October 2019 | No. 120,076 (Kan. Ct. App. 2019)

State v. McKee (Kansas 2019)

A prior conviction of nonpayment of child support may not be used to prove the element of intent in a subsequent proceeding. The father was convicted of nonpayment of support in 2003. He was charged on a separate count in 2012. Before the trial began, the state filed a motion to admit the conviction into evidence and the defense objected. The court overruled the objection at that time, but stated it would rule on any objection to the evidence at the time it came up at trial. The state made no mention of the conviction in its opening statement, but the defense did. The state then elicited testimony about a witness about the conviction during its case in chief. The court gave the jury a limiting instruction. The father was convicted and appealed. The court of appeals found facts to support both sides. Ultimately, the court found that even if there was an error, it was harmless. The state provided enough evidence of intent, that even if there was an error, there was a small chance it would have changed the outcome of the trial.

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