No justice in Wichita felony murder case

Wichita, Kansas – Kyler Carriker faces trial for felony murder under the pretense that he told a former classmate he ran into where he could buy marijuana.

On April 17th, 2013, Kyler and a friend had finished work and were headed down to the spillway to fish. They were stopped by a train where they ran into Kyler’s former classmate. Kyler was asked if he could find any “smoke”, meaning marijuana. Kyler said he could try, so they exchanged telephone numbers.

What Kyler didn’t know was that his old friend from school had since become an active gang member. The gang member contacted Kyler by telephone, and Kyler called a friend, Kyle Belts, who called another friend, Ronald Betts, and the deal was arranged for Kyler’s former classmate to purchase marijuana from Ronald.

Kyler agreed to meet his former classmate at Kyle Belts’ home. However, the former classmate arrived with several other gang members, and later testified in court to the fact that the plan was to rob Kyler, Kyle, and Ronald.

Within 60 seconds of entering the home, one of the gang members opened fire, shooting Kyler first and killing Ron Betts, and attempting to kill Kyle Belts and his girlfriend Kelly Touchton.

After leaving the home, the shooter bragged to the other gang members, saying that he had “killed them all”.

Ronald Betts, the person who had the marijuana for sale, and who was fatally shot in the robbery, was the brother of former state senator Donald Betts.

Kyler was charged with first degree felony murder because marijuana related offenses were added to the list of inherently dangerous felonies (crimes where death is most likely to occur).

Furthermore, the law was amended on July 1, 2013, to include people acting as agents in a drug transaction (middlemen), and that law was applied retroactively in Kyler’s case.

If found guilty, Kyler faces a mandatory 20 year minimum sentence, without the possibility of parole. Most of the gang members who planned and committed the robbery that resulted in Ronald Betts’ death were granted significantly lesser sentences in exchange for their testimony against the shooter.

Kyler was not offered a plea deal, because he was not involved in the robbery, and his testimony, as a victim in the case, was considered less valuable.

This is not justice.

Commonsense would dictate that Betts’ death was the result of the robbery, and not the marijuana deal, but the court has ruled that Kyler’s attorney cannot use this as a defense, despite the ruling of State v. Beach, which dictates that an extraordinary intervening event [the robbery] can be presented as the cause of death.

The court has also ruled in favor of prosecutor Trinity Muth’s motion in limine to suppress all information pertaining to the robbers’ gang affiliations, so the jury will not hear that Kyler was not in a gang, while the robbers were all documented gang members.

A motion in limine contradicts the notion that witnesses in court present juries with the “truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.

Our district attorney, and district attorneys around the nation are abusing the felony murder rule to boost their murder conviction rates, because this is good for both prosecutors’ salaries and their political careers.

The felony murder rule was originally established in the United Kingdom, with the goal of being able to prosecute the getaway driver in a bank robbery on murder charges, when that robbery resulted in death. The UK abolished the law, shortly after it was enacted, because it was being abused.

Unfortunately, the State of Kansas continues to abuse this law, not in the pursuit of justice, but in the pursuit of political ambition.

18 thoughts on “No justice in Wichita felony murder case

  1. Good Story Mike, for once I agree with you on something. You presented the facts well and drew logical conclusions from the facts. Clearly, the entire truth should be presented in court for Kyler’s defense. Supressing any facts that would help his defense would not be providing him with a fair trial. The fact that Kyler was also shot to me is enough evidence that he is as much a victim as Ronald. Ronald was just the unlucky one who was shot fatally. Of course I am unaware of all the facts, but it seems pretty clear from what you presented

  2. This is beyond insane! Forget the fact that I know Kyler and adore his parents. Forget that Kyler is a young man that simply exhibited poor judgement. Forget that Kyler has a family that by incarcerating him would cost us, the taxpayers, more money because we then become financially responsible for his family. We most likely pay for his families rent, their food, their childcare expenses. I would much rather pay to send Kyler to counseling than to pay for his family for the next 20 years. Do the math people. Fact is, Kyler made a pretty common mistake. He was not selling cocaine, heroin, or even marijuana. He did put a buyer with a seller of a plant that has not been considered to even be a carcinogen, nor has it been related to any documented deaths determined to be caused by it’s use. Cigarettes have caused millions of deaths and yet not only are they are legal, they are promoted on signs, billboards, etc. I can’t help but wonder what the agenda really is. Our local government must have an agenda that I am not educated on because from an outsider looking in, they just seem to be simple minded, ignorant and down right stupid individuals. We the people are not getting the biggest bang for our buck with our current legal systems. I agree with Mike, justice is absolutely, not being served. Sickening!!!!!

    1. since 911, the bill of rights have been disregarded, and the entire judicial process has become a quagmire of psychopaths w/ nothing on their minds but tyrannizing and ruining regular humans. there is a sickness running thru our land.

      austrian economist frederick von hayek wrote a book in the 1940s called: the road to serfdom. in the book he explained how in the 20th century & beyond: the worst people would rise to the top. so we been warned. now talk it up because this ***t has got to stop.

  3. If Kansas would just legalize Marijuana for recreational use, then people wouldn’t be put in these situations. If Marijuana is eventually legalized, will this wrongfully convicted man be released? Will he be compensated for the time spent locked up? These thugs will probably be repeat offenders and most likely take another innocent life. Decriminalize Marijuana and there is one less reason for dealing with shady people with ill-intent.

  4. What complete and utter bull, a waste of a potentially positive life and a waste of resources. Makes a mockery of our judicial system.

  5. Isn’t this war on drugs (american citizens) fun! We should spill some more blood in the name of POT because I think it is worth it! Course I’m an idiot from hell!

      1. after reading the above article, the judiciary and law enforcement in jayhawk state appears on the verge of abominable. what is the problem out there in corn country/and oil?? those of us on the east coast presume all the corruption in this land is over here or out on the west coast. what is becoming of the hard fought prize, kansas statehood?? citizens of the world, your chains do not become you.

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