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The Kansas Supreme Court today upheld the conviction of Deborah Meeks of second-degree intentional murder in a case from December 2009 in Kansas City, Kan.

According to court documents, a jury in Wyandotte County convicted Deborah Meeks of second-degree intentional murder for fatally shooting her former partner, Wesley Smith, as he sat on a bed in his home.

Meeks admitted shooting Smith, but said she suffered from battered woman syndrome from years of abusive and manipulative mistreatment at the hands of her partner, according to court documents.

The trial court had excluded evidence of battered woman syndrome because Meeks did not assert self-defense at the trial.

A doctor for the defense submitted a written report that said Meeks killed Smith after an unusually controlling two-week period, which was the culmination of years of abuse and control, and that Meeks had acted in a manner that appeared to have been outside her conscious decision-making control. This report was not admitted by the trial court apparently because self-defense was not claimed by the defendant at the time, and the defense did not present legal authority for the idea that expert testimony about battered woman syndrome could be admitted in cases where the defendant was not acting in self-defense.

Also, the court did not allow evidence to be introduced of prior instances of acts of violence committed by Smith upon Meeks because there was no evidence that she was in danger when she went to Smith’s house with a gun, according to court documents.

Meeks originally had been charged with first-degree murder, but the jury decided upon second-degree murder.

In today’s ruling, the Kansas Supreme Court said that “a defendant cannot disclaim a theory of defense before the trial court and then claim on appeal that he or she was prevented from pursuing that defense theory.”

The decision is online at www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/SupCt/2014/20141219/106107.pdf.

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Sporting Kansas City will kick off the team’s highly-anticipated 20th season at 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 8, at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., in a nationally televised rematch against the New York Red Bulls on FOX Sports 1, Major League Soccer announced on Friday.

Single-game tickets for Sporting Kansas City’s home opener and the full 2015 Major League Soccer schedule will be released at a later date. Individuals who place deposits for season tickets or group tickets for the 2015 season will receive priority consideration for securing single-game tickets to Sporting KC home matches in 2015. For additional ticket information, call 888-4KC-GOAL.

Sporting Kansas City’s season opener will feature a match-up of the top two goal scorers from the 2014 MLS season.

Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer set the club’s single-season scoring record with 22 goals, while New York Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips tied the MLS single-season mark with 27 goals during the regular season. The two Englishman were each MLS All-Stars and both signed new contracts with their respective clubs after their record-setting seasons.

The opener will also mark Sporting Kansas City’s third straight match against the Red Bulls after ending the 2014 campaign with back-to-back games against Mike Petke’s side. The clubs met in the 2014 regular season finale and again in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round of the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs.

New York – unbeaten in five straight versus Sporting KC in the all-time series and four straight at Sporting Park – will be playing the first game since the retirement of club captain Thierry Henry, who led MLS with 19 assists in 2014 and was a four-time MLS All-Star to go along with three MLS Best XI selections.

Sporting Kansas City re-joins the Western Conference in 2015 and will open the team’s MLS campaign at home for the first time since 2010, where the team is 11-2-6 all-time in home openers. Both charter members of Major League Soccer dating back to the inaugural season in 1996, Sporting KC and New York will meet in Week 1 for the first time in the League history as part of the earliest regular season home game ever played in Kansas City.

FOX Sports — Major League Soccer’s newest broadcast partner — will carry the match on FOX Sports 1 as their first live broadcast over the course of an eight-year partnership.

MLS 2015 SCHEDULE – WEEK 1 (subject to change)

Friday, March 6
LA Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire (StubHub Center)

Saturday, March 7

D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact (RFK Stadium)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Toronto FC (BC Place)
Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew SC (BBVA Compass Stadium)
Philadelphia Union vs. Colorado Rapids (PPL Park)
Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake (Providence Park)
FC Dallas vs. San Jose Earthquakes (Toyota Stadium)

Sunday, March 8
Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC (Orlando Citrus Bowl)
Sporting Kansas City vs. New York Red Bulls (Sporting Park)
Seattle Sounders FC vs. New England Revolution (CenturyLink Field)

– Story from Sporting KC

Wyandotte County continues to have the highest unemployment rate of all counties in the state of Kansas, at 5.9 percent for November 2014.

The number was close to October’s 6 percent rate in Wyandotte County, and lower than one year ago, when it was 7.2 percent in Wyandotte County.

Statistics released today by the Kansas Department of Labor also show that Kansas City, Kan., had the highest rate of all large cities in Kansas, at 6 percent in November.

There are 4,119 persons listed as unemployed in Wyandotte County, according to the Kansas Department of Labor.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.3 percent for November 2014, as compared to 4.4 percent in October, and 5 percent one year ago, according to the statistics.

Kansas gained 7,200 seasonally adjusted private sector jobs, an increase of 0.6 percent since last year, and 7,500 nonfarm jobs, a 0.5 percent increase. Since last month, Kansas lost 4,400 seasonally adjusted private sector jobs, or 0.4 percent. The state declined by 4,100 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs, a 0.3 percent decline since last month.

“Kansas showed positive economic signs this month including a decrease in the unemployment rate, which marks a full year under 5 percent unemployment,” said Lana Gordon, secretary of labor. “In addition, wages showed significant growth since this time last year, furthering the growth seen in past months.”

“After a strong October, seasonal hiring in retail trade was slightly slower than expected in November, leading to a seasonally adjusted over the month dip in private sector jobs.” said Tyler Tenbrink, senior labor economist. “However, other indicators did improve over the month including increasing hours and earnings, signifying continued demand for labor.”

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