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The opinion of the court was delivered by This is an appeal by Bennie Murdock from his conviction of first degree felony murder, K.S.A. 21-3401, aggravated burglary, K.S.A. 21-3716, and rape, K.S.A. 21-3502, by jury trial in Sedgwick District Court. He contends that the trial court erred in refusing to strike the testimony of the State's fingerprint expert, Detective Vickie Abele, in excluding photographic slides of fingerprints offered in evidence by the defendant, in overruling defense objections to questions asked by the prosecution on cross-examination of the defendant, in failing to give an instruction on premeditated murder, in giving a felony murder instruction, and in failing to instruct on lesser degrees of homicide. He also contends that the evidence is not sufficient to support the convictions. Since the sufficiency of the evidence is challenged, we will review it in some detail. On February 8, 1983, the body of ninety-year-old Tressa Corsaut was found in her apartment in the Shirkmere Hotel in Wichita, Kansas. An autopsy disclosed numerous injuries to the victim's hands, face, and clavicle area, all of which were classified by the pathologist, Dr. William G. Eckert, as "blunt injuries," consistent with her being hit repeatedly with a fist. The autopsy also disclosed laceration on the back wall of her vagina which caused a considerable amount of bleeding. Dr. Eckert testified that this injury was consistent with the insertion of a penis into the vagina, and that the injury probably occurred prior to death. The victim had a pink dressing gown wrapped around her neck and Dr. Eckert expressed the opinion that the cause of death was anoxia, the shutting off of oxygen to the brain, caused by strangulation. The victim was a very neat housekeeper; her apartment was in general disarray, drawers were open, a purse and wallet were found open, and the rooms appeared to have been ransacked.

Professional & Technical
October 26
LawApp Publishers
Innodata Book Distribution Services Inc

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