Former Inman Police Chief has convictions overturned, will be retried

By Kansas Supreme Court release
January 10, 2014

The convictions of a former Inman Police Chief have been overturned on appeal by the Kansas Supreme Court.

In 2011, a McPherson County jury convicted Michael Akins Jr. on 15 of 19 charges, including charges for aggravated indecent liberties with a child, attempted aggravated indecent liberties with a child, indecent liberties with a child, indecent solicitation of a child, lewd and lascivious behavior, and battery.

Akins was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences under Jessica's Law and an additional consecutive sentence of 59 months. Akins appealed his convictions and sentence, arguing that the prosecutor committed reversible prosecutorial misconduct.

He also alleged that the trial court erroneously excluded evidence, failed to properly instruct the jury on unanimity, failed to properly poll the jury, committed cumulative error, and imposed an unconstitutional sentence.

Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss wrote the opinion for a unanimous court. The court held that the prosecutor committed prosecutorial misconduct that denied Akins a fair trial.

The misconduct arose from the prosecutor's statements about facts not in evidence and improper commentary on the credibility of certain witnesses.

Accordingly, the court reversed Akins’ convictions and sentence, and it remanded the case for a new trial.

Because the court reversed Akins' convictions and sentence based on prosecutorial misconduct, his remaining arguments were rendered moot.

The court provided the district court guidance on issues that will likely arise on remand.

A new trial date has not yet been set.

Just to clarify, due to a conflict and the McPherson County Attorney being called as a witness at the original trial, the case was originally prosecuted by the Kansas Attorney General's office.