The Kansas Supreme Court released the following published decision today:
Appeal No. 112,260: State of Kansas v. Jason Hachmeister.
The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of Jason Hachmeister on 105 counts of sexual exploitation of a child. The conviction was based on police discovery of child pornography on his computer, which was seized as part of a murder investigation. Hachmeister was convicted in a separate criminal proceeding for the 2011 first-degree murder of his mother, Shelia. That conviction remains under appeal.
In today's decision, the court rejected Hachmeister's argument that the search warrant used to discover the photos on his computer was not properly supported by a law enforcement affidavit. In an opinion written by Justice Dan Biles, the court held the facts outlined in the affidavit provided "a fair probability evidence related to Shelia's murder might have been found on a computer within the possession of Hachmeister."
On a separate issue, the court divided 4-3 on whether Hachmeister would be required to register as a sex offender under Kansas law if he were released from imprisonment. The question turned on whether a court or a jury was required to make a factual finding that some of the pornographic images depicted children under 14 years of age. The court majority held it was appropriate for the Shawnee County District Court to make that factual finding, so registration was appropriate under state law. Three justices dissented and said a jury was required to make that determination.
Kansas Court of Appeals decisions released today State of Kansas
Office of Judicial Administration
Kansas Judicial Center
301 SW 10th
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1507