State v. Wilson
|27 February 2015
|343 P.3d 102,301 Kan. 403
|STATE of Kansas, Appellee, v. Matthew Dennis WILSON, Appellant.
|Kansas Supreme Court
Michelle A. Davis, of Kansas Appellate Defender Office, was on the brief for appellant.
Barry R. Wilkerson, county attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, were on the brief for appellee.
Matthew Wilson pled no contest to one count of first-degree premeditated murder, two counts of attempted first-degree premeditated murder, and two counts of aggravated battery in connection with a Manhattan shooting. The judge ordered Wilson to serve a hard 25 life sentence for the murder and an additional 310 months for the remaining crimes to run consecutive to his life sentence. He also imposed a period of lifetime parole.
Wilson contends the judge abused his discretion in ordering his sentences to run consecutively instead of concurrently. Because there was no abuse of discretion, we affirm.
Dustin Ferguson and Joel Solano lived in an apartment directly across the hall from Wilson. Sometime around 2 a.m. on April 7, 2013, Ferguson returned to the apartment with Michael Lowery, Alexya Mailea, and Christine Kim after a night out in Aggieville. Around 4 a.m., Ferguson and his three guests opened the door to leave. They were met in the hallway by Wilson who immediately started shooting at them with a handgun.
Ferguson, Mailea, and Kim were struck by bullets, and Ferguson pulled Mailea and Lowery back into the apartment while Kim fled down a flight of stairs. Wilson followed Kim and told her he was not going to kill her and that he was only “there for the guys.” Wilson then returned to the apartment, shot his way through the locked front door, and entered.
In the meantime, Lowery had run into Solano's bedroom where Solano had been sleeping with his fiancée and young daughter. Solano was awakened by the gunshots and retrieved his own handgun. Solano then shot Lowery when he came into the bedroom, mistaking him for an intruder.
Ferguson escaped by jumping out of his bedroom window. He directed Mailea to follow him, but she was still in Ferguson's room when Wilson returned. As with Kim, Wilson assured Mailea that he was not going to kill her and that he was only “there for the boys.” He also told her he was “doing what he was doing” because Ferguson and Solano had too many loud parties in their apartment and that “people deserved to get a good night's sleep.” Wilson then went to Solano's bedroom to look for the others.
Wilson failed to enter Solano's bedroom because the door was blocked by Lowery's prone body. He ordered Solano to open the door and threatened to shoot his way into the room if Solano did not comply. Solano had heard Wilson tell Mailea he was “there for the boys,” so he remained quiet, hoping Wilson would think no one was there. Wilson eventually gave up and left the apartment. Police took him into custody outside the building a few minutes later.
Lowery died as a result of his gunshot wounds
, while Ferguson, Mailea, and Kim were all hospitalized with serious injuries. Wilson pled no contest to one count of first-degree premeditated murder for Lowery's death, two counts of attempted first-degree premeditated murder regarding Ferguson and Solano, and two counts of aggravated battery on Mailea and Kim.
The district judge denied Wilson's request to order his sentences to run concurrently instead of consecutively. Instead, he ordered Wilson to serve life in prison with parole eligibility after 25 years for the murder of Lowery and an additional 310 months to run consecutively to the hard 25 life sentence for his remaining convictions.
Our jurisdiction is under K.S.A.2014 Supp. 22–3601(b)(3), (4) (life sentence imposed for off-grid crime).
Issue: The district judge did not abuse his discretion in ordering Wilson to serve consecutive sentences.
Standard of review
A sentencing judge has discretion to impose concurrent or consecutive sentences in multiple conviction cases under K.S.A.2014 Supp. 21–6819(b) (). That statute does not set out a list of specific factors the sentencing judge must consider in exercising his or her discretion. Rather, it provides that the judge “may consider the need to impose an overall sentence that is proportionate to the harm and culpability” associated with the crimes. K.S.A.2014 Supp. 21–6819(b).
This court's abuse of discretion standard is well-established:
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