, 227 Kan. 670,...

To continue reading

Request your trial
13 cases
  • Commonwealth v. Connolly
    • United States
    • Appeals Court of Massachusetts
    • May 25, 2017
    ...N.E.2d 758, 760–761 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004) ; State v. Thorne , 173 N.C.App. 393, 396–399, 618 S.E.2d 790 (2005) ; State v. Rollins , 46 Kan.App.2d 17, 27–29, 257 P.3d 839 (2011) ; Hammock v. State , 311 Ga.App. 344, 344–345, 715 S.E.2d 709 (2011) ; Yero v. State , 138 So.3d 1179, 1184–1185 (F......
  • State v. Legrand
    • United States
    • Kansas Court of Appeals
    • November 27, 2013
    ...the same conduct, so they do not form an alternative means for committing theft. 48 Kan.App.2d at 305 (citing State v. Rollins, 46 Kan.App.2d 17, 22, 257 P.3d 839 [2011],rev. denied 293 Kan. –––– [February 17, 2012]; State v. Fawl, No. 103,004, 2011 WL 4563067 [Kan.App.2011] [unpublished op......
  • State v. Snover
    • United States
    • Kansas Court of Appeals
    • November 9, 2012
    ...uses synonyms to describe the same conduct, the synonyms do not form an alternative means for committing a crime. State v. Rollins, 46 Kan.App.2d 17, 22, 257 P.3d 839 (2011), rev. denied February 17, 2012 (“There is no quantifiable difference between the actions that constitute obtaining or......
  • Commonwealth v. Newkirk
    • United States
    • Kentucky Court of Appeals
    • November 21, 2014
    ...case law directly on this issue. The Commonwealth, however, cites a persuasive case on this point from a sister state - State v. Rollins, 257 P.3d 839 (Kan. App. 2011). In Rollins, the appellate court affirmed the trial court's order admitting testimony about a "destroyed videotape . . . wh......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 books & journal articles
  • Authentication
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Trial Evidence Foundations - 2015 Contents
    • July 31, 2015
    ...of the recording with no deletions or additions, and the identification of the locale, objects, or persons depicted. State v. Rollins , 257 P.3d 839 (Kan. App. 2011). In a theft prosecution of an employee who used two forklifts to load pallets of concrete-forming §560 AUTHENTICATION 5-28 eq......
  • Authentication
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Trial Evidence Foundations - 2016 Contents
    • July 31, 2016
    ...of the recording with no deletions or additions, and the identification of the locale, objects, or persons depicted. State v. Rollins , 257 P.3d 839 (Kan. App. 2011). In a theft prosecution of an employee who used two forklifts to load pallets of concrete-forming 5-29 ORAL STATEMENTS & RECO......
  • Authentication
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Trial Evidence Foundations - 2017 Contents
    • July 31, 2017
    ...of the recording with no deletions or additions, and the identiication of the locale, objects, or persons depicted. State v. Rollins , 257 P.3d 839 (Kan. App. 2011). In a theft prosecution of an employee who used two forklifts to load pallets of concrete-forming equipment into a van, the de......
  • Authentication
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Trial Evidence Foundations - 2018 Contents
    • July 31, 2018
    ...of the recording with no deletions or additions, and the identiication of the locale, objects, or persons depicted. State v. Rollins , 257 P.3d 839 (Kan. App. 2011). In a theft prosecution of an employee who used two forklifts to load pallets of concrete-forming equipment into a van, the de......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT