Oct 22, 2020

Court declines appeal for death of Kan. bicycle rider

Posted Oct 22, 2020 8:00 AM
Lukone-photo Kansas Dept. of Corrections
Lukone-photo Kansas Dept. of Corrections

HUTCHINSON — The Kansas Supreme Court has refused to address the case of a Hutchinson man who received an eight-year departure from his prison sentence in the death of a Hutchinson man. 

The Kansas Court of Appeals reversed the sentence against Taylor Lukone. Lukone was given the two-year sentence for a conviction of reckless second-degree murder in the death of 51-year-old Jose Lopez.

Lopez was on a bicycle when Lukone rammed him with a car after a confrontation between the two.

At the time, Judge Trish Rose granted her own departure in the case, going against the plea agreement from both the state and the defense. Rose cited Lukone’s lack of criminal history and age as reasons for the 99-month departure.

But the Court of Appeals disagreed and ordered a new sentence that could run from nine to 11 years in prison. The matter moved to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court declined to hear the matter and sent the case back to Reno County where Lukone will be resentenced.

At the time of the ruling, the Court of Appeals stated that the extent of Rose’s departure was not proportionate to the severity level of Lukone's crimes. As a result, Rose’s 99-month departure was outside the framework of the legal standards and statutory limitations placed on it by the KSGA grid. Thus, this constituted an abuse of discretion.

The Court of Appeals ruling went on to say that anger that leads a person to murder someone in revenge is not condoned under the KSGA. And anger unrestrained, like the murder in this case, is required to be punished according to the grid under the KSGA.