Kansas Supreme Court Rules on 2020 Murder Case, Todge Anderson’s Convictions Affirmed

A majority ruling by the Kansas Supreme Court upheld a Topeka man’s first-degree murder conviction in a 2020 gunshot death and robbery.

The state Supreme Court upheld Todge Anderson’s convictions for first-degree felony murder, aggravated robbery, distributing or possessing with intent to distribute a controlled narcotic, and unlawful possession of a weapon.

These allegations come from an incident in October 2020 in which Anderson and two associates robbed and murdered Christopher McMillon, whom Anderson claims owed him money. The two accomplices testified against Anderson in court.

The Supreme Court said that the Shawnee County District Court did not mistake in admitting a recording of a jail call in which Anderson claimed he was shorted on a drug sale. Anderson contended that the call should have been removed as a penalty for the state’s late revelation of its existence. The court determined that the admission of the call was reasonable given the circumstances.

Furthermore, the court determined that the trial evidence presented in the case supported Anderson’s conviction for distributing or possessing with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Another argument contends that certain comments made during the prosecutor’s closing argument incorrectly implied Anderson had the burden of proof. The Supreme Court concluded that the error had no effect on the verdict.

The Supreme Court, however, found an error in the lower court’s order to Anderson to pay $5,000 in legal fees to the State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services. According to the Supreme Court, the district court failed to expressly assess on the record the nature of the burden the payment would impose on Anderson.

As a result, the court affirmed the convictions but vacated the attorney fees decision, requesting that the district court reassess the fees in light of the verdict.

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