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Kansas Supreme Court tosses murder conviction of Wichita man

May 14, 2021 GMT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court tossed out on Friday the murder conviction of a Wichita man who claimed he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot a man who had attacked him with a knife in his home.

The court sent the case of Casimiro Nunez back to the trial court in Sedgwick County for further proceedings.

Nunez had been sentenced to life in prison after his conviction in 2019 of first-degree murder and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in the October 2016 killing of Antonio Guzman.

The Supreme Court found that the district court mistakenly refused to give the jury an involuntary manslaughter instruction and said that the error was prejudicial.

“The error may have affected the outcome of the trial because the requested instruction could have focused the attention of the jury on the legitimacy of the initial self-defense, mitigated by the subsequent exertion of unnecessary force,” according to the ruling.

The court concluded a jury could have found that Nunez had the right to take aggressive measures to protect himself, but that he used excessive force when he shot Guzman, who had fallen to the floor.