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Kansas Court of Appeals upholds drug sentence
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Christopher Daniel Wilson - photo by Kansas Department of Corrections, 2015

The Kansas Court of Appeals has upheld the 14-year sentence for Christopher Wilson, who was convicted by a Barton County jury in 2012 of aiding and abetting the manufacture of methamphetamine. In its opinion, the three-judge panel found that Wilson’s arguments regarding the constitutionality of the 169-month sentence were not supported by the laws of either Kansas or any other jurisdiction in the United States.

Wilson was originally placed on probation following his conviction, but the State appealed that sentence and the Court of Appeals agreed, Barton County Attorney Amy Mellor stated in a news release. The Court held that the sentence of probation was illegal since Kansas law mandated prison confinement for someone convicted of manufacturing drugs. Following re-sentencing, Wilson argued that the prison sentence was a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
The Court of Appeals disagreed, finding that Wilson was not treated any differently from anyone else convicted of the same crime. The decision was one of several unpublished opinions released by the Kansas Court of Appeals on Dec. 23, 2016.

Agencies involved in the original investigation were the Great Bend Police Department and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Amy Mellor prosecuted the case for the Barton County Attorney’s Office, and Douglas Matthews filed the appeal and argued the case to the Court of Appeals.