The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday upheld the Barton County conviction of Robert Cash Scheuerman, partially overturning an earlier ruling by the Kansas Court of Appeals.
Scheuerman, 41, formerly of Larned, was convicted in 2016 of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute in Barton County. He had previous convictions for drug distribution and aggravated battery in Pawnee County.
He appealed his conviction and argued that insufficient evidence existed to support his conviction because the amount of methamphetamine that he stipulated he possessed – at least 3.5 grams – was larger than the quantitative range proscribed under the level 3 felony version of the crime (“at least 1 gram but less than 3.5 grams”). The Court of Appeals agreed, but this was overturned Friday by the Kansas Supreme Court.
According to the stipulated facts at his bench trial, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation lab showed he was in possession of an amount between 3.5 grams to under 100 grams of methamphetamine. Scheuerman waived his right to a jury trial and several other charges against him were dropped.
Report from 2016
He was arrested on Aug. 8, 2016, after a standoff with area law enforcement officers who made a felony traffic stop in the 100 block of SE 20 Road at about 6:20 p.m. According to the account of that arrest, the woman who was driving was ordered out of the vehicle and complied, but Scheuerman instead brandished a weapon and threatened to shoot himself.
“Deputies were able to block the vehicle as to prevent the suspect from escaping the scene,” Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir told the Great Bend Tribune in 2016. “After about one hour and 40 minutes we were able to convince Scheuerman to lay down the 9 mm handgun and exit the vehicle. Scheuerman was arrested and taken into custody.”
Read the 2016 story at https://gbtribune.com/news/local-news/drugs-and-money-found-in-standoff/
The conviction and appeals
Scheuerman was eventually convicted for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute under K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 21-5705(a)(1) and (d)(3)(B), a level 3 drug felony, following a trial on stipulated facts to the district court. Barton County District Judge Carey Hipp presided over the case. The State was represented by J. Colin Reynolds from the Barton County Attorney’s Office and the defendant was represented by Donald Anderson II.
Scheuerman also challenged the district court’s refusal to suppress the results of a search of the car. The Court of Appeals rejected that on the basis that Scheuerman lacked “standing” as a passenger under the Fourth Amendment to challenge the search. The Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ conclusion that Scheuerman could not challenge the search of the car.
According to Friday’s ruling, “The Supreme Court disagreed with the Court of Appeals’ conclusion regarding sufficiency of the evidence, concluding instead that, where the undisputed evidence establishes the possession of a greater quantity of contraband than a charged crime encompasses, that evidence is sufficient to establish the possession of the amount contemplated by the charged crime. Thus, the Supreme Court concluded, sufficient evidence existed to support Scheuerman’s conviction.”
Scheuerman was sentenced to 73 months (six years and one month) in the Kansas Department of Corrections, which is the standard sentence. With a previous drug conviction in Pawnee County active, his earliest possible release date is Nov. 27, 2030, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections online database. He is incarcerated at Hutchinson Correctional Facility-East where his custody level is “minimum.” He is in a work program in private industry.